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Alonso hits out at "messy" qualifying

NEWS STORY
06/06/2021

Without a hint of irony, Fernando Alonso has hit out at rivals following a qualifying session that witnessed no less than four-red flag stoppages.

We say without a hint of irony because, of course, the Spaniard was the main beneficiary following a very deliberate incident during the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix in 2008, an incident which subsequently led to Renault's withdrawal from the sport, the banning of Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds and effectively the end of Nelson Piquet Jnr's F1 career.

With the session having already been stopped three times following incidents involving Lance Stroll, Antonio Giovinazzi and Daniel Ricciardo, the final straw came in the final moments of Q3, when Yuki Tsunoda and Carlos Sainz crashed at the infamous Turn 15, bringing the session to an immediate end.

At the time, Alonso was one of several drivers looking to improve their times. Instead, the Alpine driver will start the Azerbaijan Grand Prix from 8th, following the grid penalty handed to Lando Norris.

"It was messy, it was difficult to get into the rhythm, into the pace, but it was the same for everybody," he told Sky Sports.

"I think we didn't use all the potential of the car because every time we put a new set of tyres, we didn't use it," he added.

"It is unfair probably that the people that crashed, they repair the car and they start in that position tomorrow," he continued. "All the other cars, we are in parc ferme until tomorrow, we cannot touch the car, so why they can change all the parts that they caused the red flag?

"Maybe one day we are in that position and we take advantage of the rule," he added.

"I think the people need to calm down a little bit and drive 98% in a street circuit because if you crash and you start last in the race, maybe you don't drive over your possibilities. And I think today with so many people driving over the possibilities of their car or their abilities."

Following the incident in Q3 in Monaco, it was suggested that F1 might adopt a rule similar to that used in IndyCar, whereby drivers who crash in qualifying lose their times. Race director, Michael Masi and F1 managing director, Ross Brawn have admitted that the idea is being looked into.

Looking ahead to the race, he said: "I think we have a good car. It has been good all weekend, we've been always in the top ten every session and we feel comfortable.

"Here, you can overtake if you have the pace, so we need to take care of the tyres, that will be the hot topic for tomorrow I guess.

"But we have reasonable confidence to take good points."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Baku, here.

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