Alonso expressed his disappointment once again after the race as Daniel Ricciardo and Charles Leclerc allegedly gained an unfair advantage on Lap 1 by running wide deliberately at Turn 1 to get ahead of the Spaniard. 

The Alpine driver was comfortably beaten by Ricciardo and Leclerc, ultimately finishing in tenth after overtaking Williams’ George Russell into Turn 4 in the closing laps of the race. 

Reflecting on what happened on the opening lap at the Red Bull Ring, Alonso described it as “unfair”.

“We raced in Austria two times in two weekends and I was the only one overtaking cars at the start, braking very late for Turn 1 one on the inside,” Alonso said. “I overtook Ricciardo and Leclerc this time and they went off track at the exit of [Turn] 1 and they exited in front of me. And even more than that, they take the run into the next car in front from the slipstream into Turn 3. 

“I felt that was very unfair today, again and it was last weekend. I was into Turn 1 in front of Charles and Ricciardo, and I exit Turn 1 then 50 metres behind Ricciardo and I was the only one making the corner, so you feel a little bit stupid.”

Alonso acknowledged that the stewards often take a more lenient view on the opening lap given that there are 20 cars in close proximity.

Although the two-time champion doesn’t believe either Ricciardo or Leclerc were forced off the track, rather it was their own choice to gain an advantage. 

“I think it’s written and it’s quite clear that on the first lap they are a bit more flexible on penalties and track limits, as we are fighting so sometimes you are forced to go outside the track because you are fighting and you are forced by another car and you take the runoff area,” Alonso added. 

“But it was not the case. It was just a pure performance decision to go outside and to keep the throttle on. There was no one side by side. So I don't think that is a grey area. It was quite clear.”

Race director Michael Masi explained why no one was penalised on the first lap in Austria.

“We look at it, one of the things we said, and this came about since the Paul Ricard 2019 [race], was the first lap and first couple of corners, if it exists, that a car needs to be back behind the car it entered the corner behind,” Masi explained. “We looked at the incident that Fernando was referring to and from the angles that we could see at the time, that was exactly what had occurred. 

“So that’s the general principle, because particularly in circumstances like that, everyone has asked, generally, to look at those things in a much lenient way and help the drivers and teams if they need to. That was looked at the time.”