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Alonso's Penalty in Melbourne Sparks Outrage

Alonso’s Penalty in Melbourne Sparks Outrage

27/03/2024

One of Spain’s highest-ranking motorsport officials has criticized the highly controversial penalty imposed on Fernando Alonso in Melbourne.

The FIA believes that George Russell’s heavy crash in the final moments of the Australian GP was due to being “brake-tested” by Alonso – a maneuver considered highly dangerous.

Others, however, have criticized the FIA stewards, including former F1 driver Johnny Herbert, who has had several disputes with the two-time champion Alonso in the past.

“The fact that Herbert himself says it wasn’t Alonso’s fault seems significant to me. It is well known that their personal relationship is not good,” stated Joaquín Verdegay, FIA official and vice-president of the Spanish motorsport federation, the RFEdA, to Soy Motor.

In a rare move, the Aston Martin F1 team principal, Mike Krack, issued a statement to the media, stating that the penalty given to Alonso “while there was no contact with the trailing car was hard to swallow, but we must accept the decision. We did our best, but without new evidence, we are not in a position to request a review (read here).

Verdegay goes further, alleging that “seemingly identical incidents in Formula 1 often receive very unfairly different treatment.”

“Either a penalty is excessively lenient, or another is excessively harsh, as logically, the same event should warrant the same penalty.”

“Personally, I do not like the penalty imposed on Fernando at all. It seems unfair and disproportionate to me. I wonder where the limit is. Is losing 1 percent of speed okay, but 2 percent is excessive?”

Verdegay, who also occasionally serves as a steward in F1, mentioned having witnessed the “worst brake test ever conducted,” involving Ralf Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve in Melbourne in 2001.

“It ended in the worst possible way, with the death of a trackside marshal, who was hit by a wheel. A brake test can be fatal, and what happened to Alonso was not a brake test.”

Alonso’s Penalty in Melbourne Sparks Outrage. Alonso’s Penalty in Melbourne Sparks Outrage

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