Alonso refutes Albon's claim he was playing tricks in Baku F1 qualifying

Alpine Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso has denied claims he was deliberately trying to hold up Alex Albon in Azerbaijan Grand Prix qualifying.

Alonso refutes Albon's claim he was playing tricks in Baku F1 qualifying

Albon thought he was on the receiving end of Alonso's gamesmanship in Baku when drivers were trying to get a final fast lap in at the end of Q1.

Qualifying was restarted with 2m40s to go after a crash for Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll. The limited timeframe meant drivers were forced to queue up at the end of the pitlane, and then raced each other on the out-lap to improve their positioning ahead of one final attempt.

But on the final run Alpine's Alonso, who was safely through to Q2 at that moment, appeared to slow and then went straight on into the Turn 15 run-off, ruining the lap of every driver behind him.

Williams' Albon, who was behind Alonso at the time, was furious with Alonso's alleged antics. On the team radio he fumed: "He needs to get penalised this guy, he has to. This is ridiculous, he was doing it the whole lap. He was driving slowly on purpose.

"And it was so obvious how he went off the track, it was ridiculous. He braked so early and he just went off the circuit."

When asked by Autosport if he was playing tricks, Alonso smirked: "Not really. That corner I think we saw during qualifying that it was extremely challenging.

"I braked late, I could not make the corner I thought, so I took the escape road. McLaren did as well in Q2, Sebastian [Vettel] thought that he could make the corner and broke the front wing. So, there's always a tricky decision that you need to make in a tenth of a second."

Alex Albon, Williams FW44, Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C42

Alex Albon, Williams FW44, Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C42

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Alonso said he sympathised with Albon's frustration as he had been in the same position before and questioned whether the current qualifying system is still fit for purpose.

"I know it resulted in frustration because there were queueing cars and only two and a half minutes [left] at the end of Q1. Honestly, I understand them because I have been in the opposite position as well many times.

Read Also:

"I think Esteban [Ocon] missed Q3 because of a yellow flag in Q2 from McLaren, so we need to find a better solution for this kind of problem because we should all be able to make our laps.

"Even the old format with the superpole, where we all had one lap alone on track, maybe it was good for TV and it was good for us as well, because at the moment there is too much interaction with other cars, with tows, with yellows flags and this is not the best."

shares
comments

Related video

F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Start time, how to watch, & more
Previous article

F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Start time, how to watch, & more

Next article

F1 eyes tweaks to pitlane queue rules after Haas investigation

F1 eyes tweaks to pitlane queue rules after Haas investigation
The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Plus

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded MAURICE HAMILTON of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing Plus

Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing

It has been a long time coming but Audi’s arrival in Formula 1 is finally on the horizon for 2026. But it won’t be its first foray into grand prix racing, as the German manufacturer giant has a history both long and enthralling

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination Plus

The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination

After a tooth and nail and, at times, toxic Formula 1 world championship scrap last year, Max Verstappen's march to a second consecutive title has been the exact opposite. But has he really changed in 2022? Here's a dive into what factors have played a crucial role, both inside the Verstappen camp and elsewhere, in the Dutch driver's domination

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward Plus

Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward

Lewis Hamilton’s words in a recent Vanity Fair interview define both his world-view and his approach to this season: one of perpetual struggle against adversity. As GP RACING explains, that’s what Lewis feeds off – and why, far from being down and nearly out, he’s using his unique skillset to spearhead Mercedes’ revival…

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022
The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight Plus

The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight

The pecking order in 2022's Formula 1 season may look pretty static as the season draws to a close, but the unique nature of the cost cap means that preparation for next season takes precedence. New developments are being pushed back to 2023 - which could mask the technical development war ongoing...

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022
How one retro event could prove an alluring prospect for Formula 1 stars Plus

How one retro event could prove an alluring prospect for Formula 1 stars

While Formula 1 drivers taking part in retro events can prove costly, as Charles Leclerc discovered at the Monaco Historic Grand Prix, the Goodwood Revival could prove an interesting experiment for today's stars. As the event's own Tourist Trophy race proves it means serious business, a race for current F1 drivers feels as though it’s in line with where the event is currently at

Goodwood Revival
Sep 21, 2022
The surprise biggest indicator of Ferrari's 2022 F1 points downfall Plus

The surprise biggest indicator of Ferrari's 2022 F1 points downfall

Looking back to the early races of 2022 and Ferrari’s challenge to Red Bull and Max Verstappen was going better than many expected. But it has lost so much ground a surprise rival can even pip Charles Leclerc to runner-up in the standings if given the chance

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2022
How Tyrrell and Stewart forged parallel paths to F1 stardom Plus

How Tyrrell and Stewart forged parallel paths to F1 stardom

The young Ken Tyrrell was barely 
aware of motor racing – until a trip with 
his village football team to the British
 Grand Prix set him on the road to
 becoming a Formula 1 constructor. MAURICE HAMILTON details the humble beginning of Tyrrell and how Ken linked up with Jackie Stewart…

Formula 1
Sep 19, 2022