Alonso hails ‘video game’ manouvre as racing driver risks car damage

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F1 legend Fernando Alonso took a swipe at an overtaking move seen in NASCAR by describing it as something from a ‘video game’. During the last lap of the race at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia, Ross Chastain, 29, who was two points behind Denny Hamlin, sped up his car alongside the wall of the raceway.

Using the speed, Chastain anchored his car between two drivers and moved from 10th to finish fourth, which solidified his spot in a championship berth in the NASCAR playoffs next week. The daredevil move earned Chastain a roaring applause from the crowd, but not everyone was impressed with the move, including the two-time F1 world champion.

The Spaniard’s sarcastic response to a clip of the contriversial move read: “This is the best thing of 2022 in motor racing! We all did this on video games with damage disable. Never thought this could become reality.”

Kyle Larson, who finished the race in second place, was one of the leading names to criticise the slingshot move. “Yeah, I’m a bit, I don’t know, embarrassed that I did because that was pretty embarrassing honestly,” he said post-race.

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“I think that’s not a good look for our sport. I don’t know what you guys think, probably think it’s cool, but it was pretty embarrassing.” Alonso‘s comments come after he was sent flying through the air after a massive crash at the United States Grand Prix last month.

The 41-year-old was airborne after striking the back of Lance Stroll’s Aston Martin and smashing into the barrier on the outside of the track. Despite the damage to his car, the Alpine driver miraculously carried on and finished seventh, but was demoted to 15th after an appeal which saw him handed a 30-second penalty.

Haas appealed due to inconsistent application of black and orange flags, feeling Alonso should have been shown one after damage to his car following the collision with Stroll. The stewards agreed that Alonso’s car was unsafe and handed him the most serious penalty short of disqualification. 

However, Alpine protested the decision to penalise Alonso, which was successful and the F1 veteran retained his P7 finish at the Circuit of the Americas. He was not so fortunate this weekend in Mexico however, as he retired from the race, pulling over to the side of the track with an engine issue with six laps remaining, having been on for a strong points finish.

He wasn’t able to hide his annoyance, swinging his arms in frustration before putting his head in his hands at the side of the track. “What a season, unbelievable,” had been Alonso’s radio message as his car began to ail, as more points went begging.

“Once more, Car 14 stops before the chequered flag,” Alonso vented after retiring from the race. “So yeah, we lost now I think it’s around 70 points [this season] – the deficit is pointless to talk about once more. So, let’s see. Only two races to go and then a new chapter.

“I think Austin and Mexico have been the best races in my personal point of view, pace-wise, I was like 20 seconds or something like that ahead of the McLarens and my team-mate. So yeah, I felt fast today. But once again, as I said, Car 14 stops.”

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