Why did the FIA ​​penalize Alonso and then reconsider?

The FIA ​​penalized Alonso with ten seconds after the race because they argued that the Spaniard had not correctly complied with the initial five-second penalty. He received that first penalty for incorrectly positioning himself on the starting grid (slightly listing to the left). And he fulfilled it in his tire change, lap 20. But in the penultimate lap, the stewards received the claim from another competitor (Mercedes) because a mechanic had touched Fernando’s car with the rear jack before the regulatory five seconds. In this way, they imposed a second ten-second penalty that dropped Alonso to fourth position in favor of Russell.

This was so because it is forbidden to work while the seconds of the penalty elapse. There was also a close precedent: Ocon was penalized five seconds in Bahrain for an incorrect grid position, and then another ten because his mechanics started the wheel change maneuver too soon. But in this case, the mechanics received the warning before five seconds had passed, so it was well applied.

This time, Aston Martin submitted a review to argue that “touching a car is not working on a car”. The FIA ​​accepted the appeal and reinstated the initial classification with Alonso third and Russell fourth.

A spokesperson for the body explains: “The request to the stewards to review the initial decision was made on the last lap of the race. The commissioners’ decision to listen and guarantee the right of review was the result of new evidence on the definition of “working on a car”, for which there are conflicting precedents. This has happened in this circumstance and the issue will be dealt with at the next Sports Advisory Committee which will take place on Thursday, March 23. A clarification will be sent before the 2023 Australian GP.

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