Fernando Alonso, Alpine, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 2022

Alonso expects another point-less race after “misunderstanding” causes Q1 exit

2022 Spanish Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso fears his point-less run will continue in tomorrow’s Spanish Grand Prix after a misunderstanding with his team on the radio led to his elimination in the first round of qualifying.

The Alpine driver’s race engineer Karel Loos originally told him there was plenty of time for him to complete his final lap and begin his last timed lap before the session ended. “We’ve got a huge amount of margin so let’s not go too slow,” Loos told Alonso as he joined the track for his final run at the end of Q1.

But halfway around the lap Loos warned him he was now “quite tight on time”. Alonso overtook Lewis Hamilton ahead of him at the end of the lap but began his final run immediately behind Lando Norris and had to abort it. That left him unable to claim a place in Q2, having been 12th at the end of his previous run.

“It was a misunderstanding in quali,” Alonso explained afterwards. “I started a lap behind Lando thinking that I had one or two seconds margin with the red light. But then I had like 20 seconds margin.

“If I knew that in advance, I would create more gap with Lando and do my own lap. But I heard in the radio ‘it’s very, very tight, you need to go now, now, now’. So I went immediately when they told me and it was not necessary at the end.

“So that was a misunderstanding obviously with a high price because at Barcelona if you start at the back, everything becomes more difficult.”

Alonso, who has not added to his points haul since the season-opener in Bahrain, says he will need some luck to finish in the top 10 on Sunday.

“There is not much you can do. This is Barcelona, not much overtaking, a lot of tyre degradation when you run behind cars. So let’s see.

“The last couple of races, people started at the back, they got very lucky and they scored points. I’m one of those tomorrow. So if I have one of those mega fantastic Safety Cars in the right moment, maybe I get lucky and I take a couple of points, but I doubt it. I think it’s going to be difficult race.”

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2022 Spanish Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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5 comments on “Alonso expects another point-less race after “misunderstanding” causes Q1 exit”

  1. Maybe he’ll just ignore a bunch of corners every once in a while to get himself into the top 10.

  2. There is a better way of comunicating, engineers should countdown the drivers on quali. A minimum s3 time is a must

    1. @peartree Minimum only encourages slow driving, so I assume you mean maximum.
      Time spent doing a slow lap isn’t really an issue, but leaving tight with remaining time & not warning soon enough about drivers on a flyer + staying on the racing line at snail’s pace, etc.

      1. @jerejj you can phrase it either way. minimum as in you minimum you cannot go above.

        Time spent doing a slow lap isn’t really an issue, but leaving tight with remaining time & not warning soon enough about drivers on a flyer + staying on the racing line at snail’s pace, etc.

        No it is, the longer you stay out there the more likely you are of causing a disturbance to other cars, and as cars loiter on s3 they often go too slow for their own good. All of the problems you allude cannot be fully solved, the required inter team communication required also extends beyond the interests at stake, these issues can be greatly improved by not overstaying on track when you are not on a lap. one can imply that by doing a final run on q many cars are out there largely to becone a nuisance as perhaps in q1 today.

  3. Bad luck happens to bad drivers. Alonso was okay in one race and one qualification this year, so it looks like no points again.

    Surely, he might be able to gain the pace, like he did last year. But I highly doubt that. The question is when will Alpine put Piastri instead of Ocon in a practice to see if he beats Alonso?

    PS: Ocon will get the points, 1 or 2.

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