Russell: Penalty that cost Alonso Jeddah podium pretty harsh

George Russell benefitted from a post-race penalty to Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso to claim Mercedes' first podium of the 2023 Formula 1 season.

-

George Russell felt Fernando Alonso deserved a podium in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, after the Aston Martin driver was stripped of his third-place post-race to the benefit of Russell.

Alonso took the lead off the line, but his race quickly went downhill from there, as he was awarded a five-second penalty for lining up incorrectly in his starting grid.

He then didn’t serve the full five seconds before Aston Martin started work on his car, so was awarded another 10-second penalty that dropped him behind Russell, though that didn’t become clear until after the podium ceremonies had finished.

“I was pleased to come home in P4 to be honest,” Russell said. “I think the penalty for Fernando was pretty harsh, they are deserving podium finishes today, but I’ll take an extra trophy. So I’m not complaining too much.”

And there were even more reasons to be cheerful for Russell, who was buoyed by Mercedes‘ performance in Saudi Arabia after they announced ahead of the season-opening Bahrain GP that their radical ‘no-sidepods’ concept had failed.

With the Red Bull dominance in Bahrain, that news seemed to count Mercedes out of competing for race wins in 2023, but Russell sounded optimistic after a better weekend in Jeddah.

“We know we didn’t make the right decisions over the winter and I think we can regain some of that performance quicker than you would do ordinarily,” Russell added.

“So everything’s not all lost, we’re still going to be fighting as hard as we can, we want to win races this year.

“We want to be in the championship hunt but equally we want to be realistic focus on ourselves and just get the fundamentals right for the long term.”

Russell explains why he refused Mercedes team orders

2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Thursday – Jiri Krenek

Russell was the better Mercedes driver across the grand prix weekend after comfortably outqualifying teammate Lewis Hamilton by four places.

In the race he seemed to have the upper hand, with Hamilton starting on the hards, but after an early safety car, Hamilton found himself behind Russell on quicker medium tyres and Mercedes wanted their cars to swap positions.

However, Russell ignored those orders and immediately started pushing, ending the race 6 seconds ahead of Hamilton.

“Obviously after the safety car I was on hards, Lewis was on the mediums so he had a bit more pace in the beginning, I knew my pace was coming at the end,” Russell said.

“But there was a little bit of confusion because I thought Fernando had a five-second penalty so, I didn’t want us both to be fighting between one another and we both lose out to Fernando.

“I wanted to manage our tyres, stay in tracking distance and then we could have a fair battle towards the end.”

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
- Advertisment -

LATEST NEWS

Max Verstappen in the F1 paddock ahead of the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix | Chris Graythen / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Mercedes chairman flirts with Max Verstappen: He’d look good in silver

0
One of the most important figures within Mercedes AMG, Ola Kallenius, has declared Max Verstappen “would look good in...
Carlos Sainz during practice for the 2024 Spanish GP | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Carlos Sainz hits out at Lewis Hamilton over unpunished Spanish GP move

0
Carlos Sainz believes Lewis Hamilton should've been given a penalty for his overtaking move that forced the Ferrari driver...
Max Verstappen during 2024 Spanish GP Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen warning to Red Bull and demands improvement

0
Max Verstappen demands Red Bull improvement as another tough race saw the reigning world champion have to really work...
Start of the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

LIVE F1 Spanish Grand Prix 2024 – Reaction as McLaren mistakes costly as Verstappen...

0
Welcome to Total-Motorsport’s F1 live coverage of the Spanish GP 2024. Held at the iconic Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, today’s race...
Lewis Hamilton during 2024 Spanish GP weekend | Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton brushes off furious Sainz after Spanish GP incident

0
Lewis Hamilton risked angering Carlos Sainz after claiming the Ferrari driver "left the door open" to overtake him during...
Lando Norris of McLaren after the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Lando Norris: McLaren easily had the best car at Spanish GP

0
Lando Norris believes Spanish GP victory should have been his as McLaren had the best car in Barcelona, but...
Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner at the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Christian Horner warns of Norris danger to Verstappen after Spanish GP battle

0
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner warned that Lando Norris and McLaren are their strongest competitors following a nail-biting...
McLaren team principal Andrea Stella at the 2023 Belgian GP | McLaren F1 team

McLaren chief pinpoints where 2024 Spanish GP was lost

0
McLaren's team boss they lost the 2024 Spanish GP by Turn 1 as a poor start saw Lando Norris...
Max Verstappen, Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton on the podium after the 2024 Spanish GP | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Standings after 2024 Spanish Grand Prix

0
Max Verstappen showcased his racing prowess at the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix, clinching his seventh victory of the Formula...
Lando Norris during the 2024 Spanish GP weekend | McLaren

F1 Fastest Lap: Spanish GP 2024

0
The Spanish GP Fastest Lap award is given to the driver who posts the quickest time over one timed...
- Advertisment -