Fernando Alonso lashes out at FIA for putting on "a poor show" after Saudi GP penalty

Irish Mirror   19/03/2023 20:01

Fernando Alonso took aim at the FIA as he faced the media after having the 100th podium of his Formula 1 career stripped from him.

Alonso looked to have secured back-to-back third-placed finishes to start the new season with an excellent performance at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. He took to the podium as usual and was handed his trophy and champagne to celebrate.

But while all that was happening, the stewards were reviewing footage of his pit stop and deciding whether he had adequately served a five-second penalty during the race. In the end, they deemed that he hadn't and added an extra 10 seconds to his final race time.

That meant George Russell was promoted to third place, getting the trophy and three extra points lost by Alonso. The Spaniard was smiling as he said he was not too bothered about that, but still slammed the FIA for taking so long to make the call.

He said: "It doesn't hurt much to be honest! I was on the podium – I did the pictures, took the trophy, celebrated with the champagne and now I apparently have three points less. I don't have 15, I have 12.

"The FIA, a poor show today – more than disappointment from ourselves. You cannot apply a penalty 35 laps after the pit stop. They had more than enough time to really inform about the penalty. If I knew about it, maybe I could have opened 11 seconds to the car behind. So today, I think we didn't put on a good show for our fans.

George Russell felt Fernando Alonso's Saudi GP penalty was harsh

"No-one told me this, they just told me the five seconds in the first stint and I opened seven or eight. And then in the second there was no information at all, not even that I was being investigated. I care, but I don't care that much. I celebrated and now I have three points less, so now it's straight to the recovery in Australia."

Russell had a classy response to the penalty as he voiced his sympathy for Alonso. The Mercedes man said: "I'm pleased to come home in P4, but I think the penalty for Fernando was pretty harsh.

"They are deserving podium finishers today. But I'll take an extra trophy, so I'm not complaining too much." TV cameras also showed Russell give Alonso a big hug after the news of the penalty had been announced.

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