Alonso: F2 more fun than nonsense Russian GP F1 qualifying session

Fernando Alonso believes the Russian Grand Prix's Formula 2 support race was "the most fun part of the day" for fans after Formula 1 qualifying featured "nonsense" and "boring" segments

Alonso: F2 more fun than nonsense Russian GP F1 qualifying session

Alonso went into qualifying with a grid penalty because of engine component changes and claimed his only intention in Q1 was to set a time within F1's 107% rule.

The second part of qualifying featured no running from the Red Bulls and Pierre Gasly's Toro Rosso because they too had grid penalties for engine changes, while the Renaults also chose not to set a time to give them 11th and 12th on the grid and free tyre choice for the race.

"For us it's OK, this is what we're used to and we follow whatever," said Alonso when asked by Autosport about the qualifying spectacle.

"For the fans, it's maybe a problem.

"It's more asking the fans what they think to have a nonsense Q1 and a not very important Q2.

"At least I think they enjoyed the F2 race.

"It's definitely the most fun part of the day for the spectator."

Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg, who will line up 12 as his midfield rivals progressed to Q3, admitted there was frustration but said the best tactics for the race need to be employed.

"[It was] boring more than anything," he said. "It is not what you want to do heading into qualifying.

"Sometimes you have to play the game to come out better tomorrow and we had to do what we had to do today."

Daniel Ricciardo took no part in Q2 as his Red Bull team has switched to an old-spec Renault engine in Russia.

"It is weird when you know you are not really going out," Ricciardo admitted.

"You wake up and know you are going to do about eight laps or something."

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said it was "bizarre" and "not good" when he saw that five cars were not taking part, although his team inadvertently gave the redundant Q2 an anti-climactic end.

Both Mercedes and Ferrari made it through to Q3 using the ultrasoft to avoid starting on the hypersoft tyre, but Lewis Hamilton appeared on the softest compound at the end.

Even if they are trying to progress on slower rubber it is not unusual for leading teams to go out again at the end of Q2 on the softest-compound to get a preparation lap in ahead of Q3.

However, the lack of any drama from drivers trying to make Q3 meant Hamilton was centre-stage when he backed off exiting the final corner on a flying lap, coasted across the line and avoided setting a quicker time.

McLaren sporting boss Gil de Ferran said that what fans witnessed should at least set up a slightly different race.

"It will create some interest on the race tomorrow because of the different strategic options everybody will have," he said.

"You can clearly see a lot of people were very focused on tomorrow rather than today."

shares
comments
Renault defends 'awkward' F1 qualifying tactic for Russian Grand Prix

Previous article

Renault defends 'awkward' F1 qualifying tactic for Russian Grand Prix

Next article

Red Bull: Daniil Kvyat hadn't dealt with 2016 Toro Rosso demotion

Red Bull: Daniil Kvyat hadn't dealt with 2016 Toro Rosso demotion
Load comments
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Plus

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery Plus

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021