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Alonso "felt sad" after passing Russell

NEWS STORY
05/07/2021

Fernando Alonso has admitted to feeling "sad" after passing George Russell in the closing stages of the Austrian Grand Prix, and thereby preventing the Williams driver scoring his first point of the season.

We've seen it so many times before, be it Senna, Schumacher, Hamilton... that remorselessness that drives them on, that 'take no prisoners' attitude that separates the greats from the good.

In the final moments of the Austrian Grand Prix, while everyone and his dog (or cat) was willing on George Russell to his first point of the season, two-time world champion, Le Mans winner and Indy 500 leader, Fernando Alonso closed in.

The Spaniard, who has made no secret of his admiration for Russell, predicting that he will be world champion, seized the opportunity and nailed the youngster to claim tenth.

At race end, Alonso admitted his regret at having to end the Briton's hopes so late in the day.

"I felt a bit sad for George because he drove an amazing weekend," he told Sky Sports. "I was hoping it was anyone but him on that last spot.

"I had much better tyres, much better traction and I could make the move," he added. "He will have more opportunities hopefully for podiums or wins in the future."

If nothing else, Russell admitted that he enjoyed the scrap.

"It sort of reminded me of my junior days when you were battling wheel-to-wheel week in, week out," he said. "I guess the biggest thing was just experience. And getting that feeling doing it in a Formula 1 car is very different with all the downforce and dirty air. So you're just gaining experience.

"It feels a bit strange, I've been here three years now and I haven't had that many battles," he added.

Scoring points for the fourth successive race, Alonso, who would have qualified nearer the front of the field but was impeded in Q2 by Sebastian Vettel, is already looking forward to Silverstone.

"I think we have to be happy with a point," he said. "Obviously it's too little reward for the job and the performance of the car, but it's what we could achieve today starting that far back.

"Silverstone is going to be a good test because it is a very different circuit, a lot of high-speed corners and the sprint race on Saturday, so I think we have to be very flexible with our targets at Silverstone and see how it goes."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Spielberg, here.

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