Fernando Alonso: ‘So Many People Driving Over Their Abilities’

2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Friday - Fernando Alonso (image courtesy Alpine F1 Team)

In the wake of a chaotic qualifying session for the 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso said drivers who crash and cause a red flag should lose their position in the session and start from last place on the grid.

Lance Stroll, Antonio Giovinazzi, Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda all crashed during a session that ended with four red flags.

Despite his crash near the end of qualifying two weeks ago, Charles Leclerc kept pole for the race, forcing several drivers to miss out on completing their final run.

There has been discussion about whether F1 should impose a similar rule to IndyCar, in which drivers have their two fastest times docked if they crash and cause a red flag.

The rules of F1 allow for those cars which crash to be repaired before Sunday’s race, but the rest must undergo parc ferme conditions, and Alonso said that was unfair.

2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Friday - Fernando Alonso (image courtesy Alpine F1 Team)
2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Friday – Fernando Alonso (image courtesy Alpine F1 Team)

Speaking to Sky Sports F1, Alonso said: “It was messy, it was difficult to get into the rhythm, into the pace, but it was the same for everybody.

“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.

“[It is] unfair probably that the people that crashed, they repair the car and they start in that position tomorrow.

“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.

“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.”

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