Despite an excellent weekend at the Formula 1 Canadian GP, Fernando Alonso only finished ninth in the race after receiving a five second penalty. The penalty was for an overly aggressive defence against Valtteri Bottas. But former team mate Romain Grosjean felt that the penalty was unfair and that the drivers should be allowed to fight it out, the French driver very angry over the penalty.
Unlucky since the start of the season, Fernando Alonso has nevertheless confirmed that he is as talented as ever. Very fast in Montreal, the two-time world champion took second place in qualifying. Since 2012 and his pole position at the German Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso had not started from the front row. However, in the race, the Spaniard was unable to build on his excellent qualifying, finishing only ninth in Canada.
Seventh on the finish line, the Alpine driver was penalised by 5 seconds after the race, which pushed him back two places, benefiting the two Alfa Romeos. The FIA had criticised Fernando Alonso for zigzagging in the middle of the straight to defend his position against Valtteri Bottas.
“Between turns 10 and 12, on the penultimate lap of the race, car 14 made repeated changes of direction to defend itself against car 77, which at one point had to let off the accelerator and briefly lost momentum. While noting the driver’s argument that at no time was car 77 alongside car 14, the stewards consider this to be a clear breach of the above regulations. The stewards therefore impose a time penalty of 5 seconds in line with that imposed for a similar incident at the 2022 Australian GP,” said the FIA statement, which was based on Article 2b of Chapter IV, Appendix L of the International Sporting Code.”
A sanction that is not to Romain Grosjean’s liking.
The former Haas driver, who was commenting on the Canadian GP for Canal+, was very angry about the penalty received by Fernando Alonso:
“He got a 5-second penalty after the race. I don’t agree with that. It’s true that he moved twice on the straight, but this straight is not straight, it’s not easy to go straight. Secondly: it’s a race for God’s sake!
“Let them fight, let them defend, let them give it their all! It’s good to have rules, but don’t overdo it. It didn’t deserve 5 seconds, that’s my opinion. Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s my feeling.”
All the more disappointing as the two-time world champion was having an impressive weekend as Romain Grosjean pointed out:
“What a pleasure to see Fernando perform. If you look at a 20-year-old driver in his first season in Formula 1, you will see the same passion, the same fire as Fernando. He was very fast in the dry on Friday.
“Then he was very impressive in the wet on Saturday. I think he had an interesting strategy on Sunday. He stayed on the track for a long time on the medium tyre, 20 laps. He might have been one of the few drivers who would have tried a one-stop strategy during that race, without the intervention of the virtual and then the real safety car later on.”