Alonso Slams F1 after ‘Random’ Penalty

Published 10/07/2018, 11:47 AM EDT


Fernando Alonso hit out at the Japanese Grand Prix race stewards following his five-second time penalty at Suzuka on Sunday, calling the decision “random” and saying it showed “how bad Formula 1 is.”

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Alonso received a five-second time penalty for cutting a corner and gaining an advantage at the final chicane on the opening lap of the race, having been forced off the track by Williams’ Lance Stroll. Alonso was seen taking to the grass and gravel at the Casio Triangle before rejoining the track.

While Stroll was hit with a five-second penalty for forcing Alonso off-track at Turn 16, the stewards said that “although car 14 [Alonso] was forced off the track, car 14 thereafter cut the chicane and rejoined the track thereby gaining a significant advantage.”

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The Spaniard ultimately finished the race 14th for McLaren, and was left baffled by the stewards’ call when speaking after the race.

“Even when the driver comes to apologise, I think it’s difficult to understand the decision. This is how bad Formula 1 is,” Alonso said.

“[Bad] in the decisions, in the random, in the poor consistency. You are braking on the outside at the last corner and you go on the gravel, you come here to apologise and you get a penalty. It’s a shame.

“[Stroll] didn’t see me. If he saw you and put you in the grass it’s another thing but it was just an unfortunate incident.

“It doesn’t change much, would have finished 12th instead of 14th. It’s the way it is.”

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Giving his side of the incident with Alonso, Stroll said: “It was one of those first lap racing incidents. I went around the outside at 130R and got on the grass, and then I came back onto the racing line and we made some contact.

“I just wanted to say I didn’t touch him intentionally and then he just went straight on. I think it was just a typical first lap incident where things get heated.

“Just a shame we both get penalties and my race went downhill from there.”

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Dhruv George

11666 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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