Fernando Alonso said Formula 1 let fans down after a problem with a CCTV system meant first practice was abandoned after four minutes of running.
His Aston Martin team arrived at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve intending to test a series of upgrades it brought for its AMR23. However Alonso was only able to complete three laps in his car in the first session before it was red-flagged.
The session was initially halted when Pierre Gasly’s car came to a stop on the circuit due to a problem on its spare steering wheel, which had been fitted for the opening session as a test. However race control was unable to restart the session due to a fault which meant it was not receiving up-to-date CCTV pictures, and therefore could not monitor the 4.3 kilometre track to ensure the safety of drivers.
“It was a shame,” said Alonso. “I think it was not ideal for the teams, but mostly it was for the fans that came very early to the circuit, and we were not able to run in FP1.
“From time to time it seems that we are shooting [ourselves] in our feet as a sport. These things are a little bit embarrassing.”
Alonso was able to cover 38 laps in second practice, which was extended to make up for some of the lost running in the first session. He lost further time as the session was red-flagged twice and heavy rain fell in the final 10 minutes. Alonso said the delays left Aston Martin without enough time to fully evaluate the changes to their car.
“We didn’t have time because FP1, unfortunately, the cameras or whatever on the circuit didn’t work and we didn’t have a Plan B, as all these times in this sport.”
However Lance Stroll played down the effect the disruption had on their preparations. “It’s the same for everyone,” he said.
“The car is feeling good,” he said. “I think we’re looking pretty good.”
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