Fernando Alonso showed great pace at the wheel of his Alpine in all conditions in the first two days of the 2022 Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix, but on the last qualifying lap on Saturday he failed to nail his lap and finished seventh , several positions behind the target, as evidenced by his teammate’s fifth position.
In the race, the rain made an appearance in Suzuka and the session started with intermediate tires, something that caused several incidents to happen in the first lap due to the conditions of the track, which led to the red flag neutralization without so much as even complete the first two laps of the race.
Once it resumed, the drivers were forced to go out on the track with extreme wet tyres, but the conditions had improved and everyone quickly went into the pits to ride intermediates again, but Alonso had to continue one more lap on the track, since Esteban Ocon came in ahead and they didn’t have enough room between them to make a double pitstop.
That made the Spaniard lose several positions and had to come back. Back in seventh place, the wear was very high and Alpine called the Spaniard back into the pits, who after another comeback with newer intermediates crossed the checkered flag again in seventh place, less than two tenths behind Sebastian Vettel, who finished sixth.
As soon as he got off his A522, Alonso acknowledged that it had been a very strange Sunday for him.
“The whole weekend has been weird and the race has had to be this way. At the beginning on the extreme wet tyres, we stopped too late to put in the intermediates and I lost some position, and then at the end we decided to make another stop, but there were six laps to go I think, so I was a lap or two short of gaining any more places .”
“Then we also didn’t know if it was the last lap of the race or not , they warned me at the last corner. I think it’s the same for everyone, but inside the car it felt a bit chaotic.
The Asturian driver also spoke about the FIA after a controversial Sunday in which his image was somewhat damaged for two different reasons, firstly the appearance of a crane on the track when the cars were still running, and then Verstappen’s proclamation.
“It’s been a difficult weekend, or a difficult Sunday for the FIA . Now Max [Verstappen] is world champion, but 20 minutes ago he wasn’t, that sums up everything a bit about what was on Sunday.”
“We have to talk to the FIA, because after 2014 and the Jules [Bianchi] accident, they changed the whole system to prevent that from ever happening again and that we have seen it today, a crane on the track, it doesn’t matter if there is Safety Car, yellow flag, or red flag, a tow truck only has to come out when the cars are in the pitlane with the race neutralized.”
” We will try to help the FIA , see how and why it happened, and see who gave the order, in order to understand it. Now it is difficult to say,” Alonso concluded.