It was almost a nightmare start to the new Formula One season from team Aston Martin, as their two drivers collided on turn four of the very first lap in Bahrain. Lance Stroll clipped Fernando Alonso in the opening stages, but his team refused to tell the Spaniard who was at fault.
Aston Martin refused to tell Alonso that it was his team-mate that hit him on the opening lap, and waited until after the race to deliver the news.
Alonso was on the podium for the 99th time in his racing career after finishing third in Bahrain, but things could’ve been very different. On turn four of the first lap, both Aston Martin drivers collided, but luckily Alonso avoided spinning and his race wasn’t affected.
The 41-year-old then continued to ask his race engineer Chris Cronin who was the driver that had hit him, and if they had received a penalty. But Cronin avoided answering the question, to ensure that both Aston Martin drivers continued to race without any controversy.
It was a good start to the season for the team, as Alonso finished on the podium and Stroll managed to claim sixth despite the shaky start. The collision occurred when Alonso was battling with Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, and as he slowed down and pulled wide, he was hit on the rear by Stoll.
After avoiding the question during the race, Cronin explained the situation to Alonso as he said: “Lance was trying to get past George and as you switched back to try and get Hamilton, Lance just couldn’t quite get stopped in time.
“There was no damage to either car, so all okay.” Alonso was shocked to hear the news, as he replied: “Okay, I thought it was George!”
It was a lovely moment for Alonso to get back on the podium, but the Spaniard spoke more about Stroll when being interviewed – rather than his own performance. “By the way, Lance is my hero,” Alonso said. “Amazing performance from him.”
Stroll only had wrist surgery 12 days before the opening race, after suffering a bike crash two weeks ago. “My team-mate had surgery 12 days ago and now he’s fighting right with everybody,” Alonso added, beaming with pride for Stroll.
Elsewhere it was another win for World Champion Max Verstappen, with Sergio Perez finishing behind him in second to record a perfect weekend for Red Bull. Alonso’s former team Ferrari were handed a blow though, as Charles Leclerc was forced to retire whilst being in a podium position.
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