Schumacher Scandal “Very Different” to Leclerc’s Qualifying Crash: Alonso

Published 05/23/2021, 4:58 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 15, 2021 Alpine’s Fernando Alonso in the FIA Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

Although Charles Leclerc took pole in Monaco, his crash at the end of Q3 is drawing far more attention than the massive improvement Ferrari has made. As several fans indulged themselves in a debate of it being intentional or not, Fernando Alonso gave his opinion.


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The Spaniard, who finished P17 on Saturday, brought back memories of the 2006 Monaco Grand Prix, which hosted the infamous “Rascassegate” scandal. Drawing comparisons between 2006 and yesterday to give his opinion, he points out the only debate that should be going on right now.

Fernando Alonso believes Leclerc’s crash is different from 2006


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In 2006, Monaco witnessed the “Rascassgate” scandal, where another Ferrari driver, Michael Schumacher stopped at Rascasse during qualifying. This brought out yellow flags, which stopped Fernando Alonso from going for a potential pole position.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Fernando Alonso of Spain and Renault Sport F1 poses for a photo with his 2005 F1 title winning Renault R25 and members of the Renault team from the same year during the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Alonso believes that apart from Max Verstappen, no one was improving their lap times before Leclerc’s crash yesterday. In addition, he thinks that the 2006 incident was worse since several drivers were putting on purple sector times.

The Spaniard said“I think it was Verstappen on the purple first sector, that was the only one. All the others, they were coming worse. So I don’t think that there is a big drama on this.

“In 2006 it was very different, I guess. It was a lot of people coming on purple and it was not a crash.”


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The only debate is if the car can be repaired and start on pole: Alonso

With Alonso believing the crash was unintentional, he thinks there should only be one debate at the moment: Can Ferrari fix the damage on Leclerc’s car?

“The only debate can be if that car can be repaired in parc fermé and go on pole position,” said Alonso.


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Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 22, 2021 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc celebrates pole position after qualifying Pool via REUTERS/Sebastien Nogier

Although he took pole position, Leclerc‘s crash caused potential gearbox damage. In the post-race interviews, Leclerc admitted to being worried about the amount of damage done to his car.

Should a new gearbox be fitted to Leclerc’s car, he will take a five-place grid penalty in today’s race. This would mean that he will start the race in sixth, with Verstappen moving to pole. However, Ferrari’s initial update looks positive for the Monegasque.


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Can Ferrari win the race against time to keep Leclerc on pole?


Sanket Nair

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Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.