Fernando Alonso, Alpine, Red Bull Ring, 2022

“Oh, so unlucky!” How Alonso’s cursed Austrian Grand Prix unfolded on his radio

2022 Austrian GP team radio transcript

Posted on

| Written by

Fernando Alonso left the Red Bull Ring with one of the most hard-earned points in his career of almost record-breaking length.

The Alpine driver’s weekend began to go awry when his car refused to fire up before the start of Saturday’s sprint race. That condemned him to line up on the back row of the grid.

His A522 was coaxed into life for the grand prix, however. There it spent the opening laps at the back of a queue of cars which Alonso was clearly capable of lapping faster than.

Alonso demonstrated his characteristically terrific race pace when he had the chance to. Unfortunately his team found it difficult to seize those opportunities, and Alonso made his feelings clear when he emerged immediately behind a rival after one pit stop.

That pace put him on course for a finish well inside the top 10, potentially even immediately behind team mate Esteban Ocon, who had started sixth and finished a season-best fifth. But Alonso was dealt another blow when a wheel worked loose after what should have been his final pit stop, forcing him back in.

Nonetheless he displayed impressive tenacity by fighting back into the top 10 again, and snatching the final point from Valtteri Bottas as they began their last lap. Even so, it was a race which left you wondering where he might have finished had he started where he should have done.

Fernando Alonso’s Austrian Grand Prix team radio messages

From 19th on the grid, Alonso immediately picked off Sebastian Vettel at the start. However he then found himself stuck behind Nicholas Latifi, and unable to get past the Williams.

Lap: 1 Position: 18 Lap time: 1’21.839
Lap: 2 Position: 17 Lap time: 1’13.567
Loos DRS enabled, DRS enabled.
Lap: 3 Position: 17 Lap time: 1’12.105
Lap: 4 Position: 17 Lap time: 1’12.177
Loos Seeing some rear locking for turns one and three so we could go forwards on bias.
Loos SOC seven available to recharge quicker. For info Perez, who was off on lap one, stopped for hard tyres.
Lap: 5 Position: 17 Lap time: 1’11.670
Loos Okay battery full.
Lap: 6 Position: 17 Lap time: 1’11.948
Lap: 7 Position: 17 Lap time: 1’12.207
Loos Okay we’re at brake phase one for rears.
Lap: 8 Position: 17 Lap time: 1’12.238
Alonso I am so much faster.
Loos Yep, copy that.
Loos So in the meantime Bottas has stopped behind for hards.

Alonso claimed Latifi was repeatedly exceeding track limits. However the stewards did not agree the Williams driver was running wide as often as his pursuer claimed. At the point Alonso said Latifi had already gone off the confines of the track five times, but the stewards had only recorded him of doing so once, on lap 10.

However, Latifi came into the pits two laps later and Alonso’s slow progress up the order continued.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Lap: 9 Position: 17 Lap time: 1’12.348
Lap: 10 Position: 17 Lap time: 1’12.469
Lap: 11 Position: 17 Lap time: 1’12.413
Alonso The Williams is constantly out of the track in nine.
Loos Copy that.
Loos Brake phase two.
Alonso It’s been five times I counted.
Loos Copy.
Alonso Six.
Lap: 12 Position: 14 Lap time: 1’12.782
Loos Copy. Think about SOC 14 and overtake available.
Lap: 13 Position: 12 Lap time: 1’12.444
Loos Okay so you’ve got Vettel close to you.
Alonso Yeah unbelievable Latifi put me this [unclear].
Lap: 14 Position: 12 Lap time: 1’12.013
Loos You’re 1.2 behind Zhou in front. Vettel 0.9 so he’s further back than previous lap.
Alonso Six times in front of my eyes off-track, six.
Loos Understood.
Loos 1.1 to Zhou.

Alonso quickly caught Zhou Guanyu, who was behind Yuki Tsunoda. His lap times rose by over six tenths of a second as he sat behind them.

