On This Day In F1 - Rosberg Didn't Leave Alonso A Space

On This Day In F1 - Rosberg Didn't Leave Alonso A Space

A look back at what happened on 22 April in Formula 1 history

2012 Bahrain Grand Prix
As Nico Rosberg tried to defend eighth place from Fernando Alonso on lap 25, the Mercedes driver continued moving across the road on the run up to Turn 4, edging Alonso off the circuit and making him back off. Fernando wasn’t at all happy about this and let rip one of his most iconic team radio messages: “OK, he pushed me off the track, I think you have to leave a space…

"All the time you have to leave a space!"

The stewards disagreed and Rosberg went unpunished, eventually finishing fifth with Alonso ending up seventh. At the front, Sebastian Vettel just about held off a charging Kimi Raikkonen, who had the chance to pass Vettel in the closing stages but unusually backed out of what ended up being his only chance. Romain Grosjean made it two Lotuses in the top three by finishing third for what would be his first career podium.

(c) Red Bull Content Pool
(c) Red Bull Content Pool

Birthdays
At the time of his debut for Minardi in 1998, Esteban Tuero (born 1978) was the third-youngest F1 driver of all-time. Although he showed speed throughout the season (he outqualified faster cars from Stewart, Prost and Arrows on his debut) he was also a bit ragged and crashed quite a few times throughout the season, managing a best result of eighth (out of nine finishers) at Imola.

Tuero was due to race for the team again in 1999 but bizarrely announced his retirement from F1 before the start of the season at the age of just 20. No reason was ever officially given - some say it was the result of a neck injury he sustained in a crash in the last race of the season at Suzuka, others say he’d had enough of the press attention that came with being an F1 driver. Either way, he carried on racing tin-tops in Argentina until retiring from racing altogether in 2016.