Alonso keeps fifth on Turkish GP grid after yellow flag investigation

Fernando Alonso will start the Formula 1 Turkish Grand Prix from fifth on the grid after avoiding any sanction following an investigation for allegedly not respecting yellow flags in qualifying.

Alonso keeps fifth on Turkish GP grid after yellow flag investigation

Alonso was called to the stewards after qualifying following an incident right at the start of his first flying lap in Q1, when he came across yellow flags at Turn 1.

As he set his fastest sector time up to the point he automatically triggered an investigation, but the stewards quickly realised that it made no sense to punish him as it was his first lap, and his subsequent one was much faster.

Alonso qualified an impressive sixth in Istanbul, and he gains a further place on the grid as a result of Lewis Hamilton's penalty.

In their judgement the stewards noted that "the driver fulfilled the requirement of reducing speed significantly after the double yellow flags were displayed," while adding that "the race director's event notes require drivers not to set a meaningful lap time in a double yellow flag situation."

They explained: "Taking into account the fact that the yellow flag situation occurred at the time the driver started his first timed lap of the session and noting that the driver was fully convinced that he did not set a meaningful lap time as his next flying lap was approximately 3.5 seconds faster than the one when the yellow flag situation occurred, the stewards are satisfied that the driver complied with the relevant regulations and take no further action."

Alonso, who was told of the double yellows by his engineer, said he was well aware that flags were being displayed, and had slowed accordingly.

"On the yellow I heard the engineer saying double yellow," he said when asked by Autosport. "I saw the double yellow as well on Turn 1. And on the dash, on the steering, the dash becomes yellow as well.

"So it was very clear to me. And I aborted the lap. But because it's the first lap of qualifying, you still set a time. And then the following lap, I was three seconds faster without aborting the lap. And that was probably the confusion. But yeah, no problem I came now from the stewards, and a green light from them as well. So I'm happy."

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

Alonso insisted that Istanbul represented his best qualifying performance of the season in terms of the gap to other cars that he would normally expect to be faster than him.

"It was tricky out there because the conditions were a little bit damp compared with what I was expected," he said. "After FP3, the track was getting drier and drier. But it took so long to get fully dry, even in Turn 1 it was still damp. I think if tomorrow rains in the morning, without an FP3 session, it's going to be difficult to get a dry start. So let's see.

"The car fell fast in all the compounds. We qualified with the medium in Q2, which is normally a luxury we don't have, but today, the performance was there. And I was happy with the balance, happy with the decisions on the tyre calls.

"We come here from Sochi, the best race in terms of how competitive we felt there. And now is probably the best qualifying in terms of how competitive, four or five tenths in front of McLaren, two tenths in front of [Sergio] Perez, two tenths away from [Max] Verstappen. Things that we were not able to achieve at any other race so far. So happy with that."

Read Also:

Asked if he thought he could reach the podium Alonso said he expects to lose spots to quicker cars that are starting behind.

"So the podium possibility, I will say no, it's not a realistic option. We have to have the feet on the ground. It was a good Saturday, but Perez is behind me, starting just sixth. Lewis is 11th, but he will will come through at one point in the race. [Lando] Norris is a very strong driver on Sundays.

"So I think our natural position will come back sooner or later in the race, unfortunately, so I'm not too worried for that."

shares
comments

Related video

F1 Turkish Grand Prix – start time, how to watch, & more
Previous article

F1 Turkish Grand Prix – start time, how to watch, & more

Next article

Mercedes "in a better place" to fight Red Bull than before F1 summer break

Mercedes "in a better place" to fight Red Bull than before F1 summer break
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022