FIA to review working on car penalties after Alonso debacle

    Aston Martin overturned the stewards' decision to give Alonso a 10-second penalty on appeal.


    The FIA will review the definition of “working on the car” ahead of the next race after Aston Martin’s appeal against Fernando Alonso’s penalty at the Saudi Arabian GP was successful.

    The stewards had initially ruled that Aston Martin had broken the rules by working on the car while Alonso was serving a 5-second penalty for a grid box infringement during the race in Jeddah.

    The driver was given a 10-second penalty for the incident after the race, initially dropping him off the podium after he finished third on track, but that decision was reversed after Aston Martin appealed the call.

    An FIA spokesperson said that the incident had raised the issue of “conflicting precedents” around working on cars during such cases, and that it would be reviewed ahead of the Australian GP later this month.

    “The request to the Stewards for review of the initial decision (Document 51) was made in the last lap of the race.

    “The subsequent decision of the stewards to hear and grant the Right of Review by the Competitor was the result of new evidence regarding the definition of ‘working on the car’, for which there were conflicting precedents, and this has been exposed by this specific circumstance.

    “This topic will therefore be addressed at the next Sporting Advisory Committee taking place on Thursday, 23 March, and a clarification will be issued ahead of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.

    “This open approach to the review and improvement of its processes is part of the FIA’s ongoing mission to regulate the sport in a fair and transparent way.”

    Alonso unhappy with decision making

    Alonso was critical of the decision and for the time it took to clarify what had happened, with the call not coming in that he had been given the penalty until after the podium celebrations.

    “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.”

    “So yeah, I know the team is trying to review the thing because we need to understand fully the second penalty.”


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