Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso launched into an angry tirade against Formula 1 on his radio during the Japanese Grand Prix after being given a five-second time penalty.

But unlike his famous mid-race description of his Honda power unit as being like a “GP2 engine” at the same event four years ago, the McLaren driver’s furious criticism last weekend was largely unheard as it was not broadcast on the world feed.

Alonso was given a five-second time penalty for cutting the chicane after he was hit by Lance Stroll, who was also penalised. While Stroll was given a penalty for causing the contact, Alonso was penalised for cutting the circuit and gaining an advantage.

He was notified of the penalty as he came into the pits. As he left Alonso said on the radio: “Shame on you, Formula 1. Shame on you.”

“Well done. We can push people around,” he added.

FIA race director Charlie Whiting said Alonso could have avoided a penalty by giving the place back to Stroll. Alonso did yield a position after going off the track following another incident with Pierre Gasly.

After the race Alonso said his penalty “shows how bad Formula One is”.


However, Whiting has defended the FIA’s decision. According to him, the fine was justified and within penalty guidelines.

“I think the stewards felt it was perfectly clear what Fernando did,” said Whiting.

“He cut the chicane, drove quickly across the gravel, came back on well in front. I think that was pretty clear that he had gained an advantage by leaving the track.

“The stewards, however, felt that Stroll had actually forced Fernando off. You couldn’t say that because Fernando was forced off, he was entitled to cut the chicane. He wasn’t.

“He shouldn’t have taken the place by doing it, but equally, Stroll shouldn’t have pushed him off the track.

“They felt that each driver should be given a five-second penalty for two separate offences.”

Lewis Hamilton
Charlie Whiting


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