Hill: ‘I’d get Alonso to defend me in a murder charge!’

Damon Hill praised Fernando Alonso for the Aston Martin driver’s remarkable sharpness and presence of mind amid the chaos that unfolded on the second restart in Melbourne last weekend.

As cars veered off course or into the gravel trap at the first corner after the second red flag, Alonso was tagged into spin by the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz.

The Aston charger survived the contact but as he collected himself, the Spaniard fell from third all the way to the back of the field.

No sooner had Alonso got going than there was carnage up ahead as both Alpine drivers eliminated themselves, a crash that brought out the second red flag of the day.

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However, while many believed that the cars would line up behind the safety car in the order in which they had survived the commotion, Alonso radioed in to signal to his crews that the order should be rolled back to the grid positions at the restart, referring to last year’s British Grand Prix as a precedent.

This proved to be the correct procedure, but Hill was amazed by Alonso’s vigilance and alertness.

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“We were making a joke that he should be a lawyer,” Hill joked on the F1 Nation podcast. “I’d get him to defend me in a murder charge!”

“It’s boring driving the car, he needs something else to do. He’s going around going, ‘Can I do the strategy as well? Give me more information.’

“He already understands the rules. You’d expect someone who’s been in Formula 1 as long as he has and had all the experiences to have learned something, but you can’t automatically assume that.”

Hill noted that Alonso’s savviness was not unlike the farsighted intelligence of one Michael Schumacher.

“He’s invested in this, he understands it, and he knows, like Michael Schumacher as well,” added the 1996 F1 World Champion.

“Michael Schumacher understood where the openings were, where the opportunities were, and he took advantage of those, and it’s the same with Fernando.

“He’s got to become a team boss eventually, because he’d be brilliant. He just understands this game.”

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