Alonso felt "stupid" sticking to Turn 1 track limits in Austria

Fernando Alonso felt “a little bit stupid” sticking to track limits at Turn 1 in Sunday’s Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix, believing he lost places due to drivers running wide.

Alonso felt "stupid" sticking to Turn 1 track limits in Austria
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Starting 14th on the grid on Sunday at the Red Bull Ring, the Alpine driver looked to pass Charles Leclerc and Daniel Ricciardo up the inside at Turn 1 with a late braking move.

But Ricciardo kept his car out wide at the corner exit, running beyond the yellow sausage kerb and exceeding the normal track limits, staying ahead of Alonso as a result.

It sparked an angry response from Alonso via team radio, who told Alpine that the McLaren driver “gained three or four positions… I guess a penalty will come very soon.”

Alonso added under the safety car: “He needs to give up at least six positions. And he has to do it now, not in the pit stop and all these things.”

The incident was not formally investigated by the stewards, but they did look at what happened. Under the safety car, Ricciardo sat four places clear of Alonso, and would go on to finish seventh for McLaren.

Speaking after the race in Austria, Alonso explained that the same thing had happened in the Styrian Grand Prix one week earlier, leaving him frustrated.

“We raced two times here in two weekends and I was the only one overtaking cars at the start and braking very late at Turn 1 on the inside,” Alonso said. “I overtook Ricciardo and Leclerc this time, and they went off-track on the exit of Turn 1 and they exited in front of me, and even more than that, they take the run on the next car in front through the slipstream into Turn 3.

“I felt that was very unfair today again. It was last weekend, but today I was into Turn 1 in front of Charles and Ricciardo, and I exited Turn 1 50 metres behind Ricciardo.

“I was the only one making the corner, so you feel a little bit stupid.”

Alonso ran 15th behind the safety car, and was able to recover to score one point for P10, but felt a better result would have been possible without the Turn 1 moves.

“Today day starting 14th, if you are P11 or P12 on Lap 1, you can still finish P8 or P7, so it was positive to see that.

“Yesterday we couldn’t compete the lap because of traffic unfortunately, and today by respecting the rules, we were P15 on the first lap.”

But FIA race director Michael Masi was unmoved by Alonso’s complaint, believing that he had not lost any positions as a result of drivers running wide on the opening lap.

"One of the things that we've said, and this came about since Paul Ricard 2019, was that on the first lap and those first couple of corners, that a car needs to be back behind the car it entered the corner behind,” Masi said. “We looked at the incident which Fernando was referring to, and from the angles that we could see at the time, that was exactly what had occurred.

“So that's the general principle, because particularly in circumstances like that, everyone has asked generally, to look at those things to help the drivers and the teams if they need to.

“That was looked at at the time."

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