“All champions have exploited a gray area”

The paddock looks with some suspicion at Red Bull after Verstappen’s title. Nobody doubts the superiority of the driver in 2022, that is why he has won the World Championship with four races still to be played, but the “minor infraction” in the spending ceiling of the Austrian team in 2021, less than 7.5 million euros, will raise suspicion around the car. According to the BBC, the FIA ​​has offered to settle the case with a confidential agreement that is on Christian Horner’s table. Remember the shadow of doping after a great cycling success. Because an extra in the budget has an impact on the current year’s car, but also on the development of the next one.

Alonso appeared in one of the first press conferences of the United States GP and, with a distance, expressed his position: “Honestly, I don’t know. We all wait to have more information about what happened. We trust the FIA, whatever decision they make, but we don’t have enough information to form an opinion. This has always been part of Formula 1. The cost ceiling is new, we have implemented it now, but there have always been things in aerodynamics that you could explore, gray areas. Always, people who have won championships have done so by exploiting a gray area. Then other teams copy it and get to that level, or that thing that was allowed for a couple of races gets banned. It is the nature of F1.”

“All the champions have gone over the gray areas. I can’t remember a champion team that hasn’t exploited some element that has surprised other teams. Brawn GP, ​​Red Bull 2012, the dominance of Mercedes…”, emphasizes the Asturian, who recalls the last confidential agreement reached by the FIA ​​to close an investigation: “Ferrari won two races in 2019 with something that everyone knew was not legal, and nothing happened. Those two victories remained. Imagine that they would have won the World Cup with that engine.” For the rest, he trusts “in the people who have power.” I’m just a pilot,” he says.

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Possible engine swap

In Austin, Alpine can change Alonso’s engine to arrive short of kilometers to the last races of the World Championship. “Here or in Brazil,” the pilot told AS. It comes from a strange Sunday in Japan, because he aspired to a better result (seventh) and the strategy did not make it easy for him. “There is nothing to discuss with the team. Sometimes we do well, other times we make mistakes, and mistakes were made in Japan. Nobody understood which tire was the best and you have to be lucky. If you stop early, like ‘Seb’ or Nicholas (Latifi) and there is a safety car, which could be with such poor visibility, you stay last. There may be a red flag and the positions are fixed. We lost a couple of positions, but that’s okay. It is what it is”.

Meanwhile, Ocon reaches the final phase of the championship with a 13-point lead over Fernando, something unprecedented among the two-time Spanish champion’s teammates. “He has been very good, competitive. We worked very well together at Alpine during these two years. Last year it was tight, at the beginning of the year he was faster in qualifying, in the race and in everything. This year I have a different opinion. It has been one of my best seasons, but the classification will not say that and I will probably finish behind”, Alonso points out. From the bottom of the grid it will be difficult to support the comeback. But without an engine swap, recurring reliability issues will be lurking in a fast-but-too-fragile Alpine A522.

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