Fernando Alonso says his messages during Formula 1’s Japanese Grand Prix were “completely out of context” and moved to downplay the situation.
Alonso has a history of occasionally tetchy or confrontational messages being played out on the world feed and that situation arose during Sunday’s race at Suzuka.
Alonso was pitted by Aston Martin on lap 11, among the first of the top 10 to come into the pits, and a message was aired in which he said “you’ve thrown me to the lions by pitting me that early mate, unbelievable.”
When later stuck behind Alpine’s Esteban Ocon – a predicament accentuated by Aston Martin’s straight-line speed deficit – Alonso said: “he’s pulling away on the straight, so think of something!”
Speaking after the race Alonso explained the situation: “It’s the same, the classic thing, the classic FOM radio, completely out of context.
“I’m not sure exactly what other drivers can say when they are behind a car that is slower and on the straight they are pulling away even when you open the DRS.
“Maybe the other drivers say ‘I’m okay, I’m happy to be behind’, but I prefer to be motivated to overtake them on track, I was slower even with DRS open, I called for a different strategy, we stopped, we beat them, that’s the way we do it, we beat everyone on track even if the radio is the highlight.”
Aston Martin boss Mike Krack said that “if the driver would not be doing something like that, you know, what [kind of driver] is it?”
“I think it is fine, for us we take it as motivation, and also it opens up a different view of things.”
Alonso went on to overhaul Ocon to classify in eighth position.
“Maybe that [early stop] was a mistake, but easy to say now, I think arguably the final result will be P8 after the top teams, it didn’t change much our race, we go into the next one,” he said.