(Motorsport-Total.com) – Fernando Alonso was accused by Alexander Albon of deliberately keeping off the track in the Baku Formula 1 qualifying race to trigger the yellow flag that secured the Spaniard a place in the second quarter. Alonso went straight into Turn 15 at the end of a frantic Q1, destroying the arms of everyone behind him.
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Alexander Albon should have been upset about his exit in the first quarter
One of them was Albon, who was driving right behind the Alps as it drove straight into the left turn. The Williams driver was only 17th and, like teammate Nicholas Latifi, retired for the first leg, while Alonso went one lap up 12th.
Albon was still certain in the warm-up: that was pure intent on Alonso’s part! He complained on the radio, “The guy just needs to be punished. It’s ridiculous. He did it all over the place. He was deliberately slow.” “It was pretty obvious the way he got off the track. He braked really early and just got off the track!”
For Albon, these are the usual “games” that drivers play in such a situation. All pilots had a maximum of one attempt after a late red flag and had to hit the gas so they could cross the finish line in time.
“Of course there are games then. Just reduce the number of people who can even start a lap and then make sure there are more yellow flags for cars behind you,” says Albon, but emphasizes, “I’m not mad at Fernando. I think he’s just a smart guy who plays the system really well.” “.
Alonso denies intention
However, Alonso himself denied that his trip was intentional: “Everyone is complaining about the yellow flag, but it wasn’t easy to master the curve today,” he says, blaming the old tires and also pointing to Sebastian Vettel, who’s in at the same point and got into the barriers.
“McLaren also decided to take the emergency exit – just like me,” says the Alpine driver. “My rear tires often lock up and the rear brakes get very hot,” he says. “And when I got back to the garage, the brakes were smoking a lot.”
But the Spaniard understands Albon’s claims: “There was a lot of frustration in everyone when a group of 15 cars tried to start a lap with two and a half minutes left. I understand it,” he said. But it was a mistake that could happen to anyone.
Albon wants to change the rule
There have been regular discussions in recent months about a possible penalty for drivers who fly a yellow or red flag in qualifying. Albon is now also calling for a rule change and believes the best time for the driver in question should be removed. “So far, a driver who makes a mistake has never been punished,” he says angrily.
But you can also talk about the rule of late red banners. As was the case last time in Monaco, a late break in the first quarter meant that all drivers had to exit the pits again at the same time to complete another lap. In Baku, everyone managed to cross, but not in Monte Carlo two weeks ago.
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“But I don’t know how to fix that,” Albon says. “Maybe you can get some extra time – a minute or so. But I haven’t really thought about that. I’ll let the others make the rules.”
Albon was already satisfied with his performance and is convinced he could have made it to the second quarter. “It was a good session and we did everything right,” he said. “We weren’t in a good position on Friday, but we turned things around.”
“We’re close to the second quarter again. Of course it’s frustrating to miss him by a narrow margin, but technically we couldn’t have done more today.”
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