Nate SaundersEditor-in-Chief, F13 minutes to read
Fernando Alonso was brought back to third place at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix to cap off a comical two hour post podium ceremony.
Alonso lifted the third place title after finishing second behind the Red Bulls, but shortly after celebrating on the podium he was awarded a 10-second penalty which put him behind Mercedes’ George Russell.
The FIA considered that Aston Martin had not properly served a five-second penalty at Alonso’s pit stop, midway through the race, which he received after not lining up his starting grid slot properly.
The FIA referee said the rear lever touched the car before Alonso completed five seconds of rest.
After the original penalty was delivered, Alonso lashed out at the race stewards.
“Today is not good for the fans,” said the Spaniard.
“When you have 35 laps to apply the penalty and you wait until after the podium, something is wrong with the system.”
Following an appeal by Aston Martin, this penalty was reversed shortly after 1am, moving Alonso back to third – the 100th pole of his Formula One career and the second in a row for Aston Martin.
The stewards’ ruling on reversal said: “Having reviewed the new evidence, we have concluded that there is no clear agreement, as has been suggested to Stewards previously, that can be relied upon to determine that the parties have agreed that Jack should touch a car amounting to working on the car.
“In the circumstances, we considered that our original decision to impose a penalty on car 14 needed to be reversed and we did so accordingly.”
The FIA statement said: “The request was made for the stewards to review the initial decision (Document 51) in the final running of the race. The subsequent decision for the stewards to hear and grant the right of review by the competitor was the result of new evidence relating to the definition of ‘work on the car’, where there is Conflicting precedents, and this was revealed by this specific circumstance.
“So this topic will be taken up at the next Sports Advisory Committee which will take place on Thursday, 23 March and a clarification will be issued ahead of the 2023 Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix. This open approach to reviewing and improving its operations is part of the FIA’s ongoing mission to regulate sport in a fair way. And transparent.”
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