Alonso Criticizes “Disappointing” Penalty Following Russell Incident at F1 Australian GP

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Alonso slams “disappointing” penalty for Russell incident in F1 Australian GP

In the final stages of the Melbourne race, Fernando Alonso found himself locked in a tense battle with George Russell for sixth position on the track.

Alonso, mindful of the vulnerability his car would face in Albert Park’s DRS zones, made a strategic decision to brake earlier than usual for Turn 6 on the penultimate lap. His intention was to carry more speed onto the subsequent straight, attempting to maintain his position against Russell’s Mercedes.

However, Russell was caught off guard by Alonso’s maneuver and ultimately crashed out due to the turbulent air created by Alonso’s Aston Martin. This incident led to an investigation by the stewards into the driving conduct of the two-time F1 world champion.

Alonso (Credits: F1 News)

After reviewing the evidence and hearing Alonso’s explanation, the stewards determined that his driving constituted a potential danger on the track. As a result, Alonso was handed a drive-through penalty, which translated into a 20-second time penalty after the race.

This penalty saw Alonso’s position drop from sixth to eighth in the final race standings. It also resulted in his Aston Martin teammate Lance Stroll moving up to sixth place, while Red Bull’s Yuki Tsunoda advanced to seventh.

Telemetry data revealed that Alonso had lifted off the throttle 100 meters earlier than usual and lightly applied the brakes. The stewards concluded that his deceleration was unusually excessive, far beyond what was necessary to optimize his exit from the corner.

Alonso (Credits: Autosport)

Alonso expressed his disappointment with the verdict, insisting that his driving had been fair and within the bounds of competitive racing. He emphasized that his primary concern was the safety of his fellow drivers, particularly Russell, whose car had ended up in a precarious position on the track.

Taking to social media later, Alonso reiterated his stance, expressing surprise at the penalty considering the nature of racing at such high speeds. He highlighted the strategic nuances of F1 driving, emphasizing the need to adapt techniques for different corners and situations.

Aston Martin team boss Mike Krack echoed Alonso’s sentiments, expressing surprise at the stewards’ decision but ultimately accepting it without intending to appeal. He commended both Alonso and Stroll for their performances, which had contributed to the team’s accumulation of valuable championship points.

Stroll, benefiting from Alonso’s penalty, secured a sixth-place finish, further bolstering Aston Martin’s successful outing at the Melbourne Grand Prix.

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