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How did Alonso manage THAT save in the Chinese F1 Grand Prix at Turn 16, yet Sainz crashed?

Finally, Formula 1 circuit designers and managers are starting to replace tame tarmac runoff areas with surfaces that don’t need track limits measurements because if you put a wheel over the line, you’re in trouble. Unless of course you are Fernando Alonso.

Turn 16 at China’s Shanghai Circuit is a corner which now has gravel past the kerb, and gravel has a lot less traction than the concrete kerb or the asphalt track. So if you put a wheel on that gravel, and apply power then you’ll find your grip demand exceeds the tyre’s grip budget. Such was the case with Carlos Sainz in Q2 when he ran a fraction too wide on exit, and maybe took an instant gamble that just keeping his foot flat to the floor would work and he’d lose minimal time down the subsequent straight.

Unfortunately for him, that gamble didn’t pay off and his car started to spin. Now pause that moment.

Fast forwards to the race and by lap 48 Fernando Alonso was on new tyres and pushing hard. He too ran a fraction wide on the exit of Turn 16, and like Sainz, his car too lost traction on the rear and started to spin.

Now unpause Sainz, and consider Alonso. Sainz spun, Alonso pulled off one hell of a save. How did he do it? The technique is no different to anyone else recovering an oversteer moment, although only a few of us drive Formula 1 cars, and is explained in the video below:

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