Start, Circuit of the Americas, 2021

Alonso more concerned by first-lap track limits than Raikkonen’s COTA pass

2021 Mexico City Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso wants tomorrow’s meeting between Formula 1 drivers and FIA race director Michael Masi to address why several of his rivals were allowed to exceed track limits at the start of the United States Grand Prix.

The Alpine driver complained strenuously during the race about another incident, when he was overtaken by Kimi Raikkonen on the outside at the same corner. Raikkonen was allowed to keep the place, which Alonso still believes this was a clear violation, but he sees no point in discussing it further.

“When you pass outside the circuit you normally give up the position,” he said. “If we bring this topic to the drivers’ meeting we will have the same answer so we will not bring it.

“I think if you are talking [about] football and you take the ball inside the area with your hands it will be a penalty so you don’t need to bring this to every match. Every time you touch the ball with your hands in the penalty area it’s going to be a penalty, every match.”

Alonso said he wants more discussions over how drivers are allowed to use the run-off area at the start of the race, which he has complained about previously, and became a talking point after he cut turn two during the start of the Russian Grand Prix.

“The meeting is tomorrow so I’m open to listen whatever they want to say,” Alonso explained. “But this is exactly what I don’t want [to] happen. I think there are many other things we should discuss in that meeting, like lap one.”

Several drivers ran wide at turn one when the race started. On the morning of the grand prix race control removed a series of ‘sausage kerbs’ at the exit of the corner which were intended to stop drivers running wide.

Raikkonen went off-track passing Alonso
“They removed the bumps on the outside after the problem with F4 or wherever, the car that launched outside of turn one, and there were three or four cars going wide in turn one,” said Alonso. “So I would love to talk about those cars as we talked in Sochi.”

The Alpine driver’s concerns over the policing of track limits at the start of the race arose at the two races in Austria. He has previously discussed the subject with the FIA.

“Obviously the answers are always very constructive and very positive because we all want to race as fair as possible,” he said. “We try to address all the problems because sometimes it’s not only the drivers’ input of the race itself it’s just the nature of the circuit.

“In Sochi you will always have more problems than Silverstone or different circuits. We try to work together for a better solution so let’s see.”

He said it is important for F1 to address the problem so its growing fanbase can enjoy fair racing.

“It’s just trying to race fair and put a good show for the people in the grandstands and on TV,” said Alonso. “We have a lot of fans around the world and we saw at the race in Austin how fantastic it was to witness the grandstands full of people, et cetera. So you try to put a fair show for everybody.”

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2021 Mexico City Grand Prix

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    5 comments on “Alonso more concerned by first-lap track limits than Raikkonen’s COTA pass”

    1. The problem we’ll have if track limits are enforced at the start of a race is that we’ll end up with a lot of flying carbon fibre as our current drivers seem incapable of using the brake pedal at the start of races but prefer instead to blast into the corners causing others to leap off the track to avoid getting collected.

      If all of them are forced to try harder to stay on track, those spaces made by cars being off track won’t exist so there will be an increase in first lap carnage.

      1. @dbradock You hit the nail.

      2. Perhaps, for the first time they do it.
        For every time thereafter that they enforce track limits properly, everyone will know what will happen if they don’t race together respectfully and within the track limits. They’ll be damaging their own car too.

        Some of the arguments I’ve seen against strictly enforcing track limits are just hilarious…
        If drivers take themselves and each other out, whose fault is it? How many races can they do that for and still hope to remain in F1 – never mind actually have a chance of becoming champion?
        F1’s longest serving and most successful drivers are rarely cannonballs.

    2. He & his slight misbelief concerning opening laps again.
      No one gained anything anyway. Max, for instance, almost got passed by his teammate via his brief off-track excursion.

      1. Right – Verstappen maintained position despite being off track.
        Further reinforcing Alonso’s point…

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