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Home » Fernando Alonso Denied 100th F1 Podium After Receiving Penalty, Criticizes FIA Stewards

Fernando Alonso Denied 100th F1 Podium After Receiving Penalty, Criticizes FIA Stewards

20 March 2023, Monday

At the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso was denied his 100th Formula One podium after a postrace penalty. The decision to elevate George Russell into third place gave Mercedes a reason to celebrate a tough start, yet Alonso did still manage to get the chance to celebrate on the podium and take home his trophy. During the race, Alonso had been given a five second penalty prior to his first pit stop, due to lining up outside his grid box at the start.

Fernando Alonso was left disappointed at the FIA's decision to penalise him for a five-second pit-stop infringement during the Monaco Grand Prix.
The Spaniard finished first on the track, but was subsequently given a 10-second penalty after the stewards ruled Aston Martin had touched his car prematurely.

This meant his victory was officially taken away, something that Alonso was not pleased with, considering he was punished after the podium ceremony had taken place, despite the alleged infringement occurring mid-way through the race.
Expressing his frustration, Alonso said: “Today is not good for the fans. When you have 35 laps to apply the penalty and you wait until after the podium, there is something wrong in the system.”

Charles Leclerc expressed some regret following the FIA's decision to take away his 15-point lead after a technical infringement at the Italian Grand Prix.

Leclerc said, "I feel sorry for the fans, but I enjoyed the podium, I took the trophy, I have the pictures, I celebrated with the champagne, and now 15 or 12 points doesn't change much for me, but it is a little bit sad for the FIA, yes."

The driver also shared sympathy for George Russell and Mercedes, given they were not able to experience the moment of celebration on the podium. Leclerc said, "It's not fair for George and the Mercedes sponsors; they would love to be on the podium."

The decision of the stewards stated that the FIA and teams had agreed that no component of the car could be adjusted while a penalty was being served, as it would be considered a form of working on the car. This was confirmed when it was established that the rear jack had been touched. Therefore, the stewards decided to apply a punishment according to the agreement.

Lewis Hamilton completed just 10.3 seconds adrift of Alonso in the race, narrowly avoiding dropping two places to Mercedes. This ruling mirrors Esteban Ocon's penalty at the Bahrain Grand Prix for not adhering to the penalty handed to him. Unfortunately, this saw Aston Martin miss out on the chance to secure back-to-back F1 podiums, with Alonso finishing third in Bahrain. Sergio Perez edged out Max Verstappen, who started 15th, to take the win from Red Bull.
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