Fernando Alonso’s near-miss with the Turn 3 barrier, his last-lap pass on Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez’s late overtake on Esteban Ocon were all missed on Formula 1’s Dutch Grand Prix broadcast.
With the world feed focused on home hero Max Verstappen as he closed in on victory, it overlooked several major moments of late action that the race had lacked up to that point.
Alonso’s hunt of Sainz in sixth place and Perez’s recovery from a pitlane start reached a crescendo in the final two laps but none of it was captured on the main broadcast, although users of the pitlane channel in the F1TV app could see Alonso’s progress as one of small insets was on his onboard camera for the final stage of the race.
There were two key moments in Alonso’s chase of the Ferrari that TV viewers did not see.
The first could have been the end of Alonso’s race. Snaking through Turn 2 three laps from the end of the race, Alonso got a little too wide on the entry to Turn 3 – which drivers have been taking with two wheels on the outside run-off despite the close proximity of the barrier.
Alonso then locked his front left as he slid up the banking, and his car went all four wheels over the white line and was heading for the barrier before Alonso gathered the moment up with inches to spare.
The two-time world champion said it was sheer luck that stopped him crashing.
“Actually I tried to forget that and now you remind me,” Alonso joked when asked by The Race to talk through the unseen moment.
“It was a very stressful moment for sure. I had a go at Carlos into Turn 1 on the inside, and I thought I was making the move, and in the last moment he released the brakes and he braked even later so we nearly touched already into Turn 1.
“And then into Turn 3 I was too close and as you said, I locked the fronts a little bit and I ran wider than normal outside the circuit.
“But obviously there are like two metres from the banking to the wall and I was like 10 centimetres or something from the wall with both front tyres, locked up!
“It’s not that I did anything magic there, it was just pure luck because I was not in control of the car. I got lucky there.”
Alonso did not lose too much time to Sainz with the error and crucially remained in DRS range.
He was already close enough to sniff around the rear of the Ferrari on the exit of Turn 1 on the penultimate lap and Sainz was visibly struggling more and more with a lack of grip.
With that enabling Alonso to be a fraction closer than before heading through the final two corners, Alonso also had use of the overtake function coming onto the start-finish straight.
He was able to blast past on the run to Turn 1 and then cut across the front of the Ferrari to prevent any kind of response under braking.
“There was pretty much no fight, because he flew past on the straight with DRS and by the time we are riding to Turn 1 he was already one or two car lengths ahead,” Sainz said.
“I was struggling so much with tyres that I couldn’t even get a good run out of the last corner. I defended the inside but he passed me easy into Turn 1 by the time I got there.”
That dropped Sainz into the clutches of Perez, who by this point had cleared Ocon in another unseen overtake that was probably the best of Perez’s recovery drive.
Ocon made a mistake into the long, tightening Turn 9 right-hander that meant he missed the apex and Perez forced him to defend into the following left-hander of Turn 10 that leads onto the backstraight.
Perez got the switch back onto the straight and pulled alongside the Alpine and they ran wheel-to-wheel down to the Turn 11 chicane.
The Red Bull was nosing fractionally ahead into the braking but Ocon refused to yield on the inside, forcing Perez to hold on the long way, which he did to steal track position for the left-hand part of the corner.
That released Perez to try to catch the Sainz-Alonso battle and Alonso’s pass gave Perez half a chance to show his nose on the inside of the Ferrari into Turn 3 two corners later.
Sainz was able to hang on, though, denying Perez the chance to grab one final place – not that anybody watching would have seen it happen anyway.