Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Suzuka, 2018

Alonso: Stroll clash penalty “shows how bad Formula One is”

2018 Japanese Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso said the penalty he received following his incident with Lance Stroll during the Japanese Grand Prix “shows how bad Formula One is”

He and the Williams driver were penalised for the collision between the pair at the chicane. Stroll apologised to Alonso after the race but the McLaren driver was unhappy by the stewards’ response to the incident.

“It just shows how bad Formula One is,” said Alonso. “You are braking on the outside of the last corner, one guy doesn’t see you, he comes to apologise, you go in the gravel and you get a penalty. So, it’s a shame.”

Alonso stressed it was “just the decisions” that infuriated him. “He didn’t see me. If he saw me and said ‘I’m going to put you in the grass’ it’s another thing but the stewards are an unfortunate situation in a race situation.

“It doesn’t change much because instead of 14th maybe you finish 12th but you know, it’s the way it is.”

Stroll described their collision between the pair as a racing incident. “Just racing. Around 130R, coming back, first lap stuff – made a bit of contact and that was that. He went straight, I defended – typical stuff on the first lap.”

Asked why he apologised to Alonso, Stroll said: “I just wanted to say no hard feelings about the first lap – things got heated and we both got penalties.”

Stroll said his race was ruined from that point. “Obviously I got a five second penalty and there was a lot of wear on the tyres, we thought the mediums would go a lot longer. As I say, just a bad race.”

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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11 comments on “Alonso: Stroll clash penalty “shows how bad Formula One is””

  1. Todays F1 is just erratic drivers and angry team radios.

  2. <“It just shows how bad Formula One is,” said Alonso. “You are braking on the outside of the last corner, one guy doesn’t see you, he comes to apologise, you go in the gravel and you get a penalty. So, it’s a shame.”>

    Wait? Wait? I didn’t see the Alonso interview, that’s not a typo or anything is it? Because if that is Alonso’s way of saying, ‘He didn’t see me and we touched’ then it’s pretty chuckle worthy.

    ………..I may have to steal it.

  3. The problem is the inconsistency and political bias of race control. Drivers simply don’t know anymore what they are dealing with. This leads to more penalties, since drivers are not able to get grip on the train of thoughts of race control. The stewards are creating their own work. FIA doesn’t get this bigger picture, And there’s the vicious circle they get stuck in. In the meantime the audience tunes off.

    1. It sure is yeah @mayrton, as well as that they seem to take in account a drivers age (with Verstappen in the last 2 years) they take in account who is running towards the top of the championship and in this case it really is crazy because Stroll was punished for pushing Alonso off, so then it should be clear that stroll would have had to concede the position to Alonso, but then Alonso also gets a penalty for not giving that position back?


  4. Not having Alonso will be a blessing for F1. He is harming the sport with his constant whining.

      1. Could you explain a little better? Thousands of fans believe what Alonso is saying and he isn’t saying much positives about F1, according to the articles.

  5. He may whine a lot but at least he is fair. His penalty was unjustified. Stroll made a mistake and lost a position as a result. Officials should have just left it at that

    1. Is this an eye-for-eye thinking? I cut your arm and you cut my leg and we are all fine, no punishments. I made a mistake by cutting your arm and lost my leg as a result.

Comments are closed.