Fernando Alonso says he adopted a risk-filled approach to the opening lap at the Dutch Grand Prix in a bid to claw back positions.
Alonso started from ninth but worked his way ahead of Alpine team-mate Esteban Ocon and Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi to move into seventh.
Alonso brushed wheels with Ocon exiting Turn 1 and then had a wild moment through Turn 6 while running side-by-side with Giovinazzi.
“The first lap we took many risks as we felt necessary as we knew it was very important to stabilise the positions,” he said.
“The plan was to go on the outside because I was on the clean side of the grid and I wanted to have a straight start with not much movement, to try to go on the outside of Turn 1 but Giovinazzi had the same plan so he was on the outside and blocking a little bit my idea.
“So after that I had to improvise a little bit into Turns 2 and 3, there were a lot of cars, I was even in the grass at one point.
“Then in Turn 3 I chose to run on the outside and I kept good momentum on the exit but Carlos was in the middle in the way so I had to brake at the exit of Turn 3 which didn’t help but then Giovinazzi and Carlos were fighting until Turn 7 and I could squeeze one position.
“I think I had been hit by Esteban in Turn 1, by [George] Russell in Turn 2 and by Giovinazzi in Turn 6. So I had very robust tyres today with no punctures so that was good.”
Alonso revealed that he came “10cm from the wall” during his late pursuit of Carlos Sainz before successfully passing his compatriot for sixth.
“I had a go into Carlos like six laps from the end at Turn 1 on the inside and I thought I was making the move and in the last moment he released the brakes and braked even later so we nearly touched in Turn 1,” he said.
“Then into Turn 3 I was too close, so I locked the fronts a little bit and I ran wider than normal, I was outside of the circuit but obviously there are like two metres from the banking to the wall and I was about 10cm or something from the wall with both front tyres locked up.
“So it is not that I did anything magic there, it was just pure luck as I was not in control of the car. I got lucky there.”