Alonso’s Crafty DRS Maneuver Explained

alonso break test abu dhabi 2023

Fernando Alonso’s recent ‘brake test’ accusation by Lewis Hamilton at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has been clarified as a strategic DRS tactic. The Aston Martin driver celebrated a strong season finish, placing fourth overall, a result even he didn’t foresee.

Between the lines:

  • Alonso secured fourth in the drivers’ championship, equalling points with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc but ahead on countback.
  • The ‘brake test’ incident with Hamilton was a strategic move to gain DRS advantage, not an act of unsportsmanlike conduct.
  • Alonso reflects on the season, considering it one of his best, even surpassing his championship years.
  • Despite a successful season, Alonso acknowledges the AMR23’s weaknesses and the need for improvement.
  • Looking ahead, Alonso remains committed to Aston Martin for 2024, with ambitions for continued success.

Go deeper:

In the heat of the Abu Dhabi finale, Alonso’s actions on the track sparked controversy. As he re-entered the track post-pit stop, he veered right and decelerated at turn 5, which took Hamilton by surprise. The Mercedes camp cried foul, alleging a ‘brake test’. However, the stewards cleared Alonso of any wrongdoing, and he later revealed his intention was to leverage DRS in the subsequent straight.

This isn’t the first time Alonso has used such tactics; he referenced a similar move from 2013. The strategy paid off, allowing him to regain his position from Hamilton and ultimately finish ahead of Yuki Tsunoda’s AlphaTauri.

Alonso’s performance this season has been nothing short of remarkable, especially considering the limitations of the AMR23. He has consistently extracted the maximum from the car, contributing to a season that has surpassed expectations. However, he openly discusses the car’s shortcomings, particularly its lack of straight-line speed and higher than anticipated tyre wear.

The Spanish driver’s future in F1 seems as bright as ever. At 42, he’s the oldest driver on the grid but shows no signs of slowing down. With a contract extending into 2024, Alonso’s experience and skill will be pivotal for Aston Martin, especially as they aim to build on this year’s successes and tackle the challenges of the next season head-on.

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