Fernando Alonso admits Sergio Perez’s ‘aggressive’ fight is tougher than expected

Fernando Alonso admits Sergio Perez’s ‘aggressive’ fight is tougher than expected

Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso praised Sergio Perez for his “clean but aggressive” approach as they battled for the podium in the final laps of the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Having recently lost out on fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship to McLaren and facing a podium drought, Alonso admitted before the race that a strong result was vital for Aston Martin.

The timing was perfect for what could be considered one of Alonso’s career-best outings from his long catalog of performances in Formula 1. The 42-year-old Spaniard, who finished fourth in qualifying behind teammate Lance Stroll, was forced to restart several cars after a slow ride. Despite losing some time at the start, Alonso managed to work his way up to third place towards the end of the race.

At this stage, the faster Red Bull Perez looked to steal the final podium place from Alonso. What followed was an all-time historic battle that allowed the Aston Martin veteran to utilize every ounce of skill he had developed during his 20 years in Formula 1.

After fending off Perez for several laps, Alonso was eventually forced to cede third place to the Mexican driver. Although Perez did not withdraw and was soon defending the rampaging Alonso. The pressure forced the Red Bull to run wide into the first turn and Alonso was able to claw his way back to third before clinging to just a few inches in a drag race to the line.

The two drivers highlighted their respect for each other in the post-race pit interview

Speaking to Sky Sports F1 after his podium celebrations, a delighted Alonso praised Perez for allowing the pair to fight hard but fairly.

“It was nice. It was a clean fight, very aggressive, but it was a clean fight with Chico,” Alonso said.

“I think he has a very good record of finishing races and he always fights hard, keeping both cars on the track. I knew he was coming, I knew he was a threat and it was probably harder than I thought, to be honest. Five laps from the end, I thought That things were under my control, so I started pushing and I looked in the mirror and Chico was there and I said “oh oh!”.

A well-timed podium finish for Aston Martin

The veteran dedicated his performance to the hard work of Aston Martin
Fernando Alonso’s 106th career podium was perhaps one of his most impressive

While this performance gave Aston Martin their eighth podium finish of the season, it came after their worst run of results all year. Six of those podium finishes came in the first eight rounds, but since then the British team has struggled to develop the AMR23.

With the improvements made to the previous two rounds in Austin and Mexico City failing, Alonso was looking to return and provide the team with some much-needed improvement.

Alonso continued: “For the team, I think we suffered a lot in the last few races but we never lost focus and what the goal is.” “We delved into analysis, stayed uninhibited, and stayed together, which has been a very beautiful thing to witness over the past few events.”

Read more: Verstappen reveals the key factor behind F1’s win in Brazil

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