|© Andrew Hone/Getty Images/Red Bull Racing
Fernando Alonso’s car was not at a 100 percent after he was forced off the track by Sebastian Vettel which saw the Ferrari bouncing through the gravel at the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday.
A tremendous tussle with the Red Bull halfway through the race forced the Spaniard to take act to avoid a collision, with the German later being issued a drive-through penalty.
The Ferrari driver, who eventually finished third after he was passed cleanly by the Sauber of Sergio Perez, believed that the incident with Vettel compromised his race and that the move was “was definitely on the limit”.
“I lost ten laps behind him so I lost whatever seconds there were at that moment after the incident,” Alonso said. “I'm sure the car is damaged because at 330kph you are jumping over the gravel. I don't think that the floor and everything, all the details that you take care of, will be completely fine after those jumps.
“I wanted to finish the race and not have another DNF because of an accident, just taking some margin, the same as when Sergio arrived a second quicker than us in the last part of the race: what can we do?
“We tried to defend the position a little bit but we cannot be crazy and try to do things that are impossible to do,” he pointed out.
What was worse that Ferrari had lost its telemetry at the pit wall midway through the Grand Prix with the Italian team unaware of any potential damage.
“Once the telemetry was working again, we spotted there was something not quite right at the rear, so in the final laps, we asked him to be cautious, avoiding the kerbs,” technical director Pat Fry reported. “When the car was in parc ferme, I have to say we could see the damage was quite bad, also affecting the aerodynamics.”
The two drivers were also involved in a similar battle at Monza last year when battling for the lead with Vettel passing the Ferrari with two wheels on the grass but Alonso didn’t catch the attention of the stewards then.
“I obviously should have complained last year, just as he did,” Vettel was quoted saying by the official Formula 1 website. “For sure I was frustrated as it cost me dearly but now it is water under the bridge. As I said I didn’t complain last year and I won’t in the future. That’s not my way of going about things.”