Alpine’s Fernando Alonso cast a dejected figure in the media pen after qualifying after his chances of competing in the top ten shootout were destroyed by Sebastian Vettel in Q2.
Alonso was on his final flyer in the second segment of qualifying and approaching the final two corners at full speed when he stumbled upon a slow-moving Sebastian Vettel.
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The Aston Martin driver – who was in a slow queue of cars waiting to start a hot lap – had obviously not been warned by his team that Alonso was closing in.
After lifting off, the angry Spaniard gesticulated to Vettel while the German, who went on to qualify P8, responded with an apologetic wave.
“I think we have lost our opportunity to be tomorrow P5 or P6 on the grid, so a different race,” Alonso told Sky F1.
“Now I guess we will not score points tomorrow. Whatever penalty they give to the others, it is never enough, so…it’s the way it is.
“It was very badly managed by the people in front and I’m disappointed because I think we had the potential. It was probably our best car for qualifying this season and we didn’t maximise it.”
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FIA race director Michael Masi had warned drivers in Friday’s briefing not to slow between Turns 9 and 10 in a bid to create a gap with a car in front. But the prescription was obviously ignored by some.
“I think it has to be common sense,” said Alonso, referring to other drivers’ antics. “It has to be harsh penalties because it’s not right what happened today – very, very frustrating to lose a lot of points tomorrow and now we have a race we can forget.
“Starting 14th it’s over, so another weekend with a little bit of a strange situation for us.”
Vettel admitted he had not expected Alonso to suddenly appear and questioned his team over the radio as to why he had not been warned. But the German also laid the blame for his slow pace on those drivers ahead that had slowed and created a bottleneck.
At the head of the four-car train was Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas who was also summoned to the stewards for driving too in Q2 and who was suspected of causing the incident that ruined Alonso’s run, while Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was also called to the head masters’ office.
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