Alonso and his "70 qualifying laps" at Zandvoort

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Fernando Alonso was forced to start the Dutch Grand Prix in 13th position after running into a slow Sergio Pérez in qualifying, but he made the most of the many twists and turns of the race to claim the eight points for sixth place.

The Alpine driver took advantage of an undercut and a switch to hard tires to break into the top ten in the first half of the race, and then used the performance of soft tyres during the Virtual Safety Car to gain a few more positions.

After the race, Alonso revealed that he had no time to relax behind the wheel of the A522 due to the intensity of the race. "It was 70 laps of qualifying because we couldn't relax at any point," he explained. "The start was good but I lost positions on the outside of Turn 1, so I had to fight really hard to get some back, and then we put the hard [tires] on and we had to attack really hard to make that second stint work."

"And then, just when we thought the end of the race was more relaxed, with good freshness in the tires, the safety car came in and we had to fight again for the last 12 laps. It was a very demanding race for sure."


Back on the heels of fifth-placed Carlos Sainz and sixth-placed Sergio Pérez after the Safety Car regrouped the field, Alonso looked askance at the bitter battle between his two rivals as it also allowed Lando Norris to put pressure on him. In the end, the Spaniard was not overtaken, and the penalty imposed on Sainz even gained him a position.

"I knew Carlos had the five-second penalty, so I didn't want them to fight too much and put me in trouble with the car behind," said Alonso. "It was a good race and a position gained at the end; we did it in Spa [passing] a Ferrari and here [passing] a Ferrari too. So we always gain a position!"

Fernando Alonso's sixth place, coupled with Esteban Ocon's ninth, puts Alpine ahead in the constructors' standings. The French team, in fourth place, is now 24 points ahead of McLaren.



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