Alonso questions F1 rules memory in ‘heat of fight’

Fernando Alonso has stressed that drivers are unable to remember the Formula 1 regulations at every moment of a Grand Prix, especially in the “heat of the moment”.

The regulations have become a major topic of discussion over the past two weeks following the collision between Lando Norris and Max Verstappen at the end of the Austrian Grand Prix.

Before the incident, Norris and Verstappen came close to colliding several times while battling for the lead, which resulted in the McLaren driver retiring from the race.

Verstappen saved fifth place despite receiving a 10-second penalty for being found at fault, and questions arose after that race about what was a fair and unfair defence under the rules.

Alonso – the most experienced driver on the grid – believes that when fighting for the lead, the rules can be forgotten and drivers ultimately trust each other to race fairly.

“You always race by trusting the other drivers,” Alonso told select media, including RacingNews365.

“The rules are something you take for granted because you forget about them for a moment when, in the heat of the moment, you’re fighting, sometimes for points, sometimes for the podium, sometimes even for the world championship.

“I fought for the world championship five times in the last race, in the last moment of the season. How can you think about the rules at a time like that?

“You’re overtaking or defending and you try to be fair, and you have to trust the drivers. That’s probably how we’ve always raced.”

Various “repercussions”

The two-time world champion has witnessed his fair share of collisions and incidents since his debut in 2001, so his thoughts on the Norris-Verstappen clash are fascinating.

Funnily enough, the Spaniard had no time before last weekend’s British Grand Prix to recall what happened at the Red Bull Ring because he was rushing to renew his passport.

However, the 42-year-old noted that collisions during the fight for the lead result in harsher penalties than a clash in midfield, which is not even shown on television.

“Any racing incidents that occur between the leaders will have much more serious repercussions,” Alonso stressed.

“Sometimes it happens that a case is between P14 and P15 and it is not even broadcast on television, so there are no repercussions.

“It’s so hard to comment on it. I haven’t seen it, I haven’t seen the details.”