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Official Alonso Receives 20-Second Penalty

Official: Alonso Receives 20-Second Penalty

24/03/2024

FIA stewards have found Fernando Alonso guilty of unsportsmanlike conduct towards George Russell at the end of the Grand Prix.

The Aston Martin F1 driver was handed a 20-second penalty for dangerously slowing down in front of the Mercedes F1 driver, who then lost control, skidded into the gravel, and consequently hit a wall.

With this penalty, the Spaniard drops two positions, falling behind his teammate, Lance Stroll, and Yuki Tsunoda, moving from 6th to 8th place.

Explanation from the Race Stewards.

“The stewards heard from car 63’s driver (George Russell), car 14’s driver (Fernando Alonso), team representatives, and reviewed system data, video, telemetry, team radio, onboard video evidence, and telemetry provided by both teams.”

“Car 63 crashed exiting turn 6 on lap 57. The stewards thoroughly examined the situation leading up to the crash. Car 63 was following car 14 by approximately 0.5 seconds as they approached turn 6. Alonso explained to the stewards that he intended to approach turn 6 differently, easing off earlier and with less speed to achieve a better exit. Russell told the stewards that, from his perspective, Alonso’s maneuver was erratic, caught him off-guard, and led him to close in unusually fast, and with the resulting lower downforce in the turn, he lost control and crashed on the exit. There was no contact between the cars.”

“Telemetry shows Alonso lifted off the accelerator over 100 m earlier than for the rest of the race. He also braked very slightly at a point where he usually did not brake (though the braking was so light it wasn’t the main reason for his car slowing) and downshifted at a point where he normally did not. He then downshifted again and accelerated towards the turn before easing off again to take the corner.”

“Alonso explained that while his plan was to slow earlier, he misjudged slightly and had to take additional steps to correct himself. Nonetheless, this maneuver created a significant and unusual closing speed between the cars.”

“In their examination, the stewards focused solely on the regulation stating: ‘At no time may a car be driven unnecessarily slowly, erratically, or in a manner which could be deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers’ (Article 33.4).”

“Specifically, in this case, the stewards did not consider the consequences of the crash. Furthermore, the stewards felt they did not have enough information to determine if Alonso’s maneuver was aimed at causing Russell problems, or if, as he told the stewards, he was simply trying to achieve a better corner exit.”

“Did Alonso have the right to try a different approach? – Yes. Was Alonso responsible for the dirty air, which ultimately caused the incident? – No. However, with these unusual driving elements mentioned above, from his own account of the incident he committed, and in the stewards’ view, by doing these things, he drove in a manner that was at least ‘potentially dangerous’ given the very fast nature of that part of the track.”

“This season, the FIA Formula 1 penalty guidelines, including for this offense, have been reset and increased from a base penalty of 10 seconds. Furthermore, when there is an aggravating circumstance, we consider a pit lane penalty. In this case, we consider Alonso’s choice to perform an unusual maneuver at this point as an aggravating circumstance, as opposed to a simple mistake.”

“Therefore, the stewards order a drive-through penalty, which is converted to a 20-second addition to car 14’s elapsed time, along with three penalty points on Alonso’s license.”

The updated race standings are as follows:

Pos.DriverTeamDifStop
01Carlos SainzFerrari SF-2450 tours – 1h20m26.843s2
02Charles LeclercFerrari SF-24+2.3662
03Lando NorrisMcLaren Mercedes MCL38+5.9042
04Oscar PiastriMcLaren Mercedes MCL38+35.7702
05Sergio PérezRed Bull Honda RBPT RB20+56.3092
06Lance StrollAston Martin Mercedes AMR24+93.2222
07Yuki TsunodaRB Honda RBPT VCARB 01+95.6012
08Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Mercedes AMR24+80.992 (+20s Penalty)2
09Nico HülkenbergHaas Ferrari VF-24+104.5532
10Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari VF-24+1 lap2
11Alex AlbonWilliams Mercedes FW46+1 lap2
12Daniel RicciardoRB Honda RBPT VCARB 01+1 lap2
13Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault A524+1 lap2
14Valtteri BottasStake F1 Kick Sauber C44+1 lap2
15Guanyu ZhouStake F1 Kick Sauber C44+1 lap2
16Esteban OconAlpine Renault A524+1 lap3
17George RussellMercedes W15+2
18Lewis HamiltonMercedes W15DNF1
19Max VerstappenRed Bull Honda RBPT RB20DNF1

Official: Alonso Receives 20-Second Penalty. Official: Alonso Receives 20-Second Penalty

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