Alonso feels penalty will be “never enough” after Vettel block ruins weekend

Fernando Alonso says Sebastian Vettel’s block in qualifying has effectively ruined his Austrian Grand Prix weekend after he missed the chance to capitalise on the potential of his Alpine Formula 1 car.
Fernando Alonso (ESP) Alpine F1 Team.
Fernando Alonso (ESP) Alpine F1 Team.

The two-time world champion had been third fastest in the opening segment of qualifying and appeared set to feature in Q3, but he was impeded by Vettel’s Aston Martin at the final corner as he finished his last lap of Q2.

Alonso’s wrecked lap leaves him 14th on the grid for Sunday’s race and he was left fuming over team radio after the session ended, shouting: “What the fuck?! I cannot believe it. We were top-three, top-four today. Fucking hell.”

The Spaniard was convinced he had the pace to challenge for the top five positions in qualifying but was left to rue an incident he feels has destroyed the rest of his weekend.

Speaking to Sky Sports F1 after qualifying, Alonso said: “I think we lost the opportunity to be P5, P6 on the grid and a different race. Now I guess we will not score points tomorrow.

"So whatever penalty they give to the others, this is never enough. It's the way it is.

"I think it was very badly managed by the people in front. I'm disappointed because I think we had the potential today. It was our best car probably of the season in qualifying and we didn't maximise it.”

While Alonso did not put the blame entirely on Vettel, he called for “harsh penalties” to be applied after a number of drivers were caught in a bottleneck between Turns 9 and 10 in qualifying.

"It is very confusing, you know, because I think a part of the talk of the rules that they are in place, it has to be common sense," he explained.

"It has to be harsh penalties, because it is not right what happened today. Very, very frustrating to lose a lot of points tomorrow. And now we have a race that we can't forget that starting 14th is over.

“So another weekend, with a little bit of a strange situation for us.”

Vettel insisted there was “not much I could have done” to prevent the unintentional block as he only saw Alonso “very late.”

"I think it's the fault of the drivers ahead that just keep jumping the queue,” Vettel said. “I don't think that is right, and not what we sort of agreed on.”

Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas was towards the front of the Q2 queue and has been summoned to the F1 stewards for allegedly backing up too much at the final sequence of corners. Ferrari's Carlos Sainz is also under investigation. 

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