Alonso Saudi Arabian GP penalty overturned on appeal

Aston Martin were successful in their appeal against the stewards' decision to give Alonso a penalty which knocked him off the podium in Jeddah.


Fernando Alonso’s 10-second penalty for a pit stop infringement while serving a penalty for a separate infraction at the Saudi Arabian GP has been overturned on appeal.

Aston Martin appealed the stewards’ decision to hand Alonso a penalty after one of their mechanics was judged to have begun work on his car before the full 5-second time penalty for a grid start error had been fully served.

The penalty, which was only announced after the race had ended, meant that the Spaniard dropped off the podium, promoting George Russell to third behind the two Red Bulls.

In a statement, the stewards said that Aston Martin had presented evidence which contradicted their claims that touching the car with a jack would constitute working on the car per an agreement they understood had been struck between the teams and the FIA.

“Having reviewed the new evidence, we concluded that there was no clear agreement, as was suggested to the Stewards previously, that could be relied upon to determine that parties had agreed that a jack touching a car would amount to working on the car, without more,” they said.

“In the circumstances, we considered that our original decision to impose a penalty on Car 14 needed to be reversed and we did so accordingly.”

Alonso reinstated

There was some confusion toward the end of the race in Jeddah as Aston Martin urged Alonso to build a gap to Russell to head off any potential penalty that could come their way.

While Alonso managed to build a margin of more than 5 seconds to the Mercedes in fourth, the 10-second penalty instated after the chequered flag dropped the Spaniard down the order after he had already celebrated on the podium.

Aston Martin immediately stated their intention to appeal the issue, and their successful review means that Alonso can now officially celebrate his 100th podium in F1.

Speaking after the race, Alonso was critical of the FIA’s decision to delay the penalty until after the cars crossed the line, saying he would have built up a bigger gap if he had known about it before.

“I think it’s more an FIA poor show today, more than disappointment from ourselves,” Alonso told Sky Sports.

“You cannot apply a penalty 35 laps after the pitstop, they had enough time to really inform [us] about the penalty because even if I knew that maybe I open 11 seconds to the car behind.”

“No one told me this, they told me just five seconds in the first stint and I opened seven or eight, and then in the second one there was no information at all, not even an investigation.”

Matt Neill
Matt Neill
With years of experience in the motorsports field and Matt Neill founded to give clarity and more depth to the digital F1 landscape.
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