Fernando Alonso claimed the 100th podium of his career after being reinstated in third place at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on Monday morning.

The Spaniard finished Sunday’s race in third place but was demoted to fourth when he was given a penalty 10 seconds after the race for an infringement while trying to serve a penalty of five seconds during a pit stop.

Stewards ruled that a mechanic had hit the car with a rear tire jack before the five seconds had elapsed and therefore the penalty had not been served properly.

This gave Mercedes’ George Russell third place who described the penalty as “severe”.

Aston Martin, however, appealed, prompting the FIA ​​to reconsider its decision.

“After reviewing the new evidence, we concluded that there was no clear agreement, as had been suggested to the stewards previously, on which to rely to determine that the parties had agreed that a jack touching a car would be tantamount to working on the car,” the FIA ​​said in a statement.

“In these circumstances, we considered that our initial decision to impose a penalty on car 14 (Alonso) should be reversed and we have done so accordingly.

The two-time champion had incurred the initial penalty when he took the lead at the first corner of the 50-lap race, but started from an incorrect position, too far left in his grid.

Alonso had appeared unfazed when he was initially denied third place after appearing on the podium with race winner Sergio Perez and Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen and in post-race interviews.

“I’m not too upset,” he said. “It was good and it doesn’t hurt too much. I was on the podium, I took pictures, I got the trophy. I celebrated with champagne.”

The 41-year-old blamed the FIA ​​for the mishandling of the penalty.

“You cannot apply the penalty 35 laps after the pit stop. They had enough time to inform us. If I knew about the penalty, I would have had 11 seconds with the car.”

Even Russell agreed: “This penalty for Fernando was severe. They deserved a podium today,” said the Briton who returned fourth.

The pit lane issue was a similar infringement to that of Alpine driver Esteban Ocon who received three penalties in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

The subsequent call from the Aston Martin team drew attention to the confusion surrounding the rule.

Alonso, who made his record 357th race start, praised his team after the race.

“These guys have done a fantastic car, fantastic race execution here and in Bahrain, with the strategy and now two podiums.

“These guys give me power and I pushed all the way and in the qualifying rounds too. The Red Bulls are out of reach but the others were behind us so I’m happy with that.”


Source link

Leave A Reply