Spanish FIA Official Slams Fernando Alonso ‘Brake Test’ Penalty

Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso

One of the highest-ranking Spanish motor racing officials has slammed the highly controversial penalty levied against Fernando Alonso in Melbourne.

Some think George Russell crashed heavily in the closing moments of the Australian Grand Prix because he was ‘brake-tested’ by Alonso – a highly dangerous manoeuvre.

Others, though, slammed the FIA stewards, including former F1 driver Johnny Herbert, who has had several arguments with two-time champion Alonso in the past.

“That Herbert decides something that harms Alonso seems somewhat reprehensible to me,” Joaquin Verdegay, vice president of Spain’s motor racing federation, the RFEdA, told Soy Motor.

“It’s well known that their personal relationship is not good.”

In a rare move, Aston Martin team boss Mike Krack issued a media statement on Tuesday, declaring that Alonso’s penalty “when there was no contact with the following car” was a “bitter pill to swallow”.

“We made our best case but without new evidence we are unable to request a right of review,” he added.

Verdegay goes further, alleging that “apparently identical incidents” in Formula 1 are often given vastly “unfairly different” treatment.

“Either one penalty is exaggeratedly soft or another is exaggeratedly harsh, because the same event, logically, should be sanctioned with the same penalty,” he said.

“Personally, I don’t like the sanction imposed on Fernando at all. It seems unfair and disproportionate to me. It makes me wonder where the limit is. Losing 1 percent of speed is ok but 2 percent is excessive?”

Verdegay is also a former and occasional F1 steward, and he says he witnessed “the worst brake test ever done” involving Ralf Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve at Melbourne, 2001.

“It ended in the worst possible way, with an official dead as a result of a tyre impact. A brake test can cause people to die and what happened with Alonso was not a brake test,” he insisted.

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