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Russell Backs F1's Penalty on Alonso's Risky Move

Russell Backs F1’s Penalty on Alonso’s Risky Move

04/04/2024

In the aftermath of the Australian Grand Prix, George Russell endorses the FIA’s decision to penalize Fernando Alonso for dangerous driving, setting a precedent.

Alonso was handed a 20-second post-race penalty for “potentially dangerous driving”. The Aston Martin had significantly slowed down exiting turn 6, catching Russell off guard.

Russell lost control of his Mercedes in the wake of Alonso’s car, subsequently crashing into the barriers before ending up in the middle of the track.

Alonso’s penalty has been hotly debated, especially since Russell did not actually crash into the Spaniard and technically did not take evasive action.

Speaking this morning at the FIA press conference at the Japanese Grand Prix, Russell explained why the sports commissioners had to set a precedent.

“I think it was a bit of an odd situation that occurred last week [in Australia]. As I said at the time, I was completely taken by surprise. In fact, I was looking at the steering wheel, making a change on a button on the straight, which we all do throughout a lap. When I looked up, I was in Fernando’s gearbox and it was too late.”

“The next thing I saw was the wall. I think if he hadn’t been penalized, it would have opened a Pandora’s box for the rest of the season and in junior categories: is it okay to brake on a straight?”

“Do you have the right to slow down, to change gears, to do something semi-erratic? I don’t take personally what happened with Fernando. It probably had more serious consequences than it should have. As I said, if there had been no penalty, can you just brake in the middle of a straight?”

Russell revealed that the two men had an accidental meeting in the days following the race.

“In fact, we saw each other near our homes, by chance, we crossed paths in a café.”

“But as I said, it’s nothing personal. When the helmet is on, we’re all fighters and competing, when the helmet is off, you respect each other. So of course, there’s a lot of emotions right now, but I think we’ve both moved on since then.”

Russell Backs F1’s Penalty on Alonso’s Risky Move. Russell Backs F1’s Penalty on Alonso’s Risky Move

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