Fernando Alonso laments ‘inconsistent penalties’ in Formula 1

The Aston Martin driver appears to be the driving force behind important discussions on penalties in Formula 1

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Fernando Alonso has explained that discussions are being held to get everyone on the same page amid a number of ‘inconsistent’ penalties that are being seen this season in Formula 1.

The Aston Martin racer has been at the centre of a storm regarding how penalties are handed out in F1, with his 20-second penalty for causing George Russell to crash in Melbourne causing him a lot of stress, as well as a penalty at the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix.

The Spaniard decelerated early on the final lap when approaching a corner in Australia which caught the Mercedes driver behind him off guard, resulting in Russell losing grip and having a serious crash.

Talks ongoing between all parties over penalties

Alonso stressed ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola that there are constant discussions between everyone involved to bring clarity over what sort of action should and should not bring a penalty. 

“We will always talk, and I think it’s still very much open, the point, and we are in the process of discussing more things between drivers, the FIA, stewards, the future regulations, future driving standards, and yeah I think the penalties were a little bit, again, inconsistent from our view, that will always be the case,” Alonso told select members of the press, including Total-Motorsport.com.

“I think when there is an accident or there is an investigation, one part will think in one way, and the other part will think in the opposite. This is the nature of the sport but we had a few cases, especially in the last two or three years, where both parties, think something, and the referee thinks another way, which is a strange thing in sport.”

Alonso was pleased to see that two other drivers had agreed that some penalties are causing confusion, stating: “So this is something that we need to work on. And, and I was happy also the other day to read in an article Checo [Perez] and Logan [Sargeant] saying that the penalties were a little bit strange, so I was not the only one.”

Fernando Alonso leads Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes, and McLaren’s Oscar Piastri during 2024 Japanese GP | Aston Martin F1 Team
Fernando Alonso leads Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes, and McLaren’s Oscar Piastri during 2024 Japanese GP | Aston Martin F1 Team

Alonso’s penalty woes continued in China

The Spaniard has spent a lot of time talking to the stewards so far this season and he was handed a 10-second time penalty and three penalty points for a collision with Carlos Sainz during the Chinese Grand Prix Sprint Race. 

Having picked up three penalty points for the incident in Australia, Alonso is already halfway to the 12-point limit for a year-long period. Breaching that will result in a one-race ban. This led Aston Martin to lodge a petition for the FIA to review the penalty.

Alonso said after that Sprint: “We didn’t have any more options, so yeah, let’s see. Maybe next time we don’t race the Sprint, we save tyres and we have more to race for Sunday, like this we wouldn’t even have a strange penalty.”

Ahead of the weekend’s race at Imola, Haas driver Kevin Magnussen also talked about the FIA’s handling of discipline during races, saying: “I think the best thing would be to for the FIA to tell us to give back positions and then the consequences for not doing that being harsh. Like really harsh. So you make sure that that’s being done. 

“Because, I think it gets too, firstly complicated and also too big a consequence for you have to be able to leave a little bit of room to go over the limit and then, come back from that, whereas now if they judge it to be an unfair advantage and it’s a drive-through penalty, I think that’s not good.”

John Smith
John Smithhttps://total-motorsport.com
Editor at Total-Motorsport.com and all round Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E.
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