Fernando Alonso’s thrilling late battle with Sergio Perez stole the present on the Sao Paulo Grand Prix and earned the two-time champion a podium end even he doubted was on the playing cards.
Alonso held off the charging Purple Bull of Perez for a lot of the remaining laps regardless of the Mexican driver getting two totally different makes use of of DRS — down the beginning/end straight and on the run to Flip 4 — for almost all of their battle.
Perez did finally overtake the Aston Martin with two laps left, however Alonso was capable of keep in DRS vary himself and handed the Purple Bull driver in thrilling vogue on the run to Flip 4 on the ultimate lap.
Alonso then gained a drag race from the ultimate nook to the end line to assert third place, crossing the road simply 0.05 seconds forward of Perez.
Requested if it was the most effective podium end of his profession, Alonso stated: “The closest, that is for certain.”
The Aston Martin driver admitted he thought Perez would disappear as soon as he acquired previous.
“It was a really intense race,” he stated. “There was no time to loosen up, a really strategic race as properly, saving the tires, saving the battery all the time in case you wanted on a DRS alternative for Checo.
“Actually I believed that I had issues beneath management within the final stint, till possibly 5 laps to the top the place I began pushing a bit extra, I had extra juice within the tires and I believed all the pieces was positive. After which Checo was taking part in the identical recreation, he had a great tire on the finish of the race.
“He overtook me two laps to the top, and I believed, OK, it is gone. After which I had another probability, and it was sufficient.”
Explaining how he defended the place for thus lengthy, Alonso stated the previous couple of corners of every lap had been key in ensuring he stayed forward when Perez acquired DRS on the pit straight.
“I feel while you run simply in entrance of one other automobile, you’ve gotten higher downforce, you’ve gotten clear air. That was possibly good for me by way of tire administration, and he was struggling slightly bit to enter Flip 10, 11 and 12 behind one other automobile.
“That was the sport we had been taking part in, these three corners had been essential for an overtaking alternative. Being the automobile in entrance, possibly you’ve gotten higher grip all the time.”
Whereas Alonso’s late battle with Perez can be talked about for some time, the Spaniard stated his begin and early cross on Lewis Hamilton was a very powerful a part of his podium end.
“Clearly the final lap, overtaking [Perez], it was numerous dedication. We had been each simply all or nothing into the corners. However I feel to be sincere, a very powerful overtake of the race has been to Hamilton into Flip 4 on Lap 1. That modified my race.
“If I begin P4 and I’ve to battle with Hamilton the primary stint, even when I can finally get in entrance by Lap 10 or no matter, my tires would by no means be in a situation to increase the primary stint after which have a tire benefit to Checo within the second and third stint. For me, there may be one essential second in my race, and it is Lap 1 into Flip 4 with Hamilton.”