Fernando Alonso’s pleasure has turned to heartbreak instantly in Jeddah on Monday morning (AEDT) after being stripped of his a centesimal podium end for failing to serve a 5-second penalty accurately.
Alonso briefly turned the sixth driver within the historical past of the game to achieve a century of podiums, after getting an impressive begin from P2 to leapfrog Pink Bull’s Sergio Perez and lead the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix for a quick, superb second as followers received a glimpse at what a aggressive 2023 might presumably appear like.
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It was, nevertheless, short-lived, with Alonso handed a 5-second time penalty for lining up exterior of his grid field, ending up about half a tyre’s width to the left of his P2 spot.
To be served at his subsequent pit cease, the penalty got here underneath a security automobile led to by Aston Martin teammate Lance Stroll’s retirement.
The tempo of the Aston Martin stored Alonso in a robust place for the remainder of the race, coming house third behind a victorious Sergio Perez, in addition to a surging Max Verstappen who charged from fifteenth on the grid to second.
After the race, Alonso tore into the FIA for the size of time it took them to offer the second penalty.
“I feel it’s extra FIA, poor present right now,” he stated.
“You can not apply a penalty 35 laps after the pitstop.
“They’d sufficient time to tell concerning the penalty as a result of even when I knew that perhaps then I open up 11 seconds to the automobile behind.
“I do know the workforce is attempting to evaluate it with the stewards now as a result of we didn’t perceive absolutely the second penalty.
“I don’t care that a lot as I’ve celebrated and now I’ve three factors much less.
“I used to be on the rostrum, I did photos, I took the trophy, I celebrated and now I’ve apparently three factors much less – I don’t have 15, I’ve 12.”
With Alonso intently adopted by the Mercedes pair of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, the stewards’ ruling that the 5 second penalty had been incorrectly served put him in critical hazard of handing Mercedes their first podium end of the yr.
The officers dominated that, whereas serving the penalty, the rear jack to raise Alonso’s automobile up for the tyre change had made contact with the AMR23 earlier than the five-second penalty had been accomplished.
The rules state that vehicles should wait at some point of the penalty earlier than touching the automobile if the time penalty is served in a pit cease.
Requested about how he made the primary mistake on the grid, Alonso stated he wasn’t certain.
“I must evaluate clearly; I made a mistake,” he stated.
“After they informed me 5 seconds penalty, I stated okay, I must drive just a little bit sooner to make (up) these 5 seconds.
“However I must evaluate.”
Regardless of the end result, Alonso was content material with P4.
“Amidst the whole lot, I go away with a great feeling,” the Spaniard stated.
“A disgrace to not take the rostrum.”
With the same incident taking place to Alpine’s Estaban Ocon in Bahrain within the first race of the season, the precedent had been properly established for Alonso to be handed an extra 10-second time penalty, dropping him from P3 to P4.
Outdoors of Alonso’s prolonged anticipate a hundredth podium, it was one other story of Pink Bull domination as Sergio Perez led the overwhelming majority of the race to deliver house a 1-2 end for the Milton Keynes-based workforce.
The race noticed one other second of animosity between the 2 Pink Bulls within the dying levels, with Verstappen asking concerning the quickest lap, then held by Perez.
“We’re not involved about that in the meanwhile, Max,” replied an engineer.
“Yeah, however I’m,” got here the reply from the cockpit of the world champion.
Carlos Sainz took sixth together with his Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc seventh after beginning twelfth as a penalty for altering elements in his energy unit.
Alpine rounded out the again of the factors with Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly ending P8 and P9 respectively, whereas Haas received their first factors end since final yr’s United States Grand Prix, with Kevin Magnussen extending his run as the one driver to attain any factors for the workforce since Austria final yr.
Australian younger gun Oscar Piastri endured one other torrid outing in his second Grand Prix, getting squeezed out by Pierre Gasly within the first lap and damaging his entrance wing, ending fifteenth behind the pack alongside teammate Lando Norris.