No 100th podium at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix for Fernando Alonso! If the Spaniard took part in the ceremony, accepted the trophy and drank the rose water, he ended up receiving a ten-second penalty for poor execution of a first penalty imposed on him at the start of the race for his poor positioning at the start . He is therefore demoted and moves back to fourth position, giving third place to George Russell who had finished 5.1 seconds on track. Alonso saves the top 4 for just over three tenths against Lewis Hamilton.
In fact, the Spaniard attempted to honor his five-second penalty (for his delay outside the starting area) during the Safety Car period following his team-mate Lance Stroll’s retirement, but the team did poorly. As a result, as had been the case for the exact same offenses and under the same conditions for Alpine and Esteban Ocon in Bahrain, ten seconds were added to his race time just after the event.
Asked before hearing his second penalty and the loss of his podium, Alonso said of the first penalty received for crossing the white line with the left tires of his AMR23 at the start: “Of course I have to analyze that. I made a mistake and when they told me I had a five second penalty I told myself I had to go a little faster to gain those five seconds back. But I have to analyze that.”
In the closing laps of the race, Alonso but also Russell had been asked to pick up the pace in the face of the prospect of a penalty.
It appears that the long delay before a decision is made on the Alonso case is related to the fact that the case has been sent to the FIA’s external control room (the “VAR”) for investigation.