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Brundle: No doubt Alonso intended to wrong-foot Russell

Brundle: No doubt Alonso intended to wrong-foot Russell

Brundle: No doubt Alonso intended to wrong-foot Russell

Martin Brundle, the former Formula 1 driver and respected pundit, gave his verdict on the Fernando Alonso/George Russell incident during the 2024 Australian Grand Prix.

And in a nutshell, Brundle believes the Aston Martin driver was no angel in the way he attempted to defend his position against the #63 Mercedes on the final lap of the F1 race down under last Sunday.

Alonso explained that he was suffering issues with his battery, and insisted he was penalized for what he saw as hard but fair racing, something the stewards clearly did not buy into, and apparently nor did Brundle.

In his post Australian GP Sky Sports F1 column, Brundle dissected the Alonso/Russell incident, he wrote: “Alonso had gotten ahead of Russell due to a fast pit stop under the virtual safety car deployed when Hamilton’s Merc ground to a halt. Russell had caught back up and was shaping up for an overtake for several laps.

“Alonso claimed on the radio that he’d a throttle issue of some kind which is why he was slower than normal on the T6 corner,” Brundle added. “Russell was obviously pushing hard to be in range for a double dose of DRS assistance down the next two straights, and you never head into a corner making a speed reduction just in case the driver ahead has, or creates, an unexpected deceleration. You’re not a racing driver if you do.”

Alonso has done it before

The 64-year-old then quipped: “Alonso popped his saintly halo on and went to see the Race Stewards explaining how he intended to approach turn six differently for a better exit speed which included decelerating 100 metres earlier, brushing the brake, and even a downshift.

“This is what caught Russell out. We’ve seen Alonso do that before in Nurburgring in 2003 against David Coulthard, and he had exactly the same playbook. Except this time, it caused a huge amount of costly damage for a team who could well be on his wish list,” he added hinting at Alonso’s interest in replacing Hamilton at Mercedes.

“Fernando’s defensive position is that changing racing line or sacrificing entry speed for a better exit is part of the art of motorsport, and that in fact it was the nature of the gravel trap run-off area which caused Russell’s crash,” Brundle pointed out. “Furthermore, that a driver cannot be responsible for making every lap identical while managing many other variables.

“I personally have no doubt that Alonso intended to wrong-foot an eager Russell heading into a clear overtaking zone, but I doubt he intended such a violent outcome for the Mercedes driver,” he concluded.

Alonso was slapped with a drive through penalty that translated into 20s added to his elapsed race time, meaning he dropped to eighth in the final race classification.