During yesterday’s second free practice session at Monaco, Renault driver Fernando Alonso damaged his R28 chassis while exiting T1. The famous Ste Devote corner – a sharp right-hander that leads onto the hill – caught Alonso’s team mate out only minutes prior to Fernando’s incident, and because of his actions, the stewards have had a chat with the double world champion. Fortunately, no penalty was given after Alonso explained his actions.
Alonso clipped the armco has he left the corner, but Monaco being unforgiving, the resulting damage to the rear-left of his Renault was quite severe. However, with the car still driveable and not wanting to add further interruption to his running, Fernando continued on the lap and returned to the pits.
Although Alonso was travelling at a reduced pace, he upset a few drivers who were on-track at the time, causing his fellow racers to take caution when moving around the flailing Renault. Rubens Barrichello in particular, was upset at the Spaniards actions, gesturing so as he passed.
Alonso’s rear wing finally parted company with the car halfway around the circuit and the session was briefly red-flagged to allow marshals onto the track to clear up the debris. However, while moving around the Monaco circuit with a damaged car is perhaps not the wisest of decisions, Fernando explained to the stewards that he felt there was no where for him to safely stop and insisted he drove the remainder of the lap without endangering anyone else.
I told them that I thought I had driven safely, without endangering anyone, and also that there wasn’t any good areas to stop. Fernando Alonso.
While Monaco is undoubtedly a nightmare when it comes to places to stop without hindering the progress of others, there are places to park; Portier and the exit road for Nouvelle Chicane to name just two. And as Michael Schumacher proved in 2006, Rascasse can also be used for temporary parking as well.
Image © Steven Tee/LAT.