Fernando Alonso has opened up about his battle with Lewis Hamilton during the Monaco Grand Prix, and joked that keeping the seven-time World Champion behind him was "easy".
During the latter half of the eventful race, Alonso appeared to be holding up Hamilton as the Mercedes driver looked for a way past into P7, but his attacks were countered by Alonso’s careful car placement.
Rather than chase the cars ahead, Alonso intentionally slowed his pace to preserve his tyres until the finish. As a result, the two drivers quickly dropped off the back of Lando Norris in sixth place.
Alonso's role helped Ocon
Speaking to media including RacingNews365.com, Alonso spoke about his strategy, and also revealed that one of the reasons behind it had related to teammate Esteban Ocon receiving a five-second time penalty for an earlier collision with Hamilton.
"First of all I don't think we had the tyres or the tyre life to finish the race when it was 33 laps," Alonso explained.
"We had two choices; to refit the Hard tyres from the beginning of the race, or put the Medium tyre [on].
"We put on the Medium tyre [on], but our life estimation was shorter
than 33 [laps], so we didn’t know if we could finish the race.
"I managed the tyres for 15 laps, and then I pushed for the remaining 15 laps when they told me that Esteban had a penalty."
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Reflecting on battle with Hamilton
As Hamilton watched the front-runners – including teammate George Russell – open up more than half a minute lead up ahead, a frustrated-sounding Hamilton could be heard asking his team why Alonso's pace was so slow,.
However, Alonso wasn't feeling too sympathetic when asked about slowing down Hamilton.
"Not my problem," the Alpine driver joked.
When further quizzed on whether it was difficult to keep Hamilton behind him, Alonso quipped: "Very easy, extremely easy!"
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