Fernando Alonso reinstated to 3rd after weird penalty scenario at Jeddah

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It took lots longer than anticipated, and an enchantment of a penalty besides, however Fernando Alonso can now say with certainty that he completed in third place on the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

And that he has earned 100 podiums over his illustrious Formulation 1 profession.

Regardless of ending in P3 in Sunday’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix at Jeddah Corniche Circuit — and partaking within the podium celebration together with Sergio Pérez and Max Verstappen — Alonso then obtained phrase that he was being given a ten-second penalty. That penalty would drop him down into P4, behind George Russell of Mercedes.

Early within the Grand Prix, Alonso was given a five-second penalty for an improper begin, as he was not correctly aligned in his beginning place firstly of the race. When a security automotive got here out after his teammate Lance Stroll suffered a failure, Alonso served that five-second penalty throughout his pit cease.

The race went on, and Alonso maintained his spot in third place behind the Pink Bull duo. Nonetheless, within the closing laps of the race Russell heard from his pit field that race stewards had been considering a further five-second penalty for Alonso.

Alonso heard one thing related from his group, and was instructed to keep up a greater than five-second lead over Russell. “Can be good to have 5 seconds to Russell,” Alonso was warned. Whereas the group believed they had been “within the clear,” they needed to be as protected as attainable.

Alonso prolonged his hole to over 5 seconds to Russell, main him to consider that he certainly was within the clear, and with the century mark in podiums in hand.

Nonetheless, following the rostrum session, phrase got here from FIA that he was certainly being given a penalty, and a ten-second one at that.

FIA tried to make clear the scenario following the race:

Nonetheless, Alonso and Aston Martin appealed the penalty.

You’ll be able to see for your self what occurred:

At difficulty was whether or not the rear jack provider made contact with the AMR23. Underneath present rules, that apparently counts for “engaged on the automotive,” which isn’t permitted in the course of the length of the penalty.

In the course of the enchantment, Aston Martin offered video proof of seven totally different cases of vehicles being touched by the jack when serving a penalty. In these seven cases, no extra penalty was handed down by race stewards.

Finally the decision got here down. No penalty, and Alonso’s P3 was reinstated.

“Having reviewed the brand new proof, we concluded that there was no clear settlement, as was urged to the Stewards beforehand, that might be relied upon to find out that events had agreed {that a} jack touching a automotive would quantity to engaged on the automotive, with out extra,” stated the choice from FIA. “Within the circumstances, we thought-about that our authentic resolution to impose a penalty on Automotive 14 wanted to be reversed and we did so accordingly.”

You’ll be able to learn their full resolution right here:

This was seemingly the right consequence, however the larger query is perhaps this: Why did it take so lengthy for Alonso and Aston Martin to be informed this was even a chance? As famous within the first of the 2 FIA paperwork, the potential for a second penalty didn’t come to gentle till the ultimate lap of the race. And as Alonso himself acknowledged after the Grand Prix, “[w]hen you could have 35 laps to use the penalty and also you wait till after the rostrum, there’s something mistaken within the system.”

Had Alonso and Aston Martin been informed earlier within the race that this was a chance — and even been given the extra penalty earlier within the race — they might have altered their technique to push even additional forward of Russell.

As a substitute, they had been compelled to convey the receipts to an enchantment nicely after the end.

So, whereas the precise consequence was reached, maybe FIA might be faster with these determinations sooner or later.

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