Alonso urges FIA to help F1’s gentleman’s agreement in qualifying

Fernando Alonso believes the FIA needs to do more to stop Formula 1 drivers going too slowly on qualifying outlaps after the Austria Q2 incidents on Saturday.

Alonso urges FIA to help F1’s gentleman’s agreement in qualifying

Alonso was forced to abandon his last lap in Q2 at the final corner after being blocked by Sebastian Vettel, who had slowed down to prepare for a hot lap.

Vettel was at the end of a long queue of cars, and had told his engineer over the radio that it was “carnage” as a number of drivers jumped the line and then slowed again.

Vettel received a three-place grid penalty for impeding Alonso, while Valtteri Bottas and Carlos Sainz Jr were also investigated, only to be cleared as they could not be deemed fully to blame for the incident.

Alonso was passionate in his response after qualifying, calling for harsh penalties for all the cars that were in the queue ahead of him after his session was ruined and he finished 14th.

But the Alpine F1 driver felt the FIA could play a role in helping avoid a repeat and aid the safety of the situation, believing teams would always try to play to their advantage.

“We need someone that helps us from the outside, and the only one that can help from the outside is the FIA, in my opinion,” Alonso said when asked by Autosport if harsh penalties were the only way to stop the incidents happening again.

“Because the teams, they deal with tyre performance, with battery performance, with everything that is on the competitive side.

“But on the safety side, and on the regulation side, we cannot put everything on the team's table, because they are always looking about competitiveness. So maybe we need help from the FIA.”

A number of drivers have raised concerns over an informal gentleman’s agreement in place about slowing down before starting a flying lap this year.

But in Austria, race director Michael Masi had written into the race notes that drivers cannot slow unnecessarily from Turn 9 to Turn 10, making it sanctionable.

“If it's written that you cannot do one thing and you do it, then you get a penalty - so that is clear for everybody,” Alonso said.

“That’s the first help and second, maybe there is a system. I know in Baku they introduced a minimum lap time that you have to do in the outlaps. So basically, how you exit the pitlane in that position, you will end up starting the lap in that position because we all have the same delta time.

“So then there are no more tricks or no more overtaking you see in outlaps or anything like that, because we will have to respect the same delta. Maybe that's another system that can help us for sure.”

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo felt the bunching was partly down to “the nature of the short lap” at the Red Bull Ring, but did note some drivers breaking the gentleman’s agreement.

“There were some who would overtake like around Turn 9, and, let's say, get track position, and I think by then, it's just a bit of a code that we once you kind of at that point, you shouldn’t.

“I think [Sergio] Perez might have a bit of a crack, and I think it was George [Russell] maybe, George seemed to be being a bit cheeky there so I think he was maybe pushing it.

“But I think it was clear what we needed to do I guess what I'm talking about, it's probably a bit of a separate thing.”

Haas driver Nikita Mazepin faced criticism in the early part of the year for not respecting the gentleman’s agreement, but felt more high-profile drivers were getting away with breaking it without the same kind of backlash.

“I was made a very easy target in Bahrain in qualifying, and everyone’s made a big deal out of it,” Mazepin said.

“F1 is very double faced world. If you've got a big name with loads of championships under your belt, your actions are less criticised than if you don’t.

“I'm not sure what happened today in qualifying because I haven't seen it. But yesterday in the drivers' briefing, our race director has made new rules, saying that you have to make your track position in Turn 8 and you're not allowed to back up in Turn 9 and 10, which means that you have to keep up to speed into those two corners.

“And what I've seen happen in Q2 is the exact opposite. Every driver is a human, they can get caught out and they've been caught out.

“Everyone just needs to apply the same rules to each other, and then it will be a happy place.”

shares
comments

Related video

The inconvenient truth behind F1’s anti-plastic stance

Previous article

The inconvenient truth behind F1’s anti-plastic stance

Next article

Norris "took quite a few risks" to reach front row for F1 Austrian GP

Norris "took quite a few risks" to reach front row for F1 Austrian GP
Load comments
How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in the best-of-the-rest F1 2021 battle Plus

How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in the best-of-the-rest F1 2021 battle

Supremacy in the McLaren vs Ferrari fight over third place in the constructors’ championship has ebbed and flowed between the two teams so far in the 2021 Formula 1 season. But for several key reasons, right now it seems the advantage has swung decisively back to the Scuderia and McLaren knows it.

The 70s US superteam that tried and failed to crack F1 Plus

The 70s US superteam that tried and failed to crack F1

Vel’s Parnelli Jones Racing was briefly one of the biggest names on the US motorsports scene, but its ambition outstripped its resources. STUART CODLING relates the story of a Formula 1 campaign cut off in its prime

Formula 1
Oct 26, 2021
The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory Plus

The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon at the returning Circuit of the Americas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement Plus

Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man ANTHONY PEACOCK explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it)

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull Plus

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be another close contest

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021