Fernando Alonso penalized, becomes fourth: what the rules say

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A heinous mockery, due to a mistake on the part of his team.

Fernando Alonso loses third place in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, which would have coincided with podium number 100 of his Formula 1 career. The Asturian celebrated it on the podium in Jeddah, but minutes after the celebration came the announcement from the FIA. There are indeed 10-second penalties for him, with George Russell the race’s new third place finisher.

The reason for the decision stems from the penalty Alonso had to serve on the track, due to his incorrect positioning on the grid for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. He did this during his pit stop, however, which occurred after the entry of the Safety Car due to the retirement of teammate Lance Stroll. And regulation in hand this is not allowed.

“Unless the driver was already at the entrance of the pit lane with the intention of serving the penalty, he can no longer proceed to do so if there is a Virtual Safety Car regime on the track or if the entry of the Safety Car has been ordered,” in fact states point 54.4B of the regulations. Reason why Alonso becomes the fourth place finisher in Jeddah, behind Russell.

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