Lap: 15 Position: 11 Lap time: 1’11.592
Loos Nice one, Vettel out of your DRS.
Loos Go shape four please, shape four.
Lap: 16 Position: 10 Lap time: 1’12.053
Loos So Tsunoda and Zhou in front on hard tyre.
Lap: 17 Position: 8 Lap time: 1’12.019
Loos Okay how are the tyres?
Alonso Rear deg and traction.
Lap: 18 Position: 8 Lap time: 1’12.207
Lap: 19 Position: 8 Lap time: 1’12.075
Alonso Man they are so slow.
Loos Yep copy that.
Loos Got SOC 14 available and overtake.
Lap: 20 Position: 8 Lap time: 1’12.276

On lap 15 Ocon pitted from third place as Alpine tried to maximise his chances of out-running the pursuing Mercedes. This was bad news for Alonso: Ocon emerged behind him and Alpine soon asked him to make way for his team mate.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Lap: 21 Position: 9 Lap time: 1’12.729
Loos Okay so Fernando car behind you is Esteban. Want to swap cars around.
Loos Two seconds behind is Magnussen. You’re racing him.
Lap: 22 Position: 9 Lap time: 1’11.965
Lap: 23 Position: 9 Lap time: 1’13.010
Lap: 24 Position: 10 Lap time: 1’13.765
Loos [Unclear] behind.
Loos Car behind now is Schumacher, seven-lap-old hard tyres.
Loos Schumacher 0.4 behind.

It got worse for Alonso as he now fell into the clutches of Ocon’s pursuers. Kevin Magnussen, Lando Norris and Mick Schumacher all had fresher tyres on and passed Alonso easily, costing him more time. Meanwhile Ocon had cleared Zhou and Tsunoda, and was catching Lance Stroll ahead.

Alonso exclaimed in frustration as he saw how much time he had lost to the cars he was racing against.

Lap: 25 Position: 11 Lap time: 1’12.446
Alonso Oh, so unlucky with the traffic, mate. We were much faster than Stroll.
Loos Copy that mate. Keep your head down.
Loos Okay so at the moment we’re thinking of plan B.
Lap: 26 Position: 10 Lap time: 1’11.587
Alonso Oh, I like it. I like it.
Loos Copy.
Loos Torque minus one.

Alpine chose this time to pit Alonso, one lap after Tsunoda ahead of him. It got him ahead of Zhou, but he was disappointed in the timing of the stop compared to the AlphaTauri. Alonso’s criticism of his team was played on the world television broadcast.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Lap: 27 Position: 12 Lap time: 1’15.819
Alonso In the straights now [unclear] the DRS train I’m fast.
Loos Box this lap, box this lap.
Alonso Okay.
Loos It’ll be close on pit exit so let’s use overtake on pit exit.
Lap: 28 Position: 18 Lap time: 1’27.661
Loos So we’re close to Tsunoda and Zhou on pit exit. Battery is full.
Alonso Why did you put me in this situation? Give me some tyre advantage to them, please. I was in a DRS train. You will not undercut them when we stop, I mean. Very basic.
Loos Copy that mate.

With a new set of tyres on, Alonso passed Tsunoda on lap 32 and reeled off a series of quick laps. That brought him onto the tail of Stroll, who he passed on lap 39.

Lap: 29 Position: 18 Lap time: 1’10.308
Loos 1.1 to Tsunoda ahead. Zhou is 0.9 behind you. So you’ve got pace on Tsunoda, let’s get him again.
Loos 0.9 behind Tsunoda.
Lap: 30 Position: 18 Lap time: 1’10.731
Lap: 31 Position: 18 Lap time: 1’11.722
Alonso He got the DRS from the Williams. [unclear] in turn three.
Lap: 32 Position: 17 Lap time: 1’11.130
Lap: 33 Position: 16 Lap time: 1’11.157
Loos So Tsunoda still 0.8 behind, think about SOC 10 to break DRS. Then ahead of you is Stroll, four-lap-old hards.
Lap: 34 Position: 16 Lap time: 1’10.755
Lap: 35 Position: 16 Lap time: 1’10.825
Loos PU30 position seven.
Lap: 36 Position: 16 Lap time: 1’10.918
Loos Okay mate last lap half a second quicker than Stroll ahead.
Lap: 37 Position: 16 Lap time: 1’11.015
Loos Time to gain braking for turn one and mid-corner turn four.
Loos Brake phase zero.
Lap: 38 Position: 16 Lap time: 1’11.241
Alonso So Stroll is alone on the track. I get to him and we get to pass as well?
Lap: 39 Position: 14 Lap time: 1’12.405
Loos So Stroll has Bottas in front of him on 32 lap old hard tyres.
Alonso Yeah I mean the coincidence is [unclear]
Loos So Bottas has boxed so Stroll is vulnerable.

