Not Vettel, a Wager With Alpine F1 Crew May Have Cost Alonso Shot at Q3 in Austria

Published 07/06/2021, 4:00 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Formula One – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 3, 2021 Alpine’s Fernando Alonso walks the circuit with his team ahead of the Grand Prix REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov


The Q2 incident at the Austrian Grand Prix F1 weekend between Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel left the former absolutely furious, as he yelled on his team radio, displaying an incredible level of frustration.

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However, F1 podcast host, Tom Clarkson, opened up about a hilarious back story to Alonso’s infamous Q2 incident at the Red Bull Ring.

The Spaniard had apparently agreed upon a wager with one of his engineers ahead of the qualifying session.  And, it looks like Alonso could have made it into Q3, if not for the wager.

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The Fernando Alonso wager story

During a podcast, Tom opened up about the hilarious story revolving around Alonso and his engineer. The bet was on the Spaniard to make it into Q3 with just one running.

A fun little Fernando story, talking of his engineers. Before qualifying, one of his engineers took a £10 note and said, ‘Fernando, if you can get through to Q3 with two sets of soft left, you can have this £10 note’,” Tom told the F1 Nation podcast.

Formula One F1 – Steiermark Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Styria, Austria – June 25, 2021 Alpine’s Fernando Alonso in action during practice REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

So, to do that, he needed to get through to Q2 with just one lap, one flying lap. Yes, he did do that, which would have meant he had the two sets of soft for Q3. But then, of course, the Vettel incident happened, and he didn’t actually get through to Q3.

Everyone was angry in the team, frustrated. And then, Fernando just went up to this engineer and said, ‘I still want the tenner’. Apparently, he loves all those little games,” he laughingly added.

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Strong comeback during the F1 race

Alonso may have missed out on Q3 qualification on Saturday, but Sunday turned out to be much better for the Spaniard. Alpine suffered a massive blow on lap 1 when Esteban Ocon suffered terminal suspension damage, leaving the French outfit to invest their entire focus on Alonso, and little did he mess up.

Alonso drove a brilliant race to somehow carry his team into the top 10. With just over three laps to go, Alonso found a way past George Russell and moved up to P10.

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Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 4, 2021 Alpine’s Fernando Alonso before the race Pool via REUTERS/Christian Bruna

Ultimately, the Austrian GP also ended up being the fourth consecutive race where Alonso scored points for Alpine. The Spaniard is constantly chipping in points, helping the French outfit inch closer to Aston Martin and AlphaTauri.

So, will the Alpine duo put up a powerful show at Silverstone to leapfrog into the top 5 on the constructor’s standings? Only time will tell.

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Rohit Kumar

948 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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