Fernando Alonso to miss 100th F1 podium due to post-podium penalty

Nate SaundersEditor-in-Chief, F12 minute chapter

Fernando Alonso has been stripped of what would have been his 100th Formula 1 trophy following a penalty following the Saudi GP.

The decision elevated George Russell to third, giving Mercedes their first podium of the year.

Alonso had served a five-second penalty before the first pit stop, a penalty for being off the grid.

In the final test, Mercedes told the chasing Russell that Alonso might be penalised, and suspicions grew that Aston Martin’s pit crew had touched the car before it had been stationary for five seconds.

Alonso still finished third and celebrated on the podium.

Shortly after receiving the trophy, the jury’s investigation was upheld, and a 10-second penalty came soon after, moving Russell up to third.

After the replacement was confirmed, Alonso criticized the FIA ​​for waiting until after the race to confirm his penalty when his pit stop had come before the halfway point of the race.

“Today is not good for the fans,” the Spaniard said. “When you have 35 laps to apply the penalty and you are notified of the penalty and you are waiting after the podium, there is something wrong with the system.

“I’m sorry for the fans, but I enjoyed the podium, I took the trophy, I have the pictures, I celebrated with champagne, and now 15 or 12 points doesn’t change much for me, but it’s a bit. sad for the FIA, yes.”

He also said he felt bad that it kept Russell and Mercedes from celebrating for a while.

“It’s not fair to George and the Mercedes sponsors; they would like to be on the podium.

“If he was third in the race, he should be enjoying the podium, not me, I feel sorry for George, the Mercedes sponsors and George’s fans.”

Lewis Hamilton finished the race 10.3 seconds behind Alonso, meaning the Aston Martin driver narrowly avoided losing two positions to Mercedes.

The decision is consistent with the penalty Esteban Ocon received for failing to take a penalty correctly during the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The penalty cost Aston Martin the chance to secure their first back-to-back F1 podiums, with Alonso also finishing third in Bahrain.

The Red Bull duo swapped places from the opening race as Sergio Perez beat teammate Max Verstappen, who started 15th.

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