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Alonso helped cause the Stroll/Ricciardo crash, but Stroll was at fault

Yes, Stroll was at fault, but two other drivers were very, very nearly in the same position. Guess that’s why they’re keeping very quiet.

Here’s Lando behind Max. Note the gap.

Here’s Charles behind Lando. Bigger gap. Now Charles is allowed to have a gap that big. It’s within the rules, and sensibly not too close or too far. All is fine.

But, Charles’ gap seems to catch out Perez a little bit, who gets maybe too close:

You can see Perez running a little wide here as a result.

Now we have Carlos who has restored order, but maybe he had to brake a bit harder to do that?

Because he certainly seems to have caught out Fernando, who very, very nearly hits him, and in fact locks his brakes trying to avoid.

Fernando ploughs straight on, and his unexpectedly harsh braking means George behind has to brake harder.

George runs wide. Harder braking than planned, and anticipated by the others?

Next in Line is Oscar, who is close and also appears to be running wide. But look behind Oscar!

It’s Daniel, and at this point, Lance hasn’t hit him. Daniel is so, so, close to touching the McLaren. Had Oscar braked a touch harder it’d have been a hit. So, I find it a bit hypocritical of Daniel to say Lance wasn’t paying attention…as he was fractions off a touch too.

So here’s the thing…Daniel got that close BEFORE Lance hit him. And then there’s the hit, which is a pretty big one:

So who’s to blame? Lance Stroll. He should have been paying more attention, and this sort of concertina effect is normal in such starts so needs to be allowed for. It wasn’t like he was racing for position and his rival braked 50m earlier than needed – when you’re on the road you always keep a 2-3 second gap for safety. When racing, that doesn’t apply, you have to be super close to the car in front and trust, so if the car in front brakes early you’ll be caught out – as per George/Fernando earlier in the season. However, this wasn’t under race conditions, it was safety car, so you need to expect and manage a gap. Lance did not do that properly. And it was wasn’t a little touch, it was a decent hit. Finally, his post-race comments did him no favours either – if you make a mistake you need to own up to it.

Consider this. What if Daniel had hit Oscar before Lance hit Daniel? Imagine how that would have played out post-race.

Finally, Nico Hulkenberg did a great job of situational awareness, but it should be noted that he was further back along the straight and therefore had had less need to look at the corner apex than the others. He was able to move out and avoid.

If you want a full video analysis watch this from the excellent Jolyon Palmer – I wish I had access to the footage he does as I was curious to see who started the concertina effect. Now we can see it all unfold!

And while that wasn’t a moment of Alonso brilliance, this is!

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