Sainz and Alonso save the furniture in the face of an inconsistency

Not much more can happen in less time. and not for the walk of Verstappen and Pérez in the short classification to tie up the first row of the sprint. “The pole, the sprint pole or whatever it’s called,” his engineer announced to Max. But because Sainz brushed the machada and finished fifth with very used tires, when he was possibly the only one with the pace to beat the Dutchman; and Alonso saved the furniture directly with some Pirelli centenarians due to an inconsistency in the regulations. The Asturian will start seventh in the sprint although the positions may vary: Hulkenberg (4th) has an open investigation for joining the pit lane in a dangerous way (he climbed on a tire) and Leclerc (6th) can also lose three places for blocking Piastri in Q1.

Saturday morning at Spielberg was tense because it rained, but then the lane dried up. The FIA ​​decreed a wet track and that invalidated the regulations for this short classification. Theoretically you have to go with hard ones in Q1, medium ones in Q2 and soft ones in Q3. But if the session is declared in the wet, the choice of tire is free at all times. It didn’t make much sense, because not a single intermediate rubber was mounted. So the pilots who did poorly on Friday benefited, and who had brand new soft games (or who were left over, like Verstappen), and others like Carlos and Fernando, who spent all of their time during qualifying the day before, were harmed. .

It was not easy for Sainz, who went into Q1 with the clock about to announce the end due to a brake problem, and even so, without experience on that asphalt, he set the best time. He was also among the best in Q2. But in the final session, fifth was the most behind two Red Bulls with new wheels, and also behind the brand new Pirelli of Norris (3rd, huge this weekend with the McLaren because he could also save a new game for Saturday) and Hulkenberg. Carlos also did his time trial with the average. You also had to do the lap: Leclerc did have that new rubber and he wasted it with sixth place, just ahead of Alonso and his tires with 10 laps on him. The Aston Martin does not seem to stand out this weekend, but only they, Ferrari and Haas slipped their two cars into the top-10. Hamilton (18th) did not pass the first cut due to track limits and Russell (15th) had a hydraulic problem and did not start Q2. All in all, a far more hectic session than bland free practice would have offered. And in the afternoon (4:30 p.m. CET) there is a race, which is not bad either.

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Alonso: “It has been seen that the rules do not work”

Alonso was critical when getting out of the car: “Being in the top-8 with both cars is a miracle because with these rules we have only been able to use used tires for qualifying. I understand that if it is dry you have to use medium in Q1, medium in Q2 and what remains in Q3. But with these conditions the rules allowed the use of any wheel and it is a disadvantage for those who entered Q3 yesterday. I’m not very happy with the norm. I hope we improve the sprint format, This is a test to improve but we are fighting for big things in the championship and we shouldn’t find ourselves qualifying on used tires for doing well on Friday. They are different conditions to those who did not do so yesterday. It has been seen that the rules do not work, we are not on an equal footing”.

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