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Fernando Alonso

Alonso issues FIA demand over Sprint incident

Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso feels Ferrari's Carlos Sainz should have been investigated for a defensive move on lap one at the Baku City Circuit.

Alonso Baku Sprintrace
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso believes he was illegally blocked by Ferrari's Carlos Sainz during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix Sprint and has called on the FIA to "police" the rules properly.

The two-time World Champion made a stellar start from eighth on the grid to jump Alex Albon's Williams and Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes into Turn 1 before battling compatriot Sainz into the second corner.

But Alonso was forced to back out of any potential overtake following a robust defensive move from Sainz, eventually keeping the AMR23 behind for the duration of the 17 laps to finish fifth.

Speaking to Sky Sports F1, Alonso suggested Sainz be put under investigation for what he believed to be a dangerous manoeuvre.

"I think I passed Alex and Lewis into Turn 1, but Carlos put me into the wall at the entry of Turn 2 so I had to lift off," explained Alonso.

"If I didn't lift off, we would [have] both crashed. So I hope that the FIA will look at this now and maybe a top-five is still possible.

"It was a little damage limitation to be honest, we are not super fast but our main competitors in the Constructors', which is Mercedes at the moment, they finished only a few points in front of us and [in the race] George [Russell] is starting 11th so we have an opportunity to outscore them."

Offering further insight to the Sainz battle, Alonso added: "I think the rules are clear. If you are side-by-side, you cannot go to the side where that car is and squeezing into the wall until they lift off.

"We don't need anything, we just need to police it properly."

Aston Martin has experienced its toughest weekend of the season so far with both Alonso and teammate Lance Stroll plagued by DRS issues since the solitary practice session on Friday.

With parc fermé conditions in place since before qualifying, the Silverstone-based outfit has been limited in its repair options but referring to the DRS functionality in the Sprint, Alonso said: "It did work, I pressed the button two times and it did open - the third time I am not sure because I was not looking in the mirror so I am sure the team is still analysing everything and we have one more chance before tomorrow's race.

"Hopefully, everything is ok."

F1 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


ANALYSIS Stroll is currently Aston Martin's weak link and is costing them