Fernando Alonso gets to Q3 for the first time in Baku, putting his Alpine in ninth position in qualifying.
The qualifying sessions was not an easy one because of the many red flags which affected several drivers, Alonso and team mate Esteban Ocon included. Both Alpine drivers didn't have good luck with the timing as they failed to score a fastest lap with new tyres because of others accidents. Because of that, Fernando made two attemps in Q1, but aborted his last lap, placing 15th.
In Q2 the Spaniard clocked a fastest lap in the early minutes, in order to avoid the same situation of Q1 and, indeed, the race direction showed the rad flag again but the two-time world champion made it to Q3.
Needless to say, story repeated itself, and Fernando came back to the pits in 9th. Despite his qualifying result, he will place his A521 on the 8th spot on the grid tomorrow, thanks to Lando Norris three place penalty.
“It was a bit of a messy session today and it was difficult to get into any kind of rhythm during qualifying - said Fernando after the qualifying session - unfortunately, we were unable to exploit the full potential of the car as every time we fitted fresh tyres a red flag came out. But it’s the same for everybody, so we have to take the positives away from today. It’s my first time in Q3 here so that’s good and we can see what is possible tomorrow.”
Despite the results, Fernando couldn't keep himself speaking to Sky Sport F1, and criticized the rule which says all the drivers who crashed causing a red flag in quali are allowed to repair the car and change components without losing grid positions, as the rule gives them an unfair advantage.
Alonso added that if an IndyCar- style rule were introduced in F1 the drivers would be careful not to "drive over your possibilities."
"[It is] unfair probably that the people that crashed, they repair the car and they start in that position tomorrow. All the other cars, we are in parc ferme until tomorrow, we cannot touch the car, so why they can change all the parts that they caused the red flag? Maybe one day we are in that position and we take advantage of the rule.
"I think the people need to calm down a little bit and drive 98% in a street circuit because if you crash and you start last in the race, maybe you don't drive over your possibilities.
"And I think today with so many people driving over the possibilities of their car or their abilities."