Formula 1 Racing

Alonso “a little bit surprised” to beat McLarens

Fernando Alonso, Alpine, Paul Ricard, 2022

In the round-up: Fernando Alonso was pleasantly surprised by his car’s pace in the French Grand Prix after qualifying half a second off Lando Norris’s McLaren.

In brief

Alpine pace surprises Alonso

Alonso admitted he was “a little bit surprised” to lead the midfield home at Paul Ricard after Norris’s strong showing in the upgraded McLaren.

“We saw on Friday in the long runs as well we were quite okay on the sustainable lap,” he told RaceFand and other media in France on Sunday. “So we seemed that we missed a little bit of the one-lap performance here this weekend. So we need to fix that.

“Obviously, Budapest is going to be crucial to have a good Saturday. It was a good surprise today, the car.”

“It was a well-executed race from our side,” he added. “We were a little bit concerned at the beginning of the weekend that our pace was not great, but we ended up just behind the top three teams like in our normal position so far this year: top seven, top six, when there are retirements in front of us. Today it was Leclerc. So we benefit from that, top six, and I think a very solid race.”

Ferrucci on standby to replace Newgarden

Josef Newgarden has been released from hospital following his fall at Iowa on Sunday. It occured after he had been released from the infield care centre, where he had been taken following the crash which ended his race.

Penske has confirmed that if Newgarden does not pass a medical evaluation by IndyCar on Thursday his place at this weekend’s race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be taken by Santino Ferrucci. If that happens, it will be the fourth team Ferrucci has driven for this year, joining RLL, Dreyer & Reinbold and Juncos Hollinger.

Ferrucci has made 43 IndyCar starts, the first of which came at Detroit in 2018, shortly after his controversial departure from Formula 2 in which he was banned by the series and fired by his team.

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