Fernando Alonso endured a disappointing qualifying at the Spanish Grand Prix, with the Spaniard having been out-qualified by his team-mate for the first time this season.
The two-time World Champion did make it to Q3 but could only secure ninth on the grid in-front of his adoring home crowd, whilst Lance Stroll clinched sixth on the grid for Sunday’s seventh race of the 2023 season.
Alonso was a disappointing 1.2 seconds behind polesitter Max Verstappen, who didn’t even need to complete his second flying lap in Q3.
The home hero will be hoping to make significant progress on Sunday though, having been right behind Verstappen at the close of the action on Friday.
Ninth on the grid could potentially become eighth, due to Pierre Gasly being under investigation for two separate impeding incidents.
If found guilty of both, Gasly will likely receive a six-place grid penalty, demoting him from fourth to tenth.
The first of two incidents occurred in Q1 after the Alpine driver clearly impeded Carlos Sainz; however, miscommunication might have been involved.
It appeared that Gasly had been told that he had a Ferrari behind him, only issue though, was that he had two.
Gasly allowed Charles Leclerc past before sweeping across the path of a rapidly approaching Sainz, who complained over the team radio.
The second incident occurred moments later, this time at the end of the first sector.
Gasly remained on the racing line as Verstappen rapidly entered Turn 4, with the Dutchman having furiously complained about the Alpine driver over the team radio.
Interestingly, Alonso also complained about Gasly impeding Verstappen, with the Red Bull driver having overtaken the veteran right before he was impeded by the French driver.
Alonso informed his team of the incident and insisted that Gasly should receive a grid penalty, something he is at serious risk of.
“Big impeding on the Alpine on the outlap to Verstappen. Massive one, I mean, into Turn 4. That will be three places,” stated Alonso over the team radio.
Gasly is set to see the stewards twice for either incident, meaning it’ll be a busy afternoon for the Alpine driver.