Fernando Alonso has lost his 100th Formula One podium after being penalized post-race at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. As a result of the decision, George Russell has been elevated to third place, marking Mercedes’ first podium finish of the 2023 FORMULA 1 Season.
Alonso was given a five-second penalty before his first pit stop due to lining up outside his grid box at the start. In the final stages of the race, Mercedes informed Russell that Alonso might have a penalty. Later, it was suspected that the Aston Martin pit crew had touched the car before the driver had been stationary for five seconds.
Despite the penalty, Alonso finished in third place and celebrated on the podium. However, shortly after receiving his trophy, the stewards confirmed their investigation, and Alonso was issued a 10-second penalty, moving Russell up to third place.
Alonso expressed his dissatisfaction with the FIA’s decision to confirm his penalty after the race had ended, despite serving the penalty before the midway point of the race.
“Today is not good for the fans, when you have 35 laps to apply the penalty and are informed about the penalty and you wait after the podium, there is something wrong in the system.
“I feel sorry for the fans, but I enjoyed the podium, I took the trophy, I have the pictures, I celebrate with the champagne, and now 15 or 12 points doesn’t change much for me, but it is a little bit sad for the FIA, yes.”
“It’s not fair for George and the Mercedes sponsors; they would love to be on the podium.
“If he was third in the race he should enjoy the podium and not me, I feel sorry for George, for Mercedes sponsors, for George’s fans,” said Alonso.