Fernando Alonso frustrated after Q2 lap scuppered in qualifying traffic

Henry Valantine
Alpine's Fernando Alonso at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Budapest, July 2022.

Fernando Alonso believes he ran into traffic on his final lap in Dutch Grand Prix Q2, with the time he lost costing him a place in Q3 at Zandvoort.

Alonso was put off at Turn 8 after coming up behind Sergio Perez’s Red Bull, which had hugged the apex and moved out of the way as best he could, the Spaniard complaining over team radio he had lost time in the process.

Alonso’s former McLaren team-mate Jenson Button was not convinced he had lost time, however, saying “it doesn’t look like traffic from here” after seeing a replay in the Sky F1 commentary box, but added “it would have affected him” in terms of his rhythm.

Alonso and his current team-mate Esteban Ocon were knocked out in Q2 by a narrow margin in a closely-matched qualifying session at Zandvoort which saw the field bunched up throughout.

But given that closeness, Alonso thought he could have made it through to the top 10 with a clearer run.

“It is, obviously, because we were on a very good lap, apparently half a second faster than the previous one,” Alonso told the official Formula 1 website when asked about his frustration following qualifying.

“So obviously we had some pace there in the car we could not use and get the slot into Q3, and Zandvoort is a very small circuit, very narrow, and it will be always tricky qualifying.”

Alonso and Ocon were separated by just six thousandths of a second in qualifying and the Alpine pair will line up 12th and 13th on a track notoriously difficult to pull off any overtakes on.

The Spaniard is optimistic about the team’s chances in the race though, and hopes to exploit what he can to make his way up the field.

“I think we were fast normally, also in race pace,” said the two-time former World Champion.

“So let’s see if we can use it. Obviously [it is] extremely difficult to overtake here, so let’s see what we can do.”

Home favourite Max Verstappen will start the race from pole position after beating Charles Leclerc by just 0.021s in qualifying, with Carlos Sainz and Lewis Hamilton set to line up on the second row.

McLaren, Alpine’s current rivals in the Constructors’ Championship, had a mixed afternoon – Lando Norris will start seventh, while Daniel Ricciardo lost time on his final run in Q1 with dirt on the track and will line up 18th.