Fernando Alonso has backed the changes that have been made to Formula 1 grid boxes for the Australian Grand Prix weekend.
The boxes have been widened by 20 centimetres after two penalties were handed out for starting infringements at the first two races.
In Bahrain, Esteban Ocon has penalised as the Stewards found his front right tyre was outside of his starting box.
Alonso was found guilty of the same infringement in Jeddah, albeit on the left side of his car.
As well as the widened grid box, there is also an added central line – however Alonso says that particular element won’t serve as being useful to the drivers.
“The central line? I don’t think so,” he said when asked if the changes would help.
“You approach the box looking sideways, so you’re not looking forward, so that’s the biggest difficulty.”
However, he says that extending the boxes in width should help avoid a repeat of the penalties that were seen in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
“The 20 centimetres will help I guess,” he said. “There’s going to be some circuits, maybe Monaco, or Imola that you start a little bit sideways anyway.
“Because if not you crash if you start there straight. So, we’ll have to see how we apply the penalties and things like that in those races.
“But yeah, no one wants to get a penalty for the start.
“Also, I think the FIA doesn’t want to have any problem with that, because there is no performance advantage, as long as you don’t go too forward. Hopefully we avoid anything from now on.”
Alonso says that his view from the cockpit hasn’t changed much compared to 2022, but accepts that he made an error in Jeddah.
“Apparently this year, it seems even more, because in two races to have two penalties is a little bit strange. But yeah, I mean, in my case, it didn’t change much from last year,” he said.
“It is difficult and we are very concentrated on the yellow line to not go too far forward.
“So, you approached the box, let’s say, not looking at the box, you are looking on one side of the cockpit. So maybe that’s a bit of a distraction.
“But yeah, I made a mistake there. So we will try to be more focused on the box this weekend and avoid any penalty.”
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