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Alonso denies Albon’s accusations of impeding in Q1

Fernando Alonso at the Azerbaijan GP. Credits: @OsOfficialF1 (Twitter).

Fernando Alonso states that he was not blocking his opponents in the final minutes of Q1 in Baku.

When Q1 was resumed after Lance Stroll’s crash, there were less than 3 minutes left in the session, meaning that track position was crucial. Alonso led a group of drivers and appeared to have been driving slowly. Furthermore, he went off the track at turn 15. It affected the flying lap preparation of those behind.

Alonso advanced to Q2 and finished qualifying 10th. Albon, who was eliminated in Q1, was frustrated and claimed that the Spaniard “was driving slowly on purpose.”

When asked if he had played tricks, Alonso said: “Not really. That corner I think we saw during qualifying that it was extremely challenging.

“I braked late, I could not make the corner I thought, so I took the escape road. McLaren did as well in Q2, Sebastian [Vettel] though that he could make the corner and broke the front wing. So, there’s always a tricky decision that you need to make in a tenth of a second.

“I know it resulted in frustration because there were queueing cars and only two minutes and a half at the end of Q1. Honestly, I understand them because I have been in the opposite position as well many times.

“I think Esteban [Ocon] missed Q3 because of a yellow flag in Q2 from McLaren, so we need to find a better solution for this kind of problem because we should all be able to make our laps.

“Even the old format with the superpole, where we all had one lap alone on track, maybe it was good for TV and it was good for us as well, because at the moment there is too much interaction with other cars, with tows, with yellows flags and this is not the best.”

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