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Fernando Alonso’s Controversial Penalty Overturned, Reinstating 100th Podium Finish



Alonso Controversial Penalty Overturned Reinstating 100th Podium

Fernando Alonso’s 100th Formula 1 podium finish was reinstated after a controversial penalty was overturned at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Find out how Aston Martin successfully challenged the decision in this gripping story.

Fernando Alonso’s third-place finish at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, which was previously marred by a contentious penalty, has now been reinstated, thereby granting him his 100th Formula 1 podium. During the Jeddah race, Alonso had received a 10-second penalty after the event for what was perceived as a violation by his Aston Martin team, despite serving a five-second penalty during the race.

Despite the fact that the alleged pitstop violation and subsequent penalty took place during lap 19 of 50, the 10-second penalty was not announced until after Fernando Alonso had already taken his place on the podium. The reason behind this was that both the race control and the FIA’s remote operations centre (ROC) had initially reviewed the pitstop incident and concluded that the penalty had been correctly served. However, they later reversed their decision towards the end of the race.

Fernando Alonso's Controversial Penalty Overturned, Reinstating 100th Podium Finish

On the final lap of the race, the stewards received a report from the ROC via race control, stating that they believed the penalty had not been adequately served. As a result, the matter was referred to the stewards, who then investigated and concluded that Aston Martin had commenced work on Fernando Alonso’s car before the five-second penalty had been fully served, as the car’s rear jack was still in contact with it.

The sporting advisory committee meetings with the teams had previously established that “working on the car” would include any form of contact with the vehicle while a penalty was being served. Therefore, it was agreed that no part of the car could be touched during this time.

Following the race, Aston Martin disputed the decision and requested a right of review. The relevant hearings were conducted promptly, and the team was able to persuade the stewards that their conclusion was incorrect. They argued that the stewards had wrongly assumed that there was an unequivocal agreement in place that the jack touching the car amounted to “working on it.”

To support their argument, Aston Martin presented the latest minutes of the sporting advisory committee meeting as well as video evidence of seven other instances where cars were touched by the front jack while serving a similar penalty to the one imposed on Fernando Alonso. These instances were not penalized, indicating that there was no agreement that any form of contact with the car, including through the use of a jack, would be considered “working” on it. Although these examples pertained to the front jack and not the rear, the team used them to demonstrate that the stewards’ assumption was incorrect.

After considering the evidence presented by Aston Martin, the stewards accepted that it was new and relevant, and it called into question the foundation of their earlier decision. They subsequently granted the review. The stewards acknowledged that there was no clear agreement in place that would support their previous assumption that the jack touching the car would be considered “working” on it. They stated that they had been provided with new information that demonstrated that their previous understanding was not accurate.


Aston Martin’s Challenge Prompts FIA Rule Clarification.

Before the upcoming Australian Grand Prix, a rule clarification is expected to be prompted by Aston Martin’s successful challenge of Fernando Alonso’s penalty in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. The FIA has acknowledged the conflicting precedents exposed by this incident, and a clarification will be issued before the 2023 FIA Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.

Alonso’s Controversial Penalty Overturned, 100th Podium Alonso’s Controversial Penalty Overturned, 100th Podium

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