Austin maestros make merry
As Lewis Hamilton proved that he’s the CoTA master, Fernando Alonso put in a drive for the ages
If you’ve ever wondered why it is that Fernando Alonso remains the most highly rated driver in Formula 1, you had only to watch the closing laps of the 2016 US GP for an explanation. There he was, in full matador mode, raging against his machine in pursuit of fth place, defying those ahead of him – Felipe Massa and Carlos Sainz – to keep him from what he considered his due.
With ten laps to go, Sainz was in possession of fth place and closing on a result that would have been his best yet in Formula 1. Having starred in qualifying to crack into the top ten, his Toro Rosso team reckoned a two-stop strategy would be their best means of securing a strong points nish. And as the laps ticked down, their gamble of leaving Sainz to complete the last 26 laps on softs – ve more than the recommended maximum – seemed to be paying off.
The trouble was, Massa was closing on Sainz while Alonso was closing on Massa. In a post-