Fernando Alonso says after watching the replays of the start of the United States Grand Prix there was ‘not much anyone could do’ having initially given a scathing criticism into the level of driving in Formula 1.

The McLaren driver was taken out of the opening lap at Circuit of the Americas after colliding with Williams’ Lance Stroll, who served a drive-through penalty for the incident, in a frantic start to the US race with multiple clashes as drivers battled for track position.

After seeing his race ended inside half a lap, Alonso gave a grim assessment of his F1 rivals and driving standards on the opening lap before softening his stance on social media after watching the start on TV.

“Disappointing race,” Alonso tweeted. “Only 600 meters before getting hit from behind. Watching now the replays not much anyone could do, too many cars together into Turn 4. Just that. Just unlucky today.”

Speaking directly after the race the two-time F1 world champion compared the start to the first-corner pile-up at this year’s Belgian Grand Prix which saw him pushed over the top of Charles Leclerc’s Sauber after being hit by Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg from behind.

“In Spa they played bowling with us into the first corner. Here they play bowling again into Turn 4. It is a misjudging of distances and speed, which is quite strange to see,” Alono said.

“One, two, three cars try to overtake, it is always the same. The starts, people are trying to bump everyone else. It is like a rental car that you have the bumpers and try to crash with everyone. It keeps happening.

“The level is lower. I race in other series, in WEC, and they are very aggressive as well and we have three different categories there, some amateur drivers, and no one crashes into each other. It is another mentality.”

Alonso has suffered two first-lap DNFs as a victim of crashes this year, while he charged back from a puncture on the opening lap of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix after being hit by Sergey Sirotkin.