Did Alonso Play Dirty? F1 Stewards Punish Spaniard for Incident that Sent Russell into the Barriers

Did Alonso Play Dirty? F1 Stewards Punish Spaniard for Incident that Sent Russell into the Barriers

Following the Australian Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso was hit with a 20-second time penalty stemming from a controversial incident with George Russell.

As the race neared its conclusion, Russell was closing the gap on Alonso, but a sudden loss of control sent his car crashing into the barriers.

The incident raised suspicion that Alonso might have deliberately slowed down to destabilize Russell.

Stewards’ Investigation Reveals Unusual Maneuver

The F1 stewards launched a post-race investigation to determine fault.

Alonso argued he intended to approach a particular turn differently by braking earlier and carrying less speed into the corner to gain an advantage on exit.

However, Russell’s perspective painted a different picture.

He described Alonso’s maneuver as erratic and surprising, causing him to close the distance too quickly.

The resulting drop in downforce at the corner’s apex led to a loss of control and the subsequent crash.

Notably, there was no physical contact between the two cars.

Telemetry Confirms Unusual Braking and Gear Changes

The stewards’ report included crucial telemetry data that supported Russell’s claims.

The data revealed that Alonso braked significantly earlier than he had at any other point during the race entering that specific corner.

Additionally, he applied a slight amount of brake pressure at an unusual point and made gear changes not typically seen in his driving pattern.

While the braking itself wasn’t deemed the primary cause of his slowdown, the combined actions were considered a deliberate attempt at an unconventional maneuver.

Penalty Reflects Aggravating Circumstance

With the 2024 season implementing stricter penalty guidelines, a baseline 10-second penalty was in place for such an offense.

However, the stewards considered Alonso’s intentional choice to perform an unusual maneuver at that critical moment to be an aggravating circumstance, exceeding a simple mistake.

Consequently, a harsher penalty was deemed necessary.

The final verdict resulted in a 20-second time penalty, converted from a drive-through penalty since the race was over.

On top of that, Alonso received three penalty points added to his racing license.

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