George Russell makes Fernando Alonso penalty claim in FIA plea

Fernando Alonso was briefly stripped of his podium in Saudi Arabia due to a post-race penalty.

At the 2023 season opener in Bahrain, Esteban Ocon received a plethora of penalties, with the Frenchman first being penalised for being slightly out of his grid slot at the start of the race.

The Alpine driver was then further penalised for not serving the full five-second penalty during his pit stop as well as speeding in the pit lane, rounding off a disastrous first race of the season.

In Saudi Arabia it was Fernando Alonso’s turn to be punished for starting out of his grid slot, with the Spaniard being given a five-second penalty for being slightly too far to the left-hand side.

Alonso went on to finish in P3 and after all of the podium celebrations, it was announced that he had been given a five-second penalty for failing to correctly serve his penalty during the race.

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It was deemed that the rear jack was touching the car while the penalty was being served and therefore Alonso was replaced on the podium by George Russell.

The celebrations for the Mercedes driver were short-lived however, as it was later announced that the original order had been reinstated and that Alonso was back on the podium.

Even though this decision meant that Russell missed out on his first podium of the season, the Brit has defended Alonso and claimed that the FIA should not be so harsh on the drivers.

“I understand why these rules are there, we’ve got to stick within the guidelines, a little bit of common sense needs to be shown,” he said via

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“Ultimately I think he was a bit to the left, was that right? He gained nothing from this, perhaps a five-second [penalty] is too much.

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“But then in regards to his pit stop again, I don’t know what happened and why he received a further penalty exactly, but a 10-second penalty is too extreme in that case again.”

Alonso’s extra penalty temporarily saw him demoted down to P4 but with the matter now resolved, the Spaniard finally has his 100th podium in Formula 1.

Two podiums in two races for Aston Martin means that their dream start to the season continues, with the sky being the limit for Alonso and his team.