Alonso offers possible explanation for dramatic last-lap Russell crash

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Fernando Alonso has confirmed to suffering a problem with his Aston Martin that potentially could have played a part in the dramatic last-lap crash from Mercedes’ George Russell.

In the closing stages of the race at Melbourne’s Albert Park, Russell was chasing Alonso for sixth position. On the approach to the fast chicane through turns six to eight, the Briton then closed in behind the AMR24 at speed.

With the loss of downforce, Russell suddenly suffered oversteer, sending him across the gravel and into a tyre wall. Bouncing off, his car then ended up on its side.

Alonso and Russell are to face the stewards, with the suggestion being that the 42-year-old two-time F1 champion brake tested his younger rival.

Asked on Sky Sports F1 whether that was the case, Alonso did not dismiss the question outright. He replied: “I was focusing in front of me, not behind.

“I had some issues for the last 15 laps, something on the battery, on the deployment, so I was definitely struggling a little bit at the end of the race. I cannot focus on the cars behind.”

Turning his attention to Russell, Alonso added: “But he’s okay – apparently. I saw the car and I was very worried.”

Turning back to the incident and his own race, the Spaniard said: “I knew he was coming and he was on the DRS.

“It was like this for five or six laps, he was very close, but as I said, I was trying to do qualifying laps and maximise the pace. It was not an easy race, not an easy weekend, in general, in terms of pace.

“Today we got lucky with the strategy, with Lewis [Hamilton] off and the virtual safety car, but I cannot hide the pace was difficult the whole weekend.”

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