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Safety car good turn for Vettel – Alonso

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Aug.29 – Dual time champion Fernando Alonso thinks that the four laps used up at the back the safety car through the Belgium GP turned the race in good turn of winner Sebastian Vettel.

Red Bull duo had already complete two pit stops by the time the safety car was deployed after the accident between Hamilton and Kobayashi, whereas the then race leader Alonso had made only one stop and was forced to give away some of his advantage by running at slow speeds. Alonso still thinks, however, that his team’s judgment not to call him in for a stop at the time was the right one – even if he did fall to fourth place by the finish.

“The safety car came when we had done four laps on the tires,” Alonso told Autosport. “The tires were in very good shape, so we decided to stay out. I think the choice was good for us. It opened up the possibility to win the race for us.

“Unfortunately Vettel only lost one place [at his stop] with Webber and beat – by very little – Rosberg. And then in the restart he overtook Webber in Turn 1 so [there was] not much traffic for Vettel. So I think the decision was good, but the factors around the safety car were very good for Sebastian.”

The Spaniard said that he was lucky to be in the race at all by the time the safety car came out on lap 13, following a heavy Bruno Senna hit from Toro Roos’s Jaime Alguersuari at the first corner. Senna hit Alguersuari at La Source, pushing the Toro Rosso into Alonso’s back wheel. While Alguersuari’s front suspension was broken in the impact, Alonso’s Ferrari was undamaged and allowed him to finish the race.

“I braked on the outside and I felt someone hit me on the rear tire,” he added. “I thought I damaged the car at that point, but I kept going with no problems. It kept handling well and the pits told me there was no problem to keep going. So that was a lucky situation for me to keep running with no problems. It was a strange qualifying with strange conditions with people just on wet setups. And there were people who are not used to being in Q3 and the start was a difficult moment for us. So it’s very important to always qualifying in the top three or four to avoid this.”

Images © AP Photo, Ferrari


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