Fernando Alonso has ripped into the FIA rule which dictates how the grid shapes up after a red flag is waved.
Alonso was tagged by the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz when the Australian Grand Prix restarted with two laps remaining, and subsequently dropped from third place to P11. The original re-start positions, however, were reinstated and Alonso took his third podium in as many races at the start of the 2023 season.
When the red flag was waved, Alonso jumped on team radio and laid into a rule that had come under mass scrutiny at the British Grand Prix last year.
“F***, f***. Stupid rule, How the hell can you put a red flag before?” exclaimed Alonso.
“Maybe because we didn’t complete a lap we go back to the same positions like we did in Silverstone. Check this immediately, they should do this, they should do it.”
What the rules say...
Rules state that the original grid order at a restart must be upheld if no driver completes a single sector of a lap before a race is curtailed again.
This was implemented back at Silverstone last year when George Russell rear-ended Zhou Guanyu at the first corner, and a huge grid re-alignment meant that a number of drivers’ overtakes were erased – much to the dismay of many.
The FIA took the best part of 15 minutes to come to a decision on how to restart and effectively end the Australian GP, but eventually decided that consistency was needed.
This partly saved Sainz’s blushes, who could have cost his compatriot a large number of points, but the younger Spaniard was still served a five-second penalty and therefore dropped out of the points prior to a potential appeal.
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