Fernando Alonso’s podium reinstated after Aston Martin appeal at Saudi Arabian GP
Fernando Alonso’s podium at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix has been reinstated after Aston Martin were successful in a late appeal on Sunday night.
Alonso was originally celebrating his second podium in a row for Aston after coming home third, before he was hit with a 10-second time penalty for not serving a five-second penalty correctly in the pits, demoting him to fourth.
However, Aston appealed soon after the race due to a technicality in the rulebook and as the clock hit 1am in Jeddah, Alonso’s third-place finish was reinstated and subsequently his 100th podium in Formula 1.
The double world champion, minutes before the reinstatement was made official, tweeted: “100th podium! What an amazing TEAM we have and fast car! Proud of you Aston Martin.”
The Spaniard, who took the lead of the race as he overtook Sergio Perez down into turn one, had to serve a five-second time penalty for not being in the correct grid spot at the start of the grand prix.
Then, having lost first place to eventual race winner Perez, Alonso served the penalty at his first pit stop but upon review work started on his car milliseconds too early, with the rear jack raised too soon.
However, team principal Mike Krack reffered to “ambiguity” in the regulations regarding what constitutes “working” on the car and – on that basis – the stewards decided to reverse the 10-second penalty and thus Alonso was restored to third place.
George Russell drops back down to fourth.
100th Podium ! What an amazing TEAM we have and fast car! Proud of you @AstonMartinF1 💙. pic.twitter.com/ozhApWJbc1
— Fernando Alonso (@alo_oficial) March 19, 2023
Alonso had said post-race that he “didn’t care too much” about the penalty but did slam the FIA for how long it took them to make the decision.
“It doesn’t hurt too much,” Alonso said. “It’s more the FIA who fall short today.
“You cannot apply a penalty 35 laps after the pit stop. They had enough time to inform me about the penalty - if I knew I could have pushed for 11 seconds, so it’s not good for the fans.
“No one told me about this five seconds, there was no information at all, not even investigated. I don’t understand fully the second penalty. I care but I don’t care that much - I celebrated but I have three points less.”
Two-time world champion Alonso was extremely pleased with his car, after also finishing on the podium at the first race in Bahrain.
He added: “Arguably here we were stronger than Bahrain. I don’t want to be too optimistic but it looks good.”
Alonso will next be in action at the Australian Grand Prix in two weeks’time at Albert Park, Melbourne (31 March-2 April).