Alonso: ‘Something really wrong’ with FIA penalty system

Fernando Alonso has questioned the FIA system after his penalty in Saudi Arabia

Fernando Alonso has questioned the FIA system after his penalty in Saudi Arabia

Fernando Alonso has suggested there is “something really wrong” with the FIA system after a penalty stripped him of third place in the Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Alonso crossed the line behind the Red Bulls of Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen.

He was was 5.1s clear of Mercedes’ George Russell in fourth and just over 10 clear of Lewis Hamilton in fifth.

However, a post-race time penalty saw the Spaniard classified between the two Mercedes.

Original penalty

The reason for that stemmed back to his one and only stop, which came under Safety Car conditions on Lap 18.

Alonso had picked up a five-second penalty for being out of position at the race start which he served as he took service.

Aware of the delay, the Aston Martin driver pushed on to extend a gap that ensured he rejoined the race in second, as he had been heading into the lane.

There was no such certainty later in the race.

In the closing laps, Mercedes told Russell to push on in anticipation of a penalty.

However, it was only 13 minutes after the chequered flag waved that any investigation regarding Alonso was first noted.

Another 12 minutes elapsed before a 10-second time penalty was confirmed for serving the initial penalty incorrectly, promoting Russell to third.

By the time that happened, Alonso had already stood on the podium, received the trophy, and sprayed the champagne.

Alonso questions FIA system

“Today is not good for the fans,” the 41-year-old said.

“When you have 35 laps to apply a penalty and to inform about the penalty, and you wait for after the podium, there is something really wrong in the system.”

Alonso accepted the first penalty for being too far left in his grid box at the start.

However, he reasoned had he known about the secondary penalty he and the team would have reacted.

Instead, he managed the race and was left exposed to Russell as a result.

“It was my mistake, I need to pay more attention to that,” Alonso said of the grid penalty.

“It’s also strange that, in two races, two cars, Esteban [Ocon] and myself, we had similar things.

“Maybe this year’s cars, or the halo, whatever is interacting with the vision of how we position the car.

“But anyway, that was my mistake.

“The thing is, they told me, ‘you have five seconds penalty’, so I push a little bit harder and I open seven seconds and I pay the penalty.

“In the second stint, there was no investigation, no information, no nothing.

“If someone tells me you have 10 seconds [penalty], I open 11 seconds.” has asked the FIA for the reason for the delay between Alonso’s pit stop and the resulting penalty.

No response had been received an answer at the time of publication.

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