2018 Azerbaijan GP: Alonso Recovers from Start Collision to 7th

Fernando Alonso managed an incredible comeback in the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Lining up on the grid in 12th place, Fernando had work to do right from the beginning of the race – his initial start was clean, however, attempting to overtake Sergey Sirotkin on the straight heading into turn three, Nico Hülkenberg squeezed Sirotkin into Alonso, causing two punctures on the right side of Fernando’s McLaren McL33.

Having to pit at the end of the first lap for fresh soft tyres and a new front-wing, Fernando was in 17th place – ahead of only Marcus Ericsson.

Having to manage floor damage the rest of the race, Fernando quickly got ahead of Kevin Magnussen, Brandon Hartley, Pierre Gasly and team mate Stoffel Vandoorne – driving most of the race in 12th position.

When on lap 40 Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo have collided with each other, Fernando moved up to 10th place, opting to change his 40 laps old softs to ultra softs under the safety car.

Before the safety came into the pits, Romain Grosjean crashed and Fernando moved up to 9th, after the safety car came in, Alonso started his chase yet again, overtaking Lance Stroll for 8th.

On lap 49 of 51, Valtteri Bottas had sustained a race ending puncture from the lead, promoting Fernando Alonso to 7th place, where he eventually finished the race.

2018 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Race Results
1.united_kingdom Lewis Hamilton MercedesMercedes 
2.finland Kimi Raikkonen FerrariFerrari2.460
3.mexico Sergio Perez Force IndiaMercedes4.024
4.germany Sebastian Vettel FerrariFerrari5.329
5.spain Carlos Sainz RenaultRenault7.515
6.monaco Charles Leclerc SauberFerrari9.158
7.spain Fernando Alonso McLarenRenault10.931
8.canada Lance Stroll WilliamsMercedes12.546
9.belgium Stoffel Vandoorne McLarenRenault14.152
10.new_zealand Brendon Hartley Toro RossoHonda18.030

Fernando Alonso:

“Today’s race was very complicated – right from the very first lap.”

“The first lap in the midfield is the same old story; people preferring to crash into other cars rather than lifting off. But it’s also up to us to qualify further towards the front, where it’s usually a little bit cleaner.”

“On that opening lap, my car was heavily damaged – I had two punctures, with one flat tyre damaging the floor. I also had a damaged front and rear wing.”

“I really thought that would be the end of my race, but after the team fitted a new front wing and fresh tyres, I went back out, fought all race long, and actually found the car to be quite competitive.”

“We were able to overtake a Sauber and a Renault thanks to the Safety Car, which enabled us to recover a couple of positions. It was one of the best races in years for us, I reckon.”