Alonso’s next position gain fell into his lap: Pierre Gasly and Sebastian Vettel collided ahead of him. Alexander Albon then pitted before Alonso could catch him, allowing the Alpine to run in consistent clear air.

A new threat had emerged behind, however. Race leader Charles Leclerc was getting close to lapping him. Alonso had to keep his pace up to reduce the chance of being shown blue flags which would force him to slow down and let the leader by.

The picture complicated further when Ocon pitted for the second time and rejoined behind his team mate.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Lap: 40 Position: 12 Lap time: 1’11.317
Loos For info track is clear again. Watch out for some gravel after turn five.
Loos One second behind Gasly.
Lap: 41 Position: 11 Lap time: 1’10.941
Loos Okay so we’ve got four-and-a-half seconds to Albon ahead.
Loos Albon is on 29-lap-old hard tyres.
Loos And so Albon has boxed.
Lap: 42 Position: 9 Lap time: 1’11.173
Loos Were status zero, please.
Loos Back left available for turn six. Back left available for turn six.
Lap: 43 Position: 9 Lap time: 1’10.889
Loos Okay so for info behind Stroll is race leader Leclerc, he’s still three and a half seconds behind you. Leclerc has a four-and-a-half second gap to Sainz in P2.
Lap: 44 Position: 7 Lap time: 1’10.802
Loos So Leclerc now 2.7 behind. He’s doing 10.5.
Lap: 45 Position: 5 Lap time: 1’10.792
Loos So Leclerc 1.8 behind. Behind Leclerc is Esteban who just stopped again.
Loos Okay we’ve got B-bal six available for turn four.
Lap: 46 Position: 5 Lap time: 1’10.681

Ocon was lapped by Leclerc, but un-lapped himself shortly before the leader pitted. Alonso, meanwhile, successfully stayed far enough ahead of the Ferrari to avoid being lapped.

Lap: 47 Position: 5 Lap time: 1’10.653
Loos 24 laps to go.
Loos You’re doing the same lap times as Leclerc behind.
Loos Back right available for turn 10.
Alonso Do we still want to pass him, to lose a little bit of time. Because we may need to let both of them go, I will lose seconds again.
Loos Understood. Esteban is trying to un-lap himself.
Lap: 48 Position: 5 Lap time: 1’10.447
Loos Car behind you now is Esteban.
Alonso Yeah maybe don’t bring forward Leclerc [unclear] in the train
Loos Copy.
Lap: 49 Position: 5 Lap time: 1’10.492
Loos 22 laps to go. So Leclerc has stopped again. So car behind is Esteban, 1.7 behind, he has a two-second gap to Russell.
Lap: 50 Position: 5 Lap time: 1’10.698
Loos So gap to Esteban behind is 1.5 seconds.

For the second time in one race, Alonso was told to let Ocon by. He was then quickly caught by Russell, who he put up more of a fight against before losing the position.

Lap: 51 Position: 5 Lap time: 1’10.507
Loos So Esteban one second behind, Russell 1.3 behind Esteban.
Loos Esteban 0.9 behind, he has DRS, you don’t want to hold him up.
Lap: 52 Position: 6 Lap time: 1’11.593
Alonso Yeah what do you want to do? I mean, I will lose a lot of race time.
Alonso Let him go?
Loos Let him go, please, yes.
Alonso Understood.
Loos So Russell 0.8 behind. Both Safety Car windows are open.
Lap: 53 Position: 6 Lap time: 1’10.509
Lap: 54 Position: 7 Lap time: 1’11.320
Loos So Russell 0.4 behind.
Loos So in your pit window Albon and Bottas, they’re going to lose time with some blue flags.
Alonso Copy.
Lap: 55 Position: 7 Lap time: 1’10.172
Lap: 56 Position: 7 Lap time: 1’10.583
Loos [Unclear]

The cards appeared to fall Alonso’s way when Carlos Sainz Jnr’s retirement caused a Virtual Safety Car period. That offered Alonso an opportunity to make his second pit stop while minimising his time loss.

