Alonso vibrates with podium in Qatar after 7 years: “Damn! I waited so long”

Fernando Alonso finished third at the Qatar GP, best result of the year for the Spaniard (Photo: Alpine)

F1 IN QATAR: HAMILTON WINS, VERSTAPPEN 2nd, ALONSO ON PODIUM | Briefing

Fernando Alonso had a spectacular race for Alpine this Sunday (21), in the first GP of Qatar in the history of Formula 1, to finish in third place and ensure his best result of the season, in the 20th stage of the year. After gaining two positions on the starting grid with punishments to Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen, the veteran guaranteed the maintenance of his position and took the podium for the first time since his return to F1. The last time was at the 2014 China GP, still as a Ferrari driver.

The two-time world champion recalled the time of fasting, which included a period of sabbatical withdrawal.

“Unbelievable! It’s been seven years…”, Alonso recalled. “But finally, we made it. We got close in some races, but it wasn’t enough. Sochi was the last possibility. I thought I was going to lead at the turn to turn one, on soft tires against Lewis [Hamilton, que largou de médios] and also in the end, very tight against the ‘Czech’ [Sergio Pérez, que terminou em quarto]”, he explained.

Alonso has 15 points on the leaderboard with third place in Qatar. Adding the Spaniard’s score with that of Esteban Ocon, his teammate and who finished the race in fifth — scoring 12 points —, Alpine leaves Losail with 27 goals in their bag. It is worth remembering that Fernando had already stated that he did not believe in a podium for the team until the end of the season, considering the Russian GP, ​​played in Sochi, as a lost opportunity.

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FERNANDO ALONSO;  GP OF QATAR;  LOSAIL;  ALPINE;
Fernando Alonso started third in Qatar and managed to keep his position until he crossed the finish line (Photo: Alpine)

“With Esteban [Ocon] in fifth place, it was a good Sunday”, he celebrated. “We planned a shutdown from the beginning, but we didn’t know the temperature and degradation. It was very well executed. The car’s reliability is great, and they deserve it. Damn! I’ve been waiting so long for this!” overflowed Alonso, without containing the joy for the podium at 40 years of age.

The situation is even better considering that its direct competitor for fifth place, AlphaTauri, did not score points — Pierre Gasly finished 11th after starting in second and Yuki Tsunoda was only 13th. Thus, Alpine goes up directly to 139 goals, against the same 112 of AlphaTauri, who arrived in Qatar tied in the leaderboard with the team of Alonso and Ocon.

Formula 1 picks up speed again between the 3rd and 5th of December, with the penultimate stage of the year. Once again, the category will host a race for the first time in its history, at the Saudi Arabian GP, ​​to be held at the Jeddah Circuit.

Max Verstappen had problems with the mobile wing of the car in Qatar (Video: Playback)

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