Fernando Alonso’s 100th podium finish was taken off him (Photo: Sky Sports)
Fernando Alonso was left unhappy with the FIA after a post-race penalty cost him a landmark podium at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
The Aston Martin driver crossed the line in third-place, behind the Red Bulls of Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen, at Sunday’s race at the Jeddah Corniche street circuit.
It was a proud moment for the two-time Formula One champion as he seemed to have scored his 100th career podium – a feat only five other drivers in history have achieved.
However, almost as soon as he received his trophy he was handed a 10-second penalty that dropped him to fourth-place.
Alonso had been given a five-second penalty during the race for incorrectly lining up in his grid spot and looked to have served it with no issue when he made his pit-stop – only for the stewards to later realise that his mechanics had touched his car before the five-seconds were up.
In keeping with the rules he was given the 10-second penalty, and while Alonso took it on the chin he was not too pleased with the manner in which it was handed out.
‘I was good and it doesn’t hurt too much to be honest. I was on the podium, I did pictures, I took the trophy, I celebrated and now I have apparently three points less – I don’t have 15, I have 12,’ the 41-year-old told Sky Sports.
George Russell inherited third from Alonso (Photo: Getty)
‘I think it is more FIA, poor show today. More than disappointment from ourselves. You cannot apply a penalty 35 laps after the pitstop.
‘They had enough time to inform about the penalty because even if I knew that maybe then I open up 11 seconds to the car behind. Today, we didn’t put on a good show for our fans.
‘I know the team is trying to review it with the stewards now because we didn’t understand fully the second penalty. I care, but I don’t care that much as I have celebrated and now I have three points less? OK, let’s try and recover in Australia.’
Lewis Hamilton ‘uncomfortable’ racing in Saudi Arabia amid security & human rights issues
Max Verstappen isn’t invincible at Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
Alonso’s penalty allowed George Russell to claim his first podium of the season, though he too felt the Spaniard had been hard done by.
‘There was a lot of confusion as I thought Fernando Alonso had a five-second penalty and I didn’t want [Lewis and I] to fight and both lose out,’ the Mercedes man said.
‘I wanted us to manage our tyres, stay in striking distance and then have a fair battle. I think Fernando’s penalty was harsh. They are the deserved podium finishers but I will take the extra trophy and not complain too much!’
MORE : Sergio …read more