With two laps to go in today's Formula 1 Grand Prix in Brazil, Fernando Alonso was passed easily by Sergio Perez for the third and final podium spot. Normally, that would be that. The dominant Red Bull would pull away and Alonso would have to settle for fourth. Alonso fought back, though, and he certainly did not have to settle.
The action started as the pair came off the final corner on lap 69 of 71. Perez, just half a second behind Alonso, used a good run out of the corner and the advantage of DRS to get well ahead before braking for turn 1 from the inside line and take the position. Alonso, who got the DRS advantage back in the next corner, was able to hold onto the rear wing of Perez for the entire lap before getting a similar run of his own out of the final corner on lap 70.
Heading into turn 1 on the final lap, Alonso came up short of any sort of run to take the spot. That should have been the end, but Alonso used his DRS advantage on the next straight to pressure Perez into a block to the inside. Alonso feinted a move to follow before quickly darting to the outside lane, clearing Perez before the braking zone to find a way to get back to and block the inside line into the corner. Perez had a DRS run of his own on the final corner, easily enough to take the lead into turn 1 if the race had continued, but Alonso held on just long enough to hold third over the start/finish line.
The 42-year-old Alonso may be near the end of his career, but the 2023 season has been a reminder that he is still one of the most exciting racing drivers in the world. Today's podium was his eighth of the season, all while teammate Lance Stroll has failed to secure a single podium finish all season. While his Aston Martin team has fallen to fifth in the constructor's championship after fading from its strong early start, Alonso himself is still holding onto fourth in the driver's championship and currently leads five of the eight drivers racing for teams ahead of Aston Martin in the constructor's standings.
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