Alonso looking to gain 'free positions' in Hungarian GP start

Fernando Alonso says being "clever" into Turn 1 of Formula 1's 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix will earn "positions for free" should Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collide once again.

Listen to this article

The Alpine driver qualified ninth - one place and 0.06s behind teammate Esteban Ocon - in Budapest after enduring what he reckoned to be a supposed drop off in the Pirelli soft tyre performance in Q3 compared to the previous set he had used for his Q2 flying lap.

Alonso still heralded a "very important Saturday" at a tight circuit where it is notoriously "difficult to overtake" and reckoned his ninth spot would provide a greater benefit off the line, the Spaniard set to launch from the clean side of the grid, which is "more noticeable" in Hungary.

But he warned of the caution needed into the first corner should third-starting Verstappen and polesitter Hamilton clash in consecutive races following their controversial first-lap collision in the British Grand Prix earlier this month.

Double world champion Alonso reckoned drivers could gain positions "for free" if they were "clever" and were able to avoid getting involved in "a little bit of action" at the front.

He said: "I think it is going to be hotter in front of us. We will try to recover places. I think we can.

"In my case, I start on the clean side. This is one of the circuits that it is more noticeable starting on the clean side.

"My wish is to finish a little bit higher in the first lap. But I think we need to be careful because in front of us...I think something could happen tomorrow again.

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

"We have Max starting on the [quicker] red [sidewall soft] tyre, Lewis on the yellow [medium compound]. We have [Sergio Perez, fourth], [Pierre] Gasly [fifth] also.

"Behind them, [Lando] Norris and [Charles] Leclerc, which are some of the best starters. The first corner is going to be a little bit of action.
"We need to be clever to stay out of any trouble and benefit from whatever happens in front.

"We want a clean first lap because maybe there are some positions that come for free."

Read Also:

Alonso did explain the need to be wary with Daniel Ricciardo starting the race in 11th, the McLaren driver therefore gaining free choice for his starting tyre compound.

But Alonso rated his chances of scoring a sixth point-paying finish in a row, a run of form stretching back to a sixth-place score in Baku in June.

He said: "I will love to be in the points tomorrow - whatever position but in the points.

"We've been scoring for many, many races already. We start in eighth and ninth so maybe we are not too far from what we could achieve.

"But there are cars behind us, especially Ricciardo starting 11th, probably with a harder compound etc, that will be difficult to manage to stay in front of him."

shares
comments
Hamilton hopes Red Bull reflects on "unacceptable" remarks
Previous article

Hamilton hopes Red Bull reflects on "unacceptable" remarks

Next article

Wolff: Hungary pace consolidates Mercedes’ Silverstone upgrades

Wolff: Hungary pace consolidates Mercedes’ Silverstone upgrades
Load comments
What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility Prime

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins Prime

The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, We pick out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1 Prime

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades.

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022