Fernando Alonso says it is “not my problem” that his slow driving to save his tyres after the red flag during Sunday’s Formula 1 race in Monaco frustrated Lewis Hamilton.
Following the red flag, Alonso sat seventh for the restart and opted to fit a set of medium-compound tyres to see out the remainder of the race.
But the Alpine driver’s pace was significantly slower than the cars ahead, losing between three and four seconds per lap to the leaders, and a significant amount of time to Lando Norris in sixth place. Alpine confirmed he did not have any issue on his car.
It left Hamilton frustrated as he tried to find a way past Alonso, who then upped his pace with 15 minutes remaining, setting the fastest lap of the race.
Alonso explained after the chequered flag that Alpine’s calculations for the final stint of the race suggested he would need to save his medium tyres, reasoning his slow stint.
“I think we didn’t have the tyres or the tyre life to finish the race when it was 33 laps [remaining]” Alonso said.
“It’s a sprint race, we had two choices: refit the hard tyres from the beginning of the race, or put the medium tyre. We put the medium tyre, but our life estimation was shorter than 33.
“So we didn’t know if we could finish the race, so I managed a lot the tyres for 15 laps, and then I pushed for the remaining 15 when they told me that Esteban [Ocon] had the penalty.”
When it was noted that his pace frustrated Hamilton a lot, Alonso replied: “Not my problem.” He added that it was “extremely easy” to keep the Mercedes behind due to the difficulty in overtaking around the Monaco track.
Hamilton admitted in his media session that it was “kind of frustrating” sitting behind Alonso for so many laps, but said he was “just cruising behind him”.
P7 marked Alonso’s best result of the 2022 season so far, and helped to draw Alpine to within a point of Alfa Romeo in the fight for fifth place in the constructors’ standings.