Fernando Alonso has criticised F1’s rulemakers for favouring the big teams and said he expects the midfield runners to struggle with tyres in Austria this weekend.
Alpine driver Alonso conceded the Red Bull Ring is “not our best circuit” and after limiting damage in last Sunday’s Styria Grand Prix he feels it will be even harder in the second event at the circuit as the tyres put forward by Pirelli are a step softer.
Alonso explained: “Unfortunately, we have two races here, so we need to manage the damage that we can have in terms of points.
“On the tyres, it’s a little bit of an unknown. I think it’s going to be a challenge to do a one-stop if you start with the C5 [softest tyre in the range], maybe it is more difficult, so I guess the fast cars, they have the luxury to avoid that tyre.
“In the midfield, we don’t have that luxury, that’s the bad thing about the rules. They tried to invent one rule that could benefit the show, and they just benefit the big teams.”
Alonso – Alpine has lessons to learn
Alonso qualified ninth last Saturday but was promoted to start eighth due to Yuki Tsunoda’s penalty for blocking Valtteri Bottas in qualifying. The Spaniard fought hard on Sunday “with one eye on the mirror and one on the car in front” to claim ninth place in the race.
The teams race again at the same track this weekend and Alonso said: “We have something in our head to improve the performance of the car, so it’s a good opportunity to have a second race.
“I think we managed very well in race one, because we scored one more point than AlphaTauri and two less than Aston Martin, so we managed to limit this damage, but in race two I think it’s going to be another challenging weekend.
“We will try to do better, but it’s going to be difficult. I think this is our limit, I feel I was maximising everything in qualifying, being in Q3, and maximising the race being in the points.
“A very key point of the weekend was to qualify well and start eighth, I think without that the points were impossible, so we need to make sure that next weekend we also do a good Saturday.
“[Then] I really hope now that there is rain or something. If not, we will be around nine or tenth, so maybe we will need a little bit of extreme conditions to get better than that.”