Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer has levelled a playful dig at former team Aston Martin after Sebastian Vettel's crash scuppered Fernando Alonso at the Australian Grand Prix.
Alonso started on the hard tyres after crashing out of qualifying at Albert Park and was playing the long game before Vettel triggered a safety car midway through the Spaniard's stint.
The timing of the incident, just after the majority of medium tyre runners had pitted, meant that Alonso was unable to create a pit window for himself, ensuring he would have to stop into traffic later in the race.
Recounting his driver's race, Szafnauer explained: "Had we qualified where we could have qualified, it would have been a totally different race for Fernando.
"He would have started on the mediums like everyone else did around him, he wouldn't have been caught out by the safety car and would have had a good chance to fight with the top four guys.
"Unfortunately, because he was starting 10th with a quick car underneath him, the strategy was to get him on a hard early with everyone else on a medium, the field opens up when they pit and the pace of the car was going to open up so he could fight with them."
Aiming a playful dig at Aston Martin with regards to Vettel's incident, Szafnauer joked: "I don't know who crashed on purpose to bring the safety car out, but they did it at just the wrong time for us and the right time for them.
"Who was it, Vettel? They probably tried to do it because I am here.
"Anyway, so that is Fernando's race. Esteban, started eighth, finished seventh, did a solid job and scored six points."