But soon after he rejoined he realised something wasn’t right with the car. Exactly what Alonso could see of the developing problem with his front-left wheel isn’t clear. He kept his communication with the team to an absolute minimum, telling them only that he needed to pit again.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Lap: 57 Position: 6 Lap time: 1’20.896
Loos So we got Sainz off at turn four at the moment. Safety Car window is open. And how’s balance?
Alonso It’s okay.
Loos So watch out turn four. Watch out turn four. Car is on fire, might roll on-track. Watch out turn four. Double yellow there.
Alonso Yeah car on fire and there is a lot of debris out of four.
Loos Copy.
Alonso I think Safety Car.
Loos Virtual Safety Car. Virtual Safety Car. So watch your delta and boxing this lap.
Alonso Okay, box, box.
Loos Pushing on pit entry and pit exit.
Lap: 58 Position: 10 Lap time: 1’52.629
Alonso Copy.
Loos Okay let’s push on pit exit to Safety Car line two. It’s going to be close with Ricciardo. And respect your delta again please.
Alonso Box again, box again.
Loos Okay, what’s the issue?
Alonso Box again.
Loos Copy. Box, box.
Alonso Box. Check front left.
Loos Copy.

Why did Alonso avoid going into any detail about his problem? Likely because, had he said anything concerning a problem with his car, the team’s rivals and the stewards would have been alerted to Alpine potentially having released his car in an unsafe condition and an almost certain penalty.

As it was, the stewards took an interest in the problem anyway, and investigated whether Alonso’s loose wheel had been caused by the team releasing the car from the pits in an unsafe condition. They later ruled Alpine had followed all necessary rules.

“In the hearing, the driver stated that he cannot see the rim of the wheel and that all he felt was a small vibration,” the stewards explained.

Even so, the second pit stop was a hammer blow to Alonso’s fine recovery effort. Having originally rejoined immediately behind Daniel Ricciardo in 10th place, by the restart Alonso was down to 14th and back behind Stroll. He told his team to forget about scoring any points for the afternoon.

Lap: 59 Position: 14 Lap time: 1’29.116
Loos Okay VSC is ending now. So will be close with Stroll on pit exit. And you’re racing again. Recharge off.
Alonso Which position was Ricciardo?
Loos Ricciardo is P9.
Alonso Okay well, we lost again. Four points.
Loos 11 laps to go mate, let’s push to then end.
Alonso Which position I am?
Loos Currently P14.
Alonso Yeah, forget, man.
Loos Cars ahead are all on old tyres. Let’s give it a go.
Lap: 60 Position: 14 Lap time: 1’09.357
Loos 1.1 behind Stroll.
Lap: 61 Position: 13 Lap time: 1’08.665

However, Alonso set about mounting another fightback and by lap 62 he’d already passed Stroll and Gasly.

Lap: 62 Position: 12 Lap time: 1’08.558
Loos So eight laps to go. Six seconds ahead are Albon and Bottas who are fighting for P10.
Lap: 63 Position: 12 Lap time: 1’08.965
Loos Both Bottas and Albon are on over 20-lap-old hard tyres.
Lap: 64 Position: 12 Lap time: 1’09.250
Loos Gap is now five seconds.
Loos 3.4 seconds to Albon ahead.
Lap: 65 Position: 12 Lap time: 1’09.322
Loos Gap is 1.9 to Albon.
Loos So Albon ahead just lost DRS to Bottas. Bottas P10.
Lap: 66 Position: 12 Lap time: 1’09.901

Alonso passed Albon on lap 67, leaving only Bottas between him and the points. He got the Alfa Romeo on the final lap, bagging a single point for a hard afternoon’s work.

Lap: 67 Position: 11 Lap time: 1’09.457
Loos So two seconds to Bottas ahead.
Loos Three laps to go, got SOC four available.
Lap: 68 Position: 11 Lap time: 1’09.347
Alonso What distance?
Loos 1.9. 1.9.
Loos 1.7.
Loos SOC four available.
Lap: 69 Position: 11 Lap time: 1’09.229
Loos 1.6. Got one more lap after this one. 1.4 to Bottas.
Loos [Unclear]
Lap: 70 Position: 10 Lap time: 1’08.845
Loos Overtake available. Overtake available.
Loos Nice one mate let’s bring it home.

Become a RaceFans Supporter

RaceFans is run thanks in part to the generous support of its readers. By contributing £1 per month or £12 per year (or the same in whichever curreny you use) you can help cover the costs of creating, hosting and developing RaceFans today and in the future.

