Fernando Alonso has come and out criticised Formula 1 race director Michael Masi as “too soft” following the final sector chaos in Q2, which resulted in a traffic jam of cars going slowly.
With the Abu Dhabi track evolving quickly as the session went on, drivers left their final laps in Q2 to the very last moment, which meant a bunch of cars were caught up in the final sector as they tripped over one another.
Sebastian Vettel was seen coming to a halt altogether in an effort to create a gap to the car ahead, but that proved useless as other cars simply went around him.
Alonso was also caught up in the mess and saw his quick lap interrupted by the McLaren of Daniel Ricciardo, which saw the Spaniard fail to escape Q2 and qualify 11th.
The Alpine driver says nobody within the FIA is policing this, branding Masi “too soft”, but expects the stewards to penalise Ricciardo.
“That lap was wild,” Alonso said. “Unfortunately, we don’t have anybody policing this. [The] race director is too soft.
“If you let us play with the outlaps, it’s always going to be a mess. We need a referee to protect us and at the moment, we don’t have it.
“Then on the traffic itself, [it was] McLaren’s fault, the team or driver or whatever. Even if there’s a lot of traffic on the outlap, you need to move when a fast car is coming. He didn’t move.”
“In Austria, Vettel got three places so I expect three places minimum or more. We’ll see where I start. I think I’ll start ninth in my opinion.”
Asked if there were serial offenders or if it was a wider issue, Alonso added: “No it’s everybody. We do that as well on the outlap too, sometimes there is no way we can pass, and we are slower than what we want. But our team is very sharp in telling us when a faster car is coming.
“I have had zero investigations for impeding in the whole year, so you also have to be sharp. The people that are not sharp are investigated. Normally they get the penalty, but this is another thing, it’s very random.
“There are no rules. Not for the outlap, there are no minimum times to respect. They have to be harsh in some of the decisions. In football, when somebody makes a tackle and there is a big penalty or whatever, there is a red card, here, they’re struggling to show a yellow or red card. That’s why we keep repeating the same bad things.”