Fernando Alonso disqualification claim as F1 data reveals smart trick – F1 news round-up

Oliver Harden
Fernando Alonso with his helmet fitted in Jeddah

Fernando Alonso has enjoyed a solid start to the season with Aston Martin

Monday’s F1 news round-up includes all the main headlines from Suzuka as the dust settles on the Japanese Grand Prix, with Fernando Alonso’s driving once again under the microscope.

No time to waste, so let’s dive full throttle into the day’s biggest stories…

F1 news round-up: April 8 2024

Fernando Alonso aims dig at FIA with ‘disqualification’ quip

Fernando Alonso quipped that the FIA could disqualify him from the F1 2024 World Championship after his latest trick in defence at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Alonso was hit with a 20-second time penalty at last month’s Australian Grand Prix for “potentially dangerous driving” in defence against Mercedes driver George Russell, even though the two cars did not make contact.

Alonso and Russell were very nearly reunited in the closing laps at Suzuka, but a cunning little plan involving Oscar Piastri kept him far enough ahead of the charging Mercedes.

Read more: Fernando Alonso quizzed on DRS trick with ‘Championship disqualification’ jibe

In depth: Japanese Grand Prix data

You may have noticed that we introduced an exciting new element of our coverage over the Japanese Grand Prix weekend, doing a deep dive on the data to determine how the race was won and lost.

Everything you could ever ask for – from car telemetry and race pace comparisons to stint analysis and tyre wear assessments – was covered in detail in Monday’s post-race addition.

Our telemetry even lifts the lid on how Alonso roped Piastri into his plan to repel Russell in the closing laps.

We hope you love our new addition as much as we do.

Read more: Japan GP data uncovered: McLaren’s crucial error and Fernando Alonso’s smart tactics

Red Bull to lose Sergio Perez and Adrian Newey amid power struggle?

Former Red Bull driver Robert Doornbos believes the current saga within the team could have a direct impact of the futures of both Sergio Perez and Adrian Newey.

Perez reiterated his desire to remain with the team ahead of the Japanese GP, with Doornbos claiming the Mexican was laughed out of the room after demanding a three-year contract over the Suzuka weekend.

The Dutchman has also heard that Newey has indicated he will not sign a new contract with Red Bull, amid recent reports of a big-money offer from Aston Martin.

Watch this space…

Read more: Red Bull collateral damage: Perez’s ‘laughable’ three-year demand and Adrian Newey’s future

Yuki Tsunoda to finally emerge as a Red Bull candidate?

If Perez does move on when his contract expires at the end of this season, could Yuki Tsunoda emerge as a potential replacement?

The very thought of Tsunoda being promoted to a Red Bull seat seemed laughable not so long ago, but after three Q3 appearances in the opening four races – and consecutive points finishes in Australia and Japan – it may not seem so far-fetched.

Helmut Marko has issued an update on where exactly Tsunoda figures in Red Bull’s plans.

Read more: Helmut Marko highlights key Yuki Tsunoda stumbling block that has now ‘gone’

Mercedes reveal fresh 2024 target with Max Verstappen dominant

Toto Wolff is hoping to avoid another 18 months of “more suffering” for Mercedes but the team boss concedes today their reality is P2 at best as Max Verstappen is unstoppable.

Lewis Hamilton claimed to have made a breakthrough in Mercedes’ understanding of the W15 car after qualifying at Suzuka, but was snappy with the media after a desperate race saw him slip back to ninth.

Wolff is convinced nobody will beat Verstappen to the title in 2024, acknowledging matching last season’s runner-up spot in the Constructors’ Championship is Mercedes’ limit this season.

Mercedes currently sit 86 points adrift of Ferrari after the first four races.

Read more: Mercedes in ‘no man’s land’ reality amidst concerns of 18 months of ‘more suffering’