Formula 1 Racing

Alonso penalised 20s for “potentially dangerous” defensive move · RaceFans

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, Albert Park, 2024

Fernando Alonso has fallen two places in the finishing positions for the Australian Grand Prix after the stewards penalised him for his driving prior to George Russell’s crash.

The stewards ruled Alonso slowed significantly early for turn six in a manner they considered “potentially dangerous”. Russell, who was following him at the time, closed suddenly on Alonso and crashed, though the pair did not make contact.

Alonso told the stewards he altered his approach to turn six in an attempt to improve his exit from it. They determined he backed off 100 metres earlier than usual for the corner and touched the brakes twice.

While accepting Alonso had the right to attempt a different approach to the corner while under pressure from Russell, the stewards ruled he reduced his speed by so much put brought him in breach of rules which forbid driving “unnecessarily slowly, erratically or in a manner which could be deemed potentially dangerous.”

Poll: Were stewards right to penalise Alonso over his driving before Russell’s crash?

Alonso was given a drive-through penalty, which, as it is applied after the race, adds 20 seconds to his time, dropping him to eighth in the final classification. He was also given three penalty points on his licence.

The Aston Martin driver criticised the decision, saying other drivers would have done the same as him.

“I wanted to maximise my exit speed from turn six to defend against him,” he said. “That’s what any racing driver would do, and I didn’t feel it was dangerous.

“It’s disappointing to get a penalty from the stewards for what was hard but fair racing. Still, I’m glad that George is okay. It was not nice to see his car in the middle of the track.”

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Stewards’ explanation for Alonso’s penalty

The stewards heard from the driver of car 63 (George Russell), the driver of car 14 (Fernando Alonso), team representatives and reviewed positioning/marshalling system data, video, telemetry, team radio, in-car video evidence and telemetry supplied by both teams.

Car 63 crashed at the exit to turn six on lap 57. The stewards have extensively reviewed the situation that occurred prior to the crash.

Car 63 (George Russell) was following Car 14 (Fernando Alonso) approximately 0.5 seconds behind as the cars approached turn six. Alonso explained to the stewards that he intended to approach turn six differently, lifting earlier, and with less speed into the corner, to get a…

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