Fernando Alonso almost crashes with Lewis Hamilton

Fernando Alonso claimed his worst qualifying position of the season so far in Azerbaijan, following a reported DRS failure.

After recently stating that he’d love to be team-mates with Lewis Hamilton once again, Fernando Alonso might be reconsidering his comment, with the duo having almost come together in qualifying on Friday at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

The former McLaren team-mates locked-out the third row of the grid on Friday, with Hamilton set to start Sunday’s race from fifth with Alonso alongside him in sixth.

Just 0.076s separated the experienced duo come the end of Q3; however, the story could’ve been very different had Alonso not taken avoiding action.

Alonso exited the pits for Q3 directly behind Hamilton, before having been surprised by the 38-year-old’s slow pace, with the Aston Martin driver having almost gone straight into the back of the Mercedes driver.

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To avoid hitting Hamilton, Alonso slightly locked-up his front left; however, it was nothing too costly for the Spaniard.

Neither driver ultimately had the pace to challenge the top four, with Alonso having perhaps been somewhat disappointing in qualifying, given that he’s been Red Bull’s closest challenger all season so far.

Alonso ended Q3 just over a second behind polesitter Charles Leclerc, with it being by far the biggest margin between the double World Champion and the pole time this season.

However, whilst it was only initially spotted on Lance Stroll’s car during Q3, it was reported by Albert Fabrega that Alonso was also without DRS in the final part of qualifying, costing him around six-tenths of a second.

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Had it not been for Alonso’s reported DRS failure then the Spaniard would’ve likely beaten fellow native Carlos Sainz to fourth, meaning the 41-year-old will certainly be up against it on Sunday should he want to extend his run of consecutive podium finishes.

Aston Martin’s DRS flap not opening is seemingly an issue they can’t get on top of in Azerbaijan, with Alonso having also complained to his team during Free Practice 1 that his DRS wasn’t opening.

Given that Stroll and Alonso had no DRS in Q3, it would suggest that the Silverstone-based team were unable to solve the problem, something they’ll be desperate to do before Saturday morning’s sprint qualifying.