Alonso penalised for late-race weaving

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso has been demoted to ninth place at the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix after receiving a five-second penalty for some overly zealous late-race defending.

Alonso had done a stellar job to qualify his Alpine on the front row but a mixture of poor Virtual Safety Car timing and an engine problem conspired against him come race day.

The two-time champion eventually crossed the line seventh, only for that position to worsen courtesy of a post-race penalty.

Alonso drew the ire of the stewards for weaving on the run out of the Turn 10 hairpin on the penultimate lap as he desperately tried to keep the Alfa Romeos of Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu behind.

Bottas and Zhou were subsequently elevated to seventh and eighth in the final classification, with Alonso ninth ahead of Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll.

“Between Turns 10 and 12, on the penultimate lap of the race, Car 14 made repeated changes of direction to defend against Car 77 who had to lift at one point and briefly lost momentum,” read the stewards’ report.

“Whilst noting the driver’s point that at no stage was any point of Car 77 alongside Car 14, the Stewards consider this to be a clear breach of the above regulation [Article 2b of Chapter IV Appendix L of the FIA International Sporting Code].

“The Stewards therefore impose a five-second time penalty in line with that imposed for a similar incident in Australia 2022.”

It was still a double points finish for Alpine in Montreal, with Esteban Ocon sixth, albeit something of a missed opportunity.

“I think this weekend we deserved better than ninth position, but it’s still good for both cars to score points in the end,” said Alonso.

“We ultimately lost a big opportunity to fight for a potential podium as I felt like I had the pace to do so.

“We were hit with a badly timed VSC just before our first stop. I was on the main straight when it was deployed, and then missed a pit stop opportunity before it ended.

“We then had an engine problem from Lap 20, which we were trying to manage.

“We didn’t retire the car and used the DRS to defend, as we were losing a lot of time on the straights.

“It’s disappointing especially after yesterday’s performance, but we’ll head to Silverstone, try to get on top of our reliability issues and score more points.”

After a poor run of luck at the start of the season, Alonso has scored points in four consecutive grands prix and now sits 10th in the championship.

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