Become a RaceFans Supporter today and browse the site ad-free. Sign up or find out more via the links below:

2022 Austrian Grand Prix

Browse all 2022 Austrian Grand Prix articles

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

18 comments on ““Oh, so unlucky!” How Alonso’s cursed Austrian Grand Prix unfolded on his radio”

  1. I really enjoy these deep dives into specific drivers’ races, especially when they have had such a race with a lot happening, thanks!

  2. Alonso’s speed with the Alpine is very positive, but I prefer to keep quiet about other things.

  3. I think the wheel situation was safe. The wheel wouldn’t come off the axle – it wasn’t installed correctly, that’s true. But I don’t think anything bad would happen.
    Alonso also just said that now [only now] he is happy with his performance. Well, we’ll see. He needs a couple of top 10 finishes ahead of Ocon, preferably, top 5 or 6. But I doubt that.

    1. I disagree there Sviat. Sure, now that the tyres/hubs are made so that wheels “cannot” fly off anymore it is somewhat less of a safety risk. And in this situation they were going lower speed.

      But it is pretty clear that Alonso kept quiet only because he knew full well that the team would deserve an unsafe release penalty.

    2. Kimi at the very same track shows you are wrong.

      1. Also think about hungary 2006, alonso himself, but I admire him for the decision to hide the issue in order to go for points.

  4. “Loos: Seeing some rear locking for turns one and three so we could go forwards on bias.”
    “Loos: Time to gain braking for turn one and mid-corner turn four.”

    This is an example of what I dislike about radio during the race, it becomes driver coaching. During practice that’s fine, that’s what practice is for, but during the race I’d prefer it to be down to the skills of the driver.

    1. I’d prefer the driving be done solely by the driver, all the time. That’s their job….
      Even the rules are written in direct support of this (the driver must drive alone and unaided at all times) but they’re never applied.
      F1 and their ‘rules’ (or suggestions, as I think of them)…

      1. I’d be happy if drivers could speak to the pits at any time they want, but pits could only reply

        – on formation lap
        – when car is in pit lane
        – during safety car

        Otherwise, the pits can only use the radio for specific safety instructions such as “debris on turn 6”, strategy instructions such as “pit in three laps time”, “allow Alonso to overtake”, etc, and position and gap info, weather reports, advising of penalties and warnings for off-track etc. If the pit wall has to give any instructions to the driver about the operation of the car itself such as “select mode C5” etc, then that should be an automatic stop-go penalty. If the cars are so complicated that the drivers cannot drive them unaided then that’s poor car design, and if you had automatic penalties for pit wall instruction then it follows that a car with a better-designed control system would gain an advantage. Most of all though, if the driver is having to make their own decisions about power modes, brake balance, etc, it creates much more variation between the cars.

        1. Agree 99%.
          The other 1% is that I think the pits shouldn’t be talking to the driver on the formation lap at all.

          All sports are better when the coaching stops before the competition starts.

  5. Fantastic insights !

    I must say that individual onboard cameras are probably the nicest feature ever. I can easily deep dive into onboards for another two hours to get a grasp of each teams’ and drivers’ strategies.

    A good feature on F1TV would be the video syncing between screens though. It would allow to replay the races from different perspectives and while it’s easy to do when live it’s complicated when replaying it.

    1. You don’t know how we envy you, those of us who live in countries where it’s not available (thanks to exclusivity contracts with local television stations that give worse coverage). I can only do that with last year’s races on F1TV :( As you say, it must be a great way to “extend” the time one enjoys the GP.

      As for the article, I love these transcripts, they give a very good picture of how each driver (and his engineer) “suffers” a race

  6. Alpine’s decisions in the races have consistently been hurting Alonso. It seems that the team wants to see Ocon finish higher than Alonso.

    1. I am beginning to think the same.
      He was 4th quickest lin FP2 yet 2 hours later they can’t get his car started for the sprint. To make matters more puzzling, they think it was an electric motor but still don’t know for sure.
      The head honcho Rossi got rid of Prost and Bidkowski and replaced the latter with Omar who was with Ocon at Race Point and clearly favored the French driver over Perez.
      There have been too many strategy mistakes and DNF’s for coincidence. And the Omar denies they are letting ALO down! They want him out and Piastri in that seat.
      I’d be surprised if they re-sign him.

  7. Nice bonus of adding the lap times to these feature now. Insane pace

    1. Thanks for noticing! Glad you found it useful. Will keep looking for more ways we can improve these.

  8. Good riddance.
    Alpine blocking other driving in Monaco backfired…

    1. *drivers

Comments are closed.