Bits from the pits: Alonso 'like an animal' in Shanghai, Lauda loses bet

We round-up the weird and wonderful stories from the Shanghai International Circuit ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix.

Sport360 staff
by Sport360 staff
8th April 2017

article:8th April 2017

Fernando Alonso said he drove “like an animal” as he finished 13th in qualifying for Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix.

The two-time world champion has been curtailed by reliability issues with McLaren over the past three years.


“I’m driving like an animal,” said Alonso.

“We felt really non-competitive in FP3 so we went into Q1 with pessimism in the targets.”

“I did the lap flat out in some corners, not caring too much about the risks over the limit. We crossed the line and I thought ‘Wow, P10’ that should be enough for Q2.”

When asked what animal he was referring to in his messages, he said: “All the animals… A big one! An elephant or something!”

The Spaniard has previously expressed his frustration with not having a car that can compete with the likes of Mercedes and Ferrari.

Team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne was eliminated in Q1, finishing 15th.

Fernando Alonso.

Struggles: Alonso in Shanghai.

LAUDA LOSES BET AGAINST HIS OWN MERCEDES TEAM

Mercedes chairman Nikki Lauda lost a ten-euro wager with Toto Wolff after betting against his team to take pole position for Sunday’s race.

Speaking after Lewis Hamilton secured pole, team boss Wolff took out a 10-euro note that he won from Lauda.

“I think he was happy about losing the bet. But generally Nikki Lauda is not happy about losing money overall,” Wolff said.

“I think he thought, either I win money or I am happy about being on pole. So it was a win-win situation for him.”

“I said ‘give me the 10 euros. I will spend it all tonight.'”

Mercedes will be looking to atone their defeat to Ferrari at the Australian Grand Prix, with Hamilton in pole and team-mate Bottas in third.

Niki Lauda and Toto Wolff.

Niki Lauda and Toto Wolff.


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