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Alonso ends seven-year podium wait with "unbelievable" Qatar P3

Alonso ends seven-year podium wait with "unbelievable" Qatar P3

F1 News

Alonso ends seven-year podium wait with "unbelievable" Qatar P3

Alonso ends seven-year podium wait with "unbelievable" Qatar P3

Fernando Alonso "finally" ended a seven-year wait and returned to the podium with a superb P3 at the Qatar Grand Prix.

Alonso scored the first podium of his F1 return after finishing behind only title combatants Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.

The Alpine driver held position off the line before pulling off a wonderful move on Pierre Gasly for second early on and whilst the Spaniard was unable to fend off a charging Verstappen, he held on for third to secure his first podium since Hungary 2014.

“Finally," said a jubilant Alonso. “Unbelievable!

"Seven years, but finally we got it. We were close at a couple of races but not [close] enough. Sochi was the last possibility and here today, honestly, I thought [I could] be leading after lap one.

“I thought with the red tyre I could have a go on Lewis but I couldn’t and then with Checo it was very close at the end.

“I am so happy for the team. Also with Esteban [Ocon] P5, it was a good Sunday.”

A number of drivers running a one-stop strategy suffered punctures in the later stages of the race including Valtteri Bottas and George Russell, but Alonso was able to successfully manage his tyres to last the distance.

“We planned a one-stop from the beginning but we never knew how bad was the wear and the degradation," Alonso explained.

"It was a new race for everybody but I think it was quite well executed the race. The pit stop was fantastic, the team was great, the reliability of the car is superb and they deserve it.

“I was waiting so long for this so I am happy.”

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