Fernando Alonso felt sorry for Mercedes’ sponsors and George Russell

Fernando Alonso momentarily had a rostrum stripped from him in Saudi Arabia, only to have it reinstated a couple of hours later.

Double world champion Fernando Alonso was left unhappy after the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, after the race was thrown into controversy during the podium celebrations.

Alonso and Aston Martin were the biggest talking point of the Saudi Arabian GP, after the Spaniard was awarded a five-second time penalty due to having started too far to the left of his starting slot.

The 41-year-old served his penalty during his one and only pit-stop in the race; however, it was then discovered at the very end of the race that he’d been awarded a 10-second time penalty due to having incorrectly served the initial time penalty.

It was identified that the rear jack had been touching Alonso’s car whilst the penalty was being served, something which initially saw the penalty treated by the FIA as if it hadn’t been served.

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Nothing was announced, though, until he was on the podium celebrating after finishing third, with George Russell having subsequently been handed the trophy following the podium.

However, at 1 am Monday morning, Alonso’s podium was reinstated following an appeal by Aston Martin, with there seemingly having been yet another wording error with the rule book.

“Having reviewed the new evidence, we concluded that there was no clear agreement, as was suggested to the Stewards previously, that could be relied upon to determine that parties had agreed that a jack touching a car would amount to working on the car,” the stewards wrote.

“In the circumstances, we considered that our original decision to impose a penalty on Car 14 needed to be reversed and we did so accordingly.”

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Before his podium was reinstated, Alonso slammed the FIA for having had “35 laps” to award him with the penalty, with the information having staggeringly only been received by the stewards on the final lap to review the pit-stop.

“Today is not good for the fans,” the Spaniard said, as reported by ESPN.

“When you have 35 laps to apply the penalty and you wait until after the podium, there is something wrong in the system.

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

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Alonso went on to add how it wasn’t “fair” on Russell or Mercedes to be unable to celebrate on the actual podium, with the Spaniard having felt “sorry” for the 25-year-old.

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

“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.”