Alonso criticises rivals for bypassing first corner

Date published: July 5 2021 - Finley Crebolder

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, Fernando Alonso, Alpine

Fernando Alonso is unhappy some of his rivals got away with gaining an unfair advantage by bypassing the first corner in Austria.

Alonso enjoyed a largely successful two races at the Red Bull Ring, managing to score points in both of them, finishing in P9 and P10.

He’s not entirely pleased with how things went though, feeling that his results could have been even better if other drivers weren’t allowed to skip the corner at the start purely to gain an advantage, in his eyes.

“We raced here twice, on two weekends. I was the only one who passed cars at the start. I braked very late for Turn 1 on the inside,” he said as per soymotor.com.

“I overtook Ricciardo and Leclerc this time and they went off the track and came out ahead of me. And more than that, they get the slipstream of the car in front for Turn 3.

“I felt that was very unfair again today. It was last weekend. I was ahead of them at the entrance of the corner and I was 50 meters behind Ricciardo at the exit and I was the only one who did the corner. You feel a little stupid.

“I think it’s in writing and it’s pretty clear that on the first lap they are a little more flexible about penalties and track limits because we are struggling, so sometimes you are forced to go off track because another car forces you to go off, but it was not the case.

“They decided to go off only for the performance, to be able to continue accelerating, it is not because there was a wheel-to-wheel battle.”

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It wasn’t the only thing Alonso was unhappy about at the Austrian Grand Prix, with him missing out on Q3 on Saturday after being blocked by Sebastian Vettel.

He feels that, if that hadn’t happened, he could have finished in the top five, but is encouraged that, even after being down in P15 after the first corner, he was still able to fight his way back into the points.

“If I had started in my real position in qualifying, a fifth or sixth place would have been possible,” he added.

“And today, starting from 14th, if I was 11th or 12th in Turn 1, I could have finished seventh or eighth. It was positive to see that.

“Today, respecting the rules, we were 15th in Turn 1.”

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