Alonso gifted point after Raikkonen penalty

Fernando Alonso secured his first points finish since returning to F1

Fernando Alonso has been elevated into the top 10 at the Formula 1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix after fellow veteran Kimi Raikkonen received a post-race penalty.

It had been a difficult second race back for Alonso, who appeared uncomfortable in his Alpine A521 as wet weather made for tricky conditions at the historic Imola circuit; the two-time world champion even collecting damage after losing control on his way to the grid.

At the end of 63 laps he would cross the line 11th, just behind team-mate Esteban Ocon.

Both have gained a place now, however, due to a 30-second time penalty handed down to Raikkonen.

The popular Alfa Romeo driver had finished ninth, holding off a train of cars behind, only to be pinged for an infringement on the mid-race rolling restart.

Raikkonen had been positioned seventh when red flags were brought out following a high-speed collision between Valtteri Bottas and George Russell that has since sparked a war of words between the two.

On the out lap from the pits to restart the race – with a rolling option called for instead of a standing grid – Raikkonen spun at Turn 3.

Rules outline that if a driver is unable to recover his original position by the first Safety Car line in such an instance, they must drive through the pits.

The 41-year-old did not do so, triggering the penalty that relegates him to 13th.

That means Alfa Romeo remains without a point in 2021, with its other driver Antonio Giovinazzi finishing a lap down in 14th.

The ruling was good news for Alonso though, who takes his first world championship point since the 2018 Singapore Grand Prix. He had taken a two-year break from F1 before returning this season to replace McLaren-bound Daniel Ricciardo at Alpine (formerly Renault).

Raikkonen was not the only driver to incur the wrath of the stewards post-race, with Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll slapped with a five-second penalty for an illegal early-race pass on Pierre Gasly.

The incident occurred on Lap 11 of the grand prix, but with Stroll taking the chequered flag seventh and less than a second ahead of Gasly, the sanction swaps the pair back.

Thus the order for positions seven through 13 now reads: Gasly, Stroll, Ocon, Alonso, Sergio Perez, Yuki Tsunoda, and Kimi Raikkonen.

Max Verstappen won the chaotic race for Red Bull to move within one point of Lewis Hamilton’s championship lead.

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