Fernando Alonso believes the decision to hand him a 10-second time penalty at the Saudi Arabian GP should have been made during the race; watch the Australian Grand Prix live on Sky Sports F1 between March 31 and April 2
Last Updated: 19/03/23 8:46pm
Fernando Alonso has hit out at the FIA after a post-race 10-second time penalty demoted him from third to fourth at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Alonso, who started the race in P2 and led for the first four laps after overtaking pole-sitter and eventual winner Sergio Perez, was quickly given a five-second time penalty for an incorrect start position as he lined up too far to the left of his grid box.
The Spaniard served the penalty under a Safety Car when his team-mate Lance Stroll broke down on the 19th lap.
However, he was later served a further 10-second time penalty as stewards deemed the Aston Martin pit crew had started work on his car too early as the rear jack was in contact with his AMR23, promoting Mercedes’ George Russell to third and taking away Alonso’s 100th podium as a Formula 1 driver.
Even though the incident happened on the 19th lap, Alonso was only handed the penalty after the race and celebrations had been completed, prompting him to call the decision a “poor show” from the FIA.
“It doesn’t hurt too much to be honest,” Alonso told Sky Sports F1.
“I was on the podium, I did pictures, I took the trophy, I celebrated and now I have apparently three points less. I don’t have 15, I have 12.
“I think it is more FIA, poor show today, more than disappointment from ourselves.
“You cannot apply a penalty 35 laps after the pit stop.
“They had enough time to inform about the penalty. If I knew that, maybe then I open up 11 seconds to the car behind.
“Today, we didn’t put on a good show for our fans.
“I know the team is trying to review it with the stewards now because we didn’t understand fully the second penalty.
“I care, but I don’t care that much as I have celebrated and now I have three points less? OK, let’s try and recover in Australia.”
Aston Martin reviewed the incident with stewards and team principal Mike Krack left open the possibility of an appeal.
“First of all we need to look at the videos, what happened exactly, so this is what we are doing now. So I cannot really say at the moment where this is going to go,” Krack told Sky Sports F1.
“The regulation said you may not work on the car, it’s maybe a little bit ambiguous but this is something that we need to look at, we have a clear procedure for it, we have a countdown, and everything was fully safe.
“No advantage came from it so let’s see how this develops.”
Russell: Penalty a ‘harsh’ call for Alonso
Although the 10-second time penalty for Alonso benefitted Russell and earned him a podium finish, the Mercedes driver believes it was a “harsh call” from the stewards.
“I think it was very harsh what happened to Fernando in all honesty,” said Russell.
“I feel like some of these penalties have been a little bit too extreme what we have seen this weekend.
“Nevertheless, I am happy to pick up the silverware.”
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