Fernando Alonso says "my heart is in racing" after a frosty Brazilian Grand Prix weekend with Alpine teammate Esteban Ocon. After qualifying fifth and sixth for the Sprint race at Interlagos, Ocon squeezed Alonso at Turn 4 on the opening lap, before the two made contact later on the first lap while climbing the hill from Turn 12. This broke Alonso's front wing and effectively ended his Sprint, with the stewards handing him a grid drop and penalty points having deemed him to be at fault. Alonso - who slammed Ocon before the penalty was handed out - thus dropped to 17th on the grid but recovered expertly to snatch a fifth-place finish - just behind Charles Leclerc and 9.561s off race winner George Russell. Despite having had more amicable relations with Ocon on Sunday - including being waved through to attack on the Safety Car restart - Alonso was keen to move on ahead of his 2023 Aston Martin switch.
Alonso on Brazil
"I made a mistake when Esteban and I made contact, so we wanted to do our best and race hard for the team," the two-time World Champion explained. "We needed these points heading to Abu Dhabi [in the fight for fourth in the Constructors]." "There is one more race with the team to go and my heart is in the racing. "The car was very competitive, and our strategy was out of sync with most of the cars. "At the end, I had newer tyres and we pushed as close to the front as we could. "I overtook Sergio [Perez] and then tried to look at Charles [Leclerc] but they were a step too fast for overtaking." Alonso employed a three-stop strategy, gaining track position by pitting early and moving to the Mediums. This enabled him to have fresh set of Softs for a final attack in the closing stages - helped by the Safety Car - during which time Ocon appeared to refuse a team order not to fight with the Spanish driver, but one the Frenchman eventually followed. Heading to Abu Dhabi, Alpine are 19 points ahead of McLaren in the fight for fourth after double DNF for the Woking squad, and Ocon following up Alonso's fifth place with eighth, hauling the team a total of 14 points.