Fernando Alonso misses out on 100th F1 podium due to lapsing penalty

Nate SaundersChief Editor, F13 minute reading

Explains why Alonso lost his podium

Fernando Alonso received a ten-second penalty, dropping him from third place as the race was completed in Saudi Arabia.

Fernando Alonso has been denied what would have been his 100th Formula One podium after a late-race penalty at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

The decision lifted George Russell to third, giving Mercedes its first podium finish of the year.

Alonso had served a five-second penalty prior to his first pit stop, a penalty for lining up outside his grid box at the start.

In the closing stages, Mercedes told the chasing Russell that Alonso could face a penalty, suspecting that the Aston Martin crew had touched the car before he had stopped for five seconds.

Alonso still finished third and celebrated on the podium.

Shortly after receiving his trophy, the stewards’ investigation was upheld, with the 10-second penalty coming soon after, moving Russell up to third.

After the swap was confirmed, Alonso criticized the FIA ​​for waiting until after the race to confirm his penalty, with his pit stop having come before the midway point of the race.

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

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

He also said he felt bad that it denied Russell and Mercedes a moment to celebrate.

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

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

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

The decision is in line with the penalty Esteban Ocon received for not serving a penalty correctly during the Bahrain Grand Prix.

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

The Red Bull duo swapped positions from the opening race, with Sergio Perez beating teammate Max Verstappen, who started 15th, to victory.

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