January 29, 2023

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Alonso angry at 'too soft' race director: 'You have to deal with us'

Alonso angry at ‘too soft’ race director: ‘You have to deal with us’

Fernando Alonso has criticized race director Michael Massi after qualifying in Abu Dhabi. The Spaniard described him as “too weak” after another mess with traffic in Q2: “If you let us play with the chaos, you’ll always be a mess.”

In the second quarter of qualifying in Abu Dhabi, there was once again talk of “traffic paradise”. The drivers, who were fighting for a place in the top ten, came out at the same time and clearly wanted to have space on their last fast lap, but it also produced some tense moments. “It looks like they’re racing,” Carlos Sainz said on the onboard radio. In the last sector, the traffic was so accumulated that Sebastian Vettel came to a complete stop on the track and briefly caused a yellow flag to be issued. Fernando Alonso, who failed to reach the third quarter and finished 11th, criticized race director Michael Massi after qualifying.

“That lap was tough,” Alonso said after qualifying. “Unfortunately, nobody checks everything. The race director is very weak.”

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“If you let us play with chaos, you will always be a mess,” Alonso continues. “We need a referee to defend and deal with us and at the moment we don’t have a referee. In terms of the traffic itself, it was the fault of McLaren, the team or the driver or someone else,” points out Daniel Ricciardo, who gets in his way. “Even if there is a lot of traffic in the outside area, you should still stop when a faster car arrives. He did not step down.”

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For Alonso, qualifying antics were reason enough for the penalty shootout. “In Austria, Vettel took a penalty with three places, so I’m expecting three or more here. We’ll see where I start. I think I’ll start the ninth,” he said, expressing some hope of a better start. He has not received one at the moment: Esteban Ocon was reprimanded while Ricciardo and Vettel evaded a penalty.

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“I haven’t taken any exams this year to put others off, so you have to be dexterous,” Alonso says. “People who were not acute are being investigated. Usually they get a penalty, but here’s the other thing: It’s very random. There are no laws. Not to go out. You do not have to respect the maximum amount of time. They have to be strict with these kinds of decisions. If a person commits a fatal foul in football, he is awarded a red card. Here they struggle to show a yellow card at all. That’s why bad things like this keep repeating themselves,” concludes the Alpine driver.