There was some great racing on display once the Brazilian Grand Prix finally got going with offensive moves up and down the grid. But one incident has caused Alonso to call out Vettel, the McLaren driver assuring that Vettel’s Ferrari should keep clear of him in Abu Dhabi.
Vettel passed Alonso for 7th place on lap 42, his move very similar to Verstappen’s move on the Ferrari driver on lap 67 in that both moves saw the attacker dive aggressively up the inside and leave the defender on the run-off just past the kerb of Juncao. Alonso also ran Bottas wide, but the Finn seems immune to moaning.
So Alonso pushed off Bottas, then complained when he was pushed off by Vettel, who then complained HE was pushed off by Verstappen 🙄🙄🙄 pic.twitter.com/dFsHtrmvwa
— Tom Bellingham (@TommyWTF1) November 14, 2016
Alonso complained about the move pulled by Vettel – Vettel complained about the move pulled by Verstappen too despite being the accused in exactly the same scenario with Alonso. The stewards were very correct to not intervene on both cases given the conditions of the circuit. Maybe the management of the first-half of the stop-start Brazilian Grand Prix tired them into letting the drivers race, which was great.
Nonetheless, Vettel’s move has stirred the deep-set rivalry between the German and Alonso and the McLaren driver sounded enraged after the race. He said,
“There was a tarmac run-off and I just used it, but if there was a wall for sure I would either have to hit the wall or hit him, which is what I’ll do next time. I’ll hit him and he’ll lose more points than me.
In the rain we don’t have the same visibility as in the dry, the mirrors were wet too, so I couldn’t see anything behind me. In the end nothing happened, I went down the tarmac run-off but there will come a day in which someone will have to hit him so that he understands the track is for all of us.”
– Fernando Alonso
Alonso sounds like he’s reading dialogue from a cut-scene just before facing a tenacious boss in a video game.
Vettel had a similar tone with regards to Verstappen’s move and said,
“I think I was racing him side-by-side, he saw me, I still had a little bit of my nose ahead. He was much faster so it was about the corner where you get past. I don’t think it was correct.”
– Sebastian Vettel
— Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) November 13, 2016
Both drivers have reason to be frustrated at the moment, but the moves in question were both aggressive, but surely within reason given the wet conditions. Let’s hope that both World Champions are in better places next season and are more competitive. It could go the other way and the rivalry could evolve, but with mild complaints like this, it probably won’t turn into a Senna/Prost rivalry and will probably look more like a staged, cringe-worthy rivalry like this: