New factors chief Hamilton closed to Alonso on lap 55 of 70 in Budapest and the previous McLaren team-mates battled wheel-to-wheel, together with a quick contact, till a lock up for Alonso enabled the seven-time champion to discover a well past for fourth at Flip 1.
Alpine driver Alonso reckoned the pair’s 10-lap dogfight had allowed Hamilton to be taught his rival’s superior line by means of the ultimate sector, which the Brit then adopted to swiftly depose Sainz with 5 laps to go and on to attain a podium.
Alonso stated: “I assumed actually that I couldn’t maintain him multiple or two laps.
“However on the final couple of corners, he appeared to wrestle a bit of bit to observe me.
“Then it was sufficient to open a niche on the straight and defend.
“I believe he realized a few totally different strains within the final three corners after the ten laps behind me.
“He was in a position to move Carlos simply in a single lap, making use of these new strains.”
Onerous tyre-shod Alonso clarified that his Alpine staff had not particularly instructed him to delay Hamilton, working the quicker medium compound, however as an alternative knew to defend in opposition to the Mercedes after watching “the scenario” on the “greatest TV screens” across the circuit.
Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12
Picture by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images
That, Alonso stated, had been “gold” for team-mate Esteban Ocon to safe his first grand prix victory after holding off Sebastian Vettel – the Aston Martin runner-up later disqualified for failing to supply a ample gas pattern.
Alonso added: “The staff did not inform me something.
“[But] I knew that each lap I may maintain him behind, that was gold for Esteban’s win.”
The Spaniard, who predicted a Flip 1 incident after qualifying ninth behind Ocon, admitted he was “simply fortunate” to keep away from getting collected by Lance Stroll after the Aston Martin driver ran over the moist grass and eradicated Charles Leclerc earlier than then tagging Daniel Ricciardo.
However Alonso clarified that when he emerged in sixth after the shunts, having swapped his race begin intermediate tyres for medium Pirellis, it was “not a present” of positions.
He stated: “I used to be fortunate to not end my race in Flip 1, like among the folks did.
“We take this prime 5 – it’s my greatest results of the yr.
“It was not a present as a result of I’ve to battle each single lap for each single place.
“I am pleased with my race and ‘Driver of the Day’ in all probability exhibits that.”
The 2-time champion added that he had the “tempo to win” initially earlier than turning into “satisfied in regards to the podium”.
He stated: “I had the tempo to win the race in all probability, or that is what it appears once you see the race hint.
“[After closing the gap to Sainz], I used to be so satisfied in regards to the podium.
“I used to be setting the quickest laps of the race, and I assumed I’ll overtake them, and I’ll attempt to win the race.
“That was my thoughts in that second.
“Then I began realising that possibly successful the race was not doable.
“It was not sufficient based mostly on the power, particularly when the straight line pace was missing.
“I began pondering at the moment that if I used to be proper behind Carlos with the DRS, I may shield myself from Hamilton, and simply end fourth.”