Alonso looking to gain 'free positions' in Hungarian GP start

Fernando Alonso says being "clever" into Turn 1 of Formula 1's 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix will earn "positions for free" should Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collide once again.

The Alpine driver qualified ninth - one place and 0.06s behind teammate Esteban Ocon - in Budapest after enduring what he reckoned to be a supposed drop off in the Pirelli soft tyre performance in Q3 compared to the previous set he had used for his Q2 flying lap.

Alonso still heralded a "very important Saturday" at a tight circuit where it is notoriously "difficult to overtake" and reckoned his ninth spot would provide a greater benefit off the line, the Spaniard set to launch from the clean side of the grid, which is "more noticeable" in Hungary.

But he warned of the caution needed into the first corner should third-starting Verstappen and polesitter Hamilton clash in consecutive races following their controversial first-lap collision in the British Grand Prix earlier this month.

Double world champion Alonso reckoned drivers could gain positions "for free" if they were "clever" and were able to avoid getting involved in "a little bit of action" at the front.

He said: "I think it is going to be hotter in front of us. We will try to recover places. I think we can.

"In my case, I start on the clean side. This is one of the circuits that it is more noticeable starting on the clean side.

"My wish is to finish a little bit higher in the first lap. But I think we need to be careful because in front of us...I think something could happen tomorrow again.

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

"We have Max starting on the [quicker] red [sidewall soft] tyre, Lewis on the yellow [medium compound]. We have [Sergio Perez, fourth], [Pierre] Gasly [fifth] also.

"Behind them, [Lando] Norris and [Charles] Leclerc, which are some of the best starters. The first corner is going to be a little bit of action.
"We need to be clever to stay out of any trouble and benefit from whatever happens in front.

"We want a clean first lap because maybe there are some positions that come for free."

Read Also:

Alonso did explain the need to be wary with Daniel Ricciardo starting the race in 11th, the McLaren driver therefore gaining free choice for his starting tyre compound.

But Alonso rated his chances of scoring a sixth point-paying finish in a row, a run of form stretching back to a sixth-place score in Baku in June.

He said: "I will love to be in the points tomorrow - whatever position but in the points.

"We've been scoring for many, many races already. We start in eighth and ninth so maybe we are not too far from what we could achieve.

"But there are cars behind us, especially Ricciardo starting 11th, probably with a harder compound etc, that will be difficult to manage to stay in front of him."

shares
comments
Hamilton hopes Red Bull reflects on "unacceptable" remarks
Previous article

Hamilton hopes Red Bull reflects on "unacceptable" remarks

Next article

Wolff: Hungary pace consolidates Mercedes’ Silverstone upgrades

Wolff: Hungary pace consolidates Mercedes’ Silverstone upgrades
Load comments
The long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain Prime

The long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain

From ranking as one of the most impressive new teams to join the Formula 1 grid, Haas’s stock has plummeted along with its on-track performances over the past two seasons. Everything now hangs on whether its reforged alliance with Ferrari can deliver a better car – and whether its rookie drivers can set aside their quarrels. Oleg Karpov asks if any of these goals are achievable…

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race Prime

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race

OPINION: Max Verstappen has made the 2021 Formula 1 championship. He’s taken the fight to the all-conquering Mercedes squad and its dominant champion, produced driving displays few can match. But he’s been on a controversial course too, and finally crossed a particular line in Jeddah

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Prime

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Prime

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021