Alex Albon, Williams, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2022

Albon gets three-place grid penalty, no action on Sainz and Perez yellow flag incidents

2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

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Alexander Albon will have a three-place grid penalty for the Australian Grand Prix after the stewards ruled he caused a collision in today’s race.

The Williams driver retired from the race after tangling with Lance Stroll at turn one on lap 47. After speaking to both drivers and their teams, and consulting video replays, the stewards ruled Albon was largely to blame for the collision.

“Car 23 [Albon] was attempting to overtake car 18 [Stroll] on the inside by braking late,” they noted. “In executing the overtaking manoeuvre, car 23 locked up and collided with car 18 at the apex of
the corner.

“We determined that car 23 was wholly or predominantly to blame for the collision.”

In addition to the three-place grid penalty, Albon was given two penalty points on his licence. These are the first he’s collected since returning to F1 following his year as a reserve driver.

The stewards also confirmed no action will be taken over the investigation which was announced into the yellow flag incidents during the final two laps of the race.

The stewards had noted Sergio Perez, Carlos Sainz Jnr and Kevin Magnussen may have failed to slow sufficiently for the yellow flags which were displayed during the final two laps of the race. However they later announced “after reviewing the data we determined that no further investigation or action was required.”

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2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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22 comments on “Albon gets three-place grid penalty, no action on Sainz and Perez yellow flag incidents”

  1. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
    27th March 2022, 21:28

    Albon was well along side (at least half way up which I consider well along side) and Stroll just chopped in on him. At least from the few shots that I saw I would have thought Stroll was most at fault.

    1. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
      27th March 2022, 21:30

      Just saw the replay again… Stroll completely left the door open and Albon was well along side. Albon only locked up when he realized Stroll was just going to cut down on him. Bad ruling by the stewards.

    2. The way I remember it, Albon hit the curb a bit too hot and bounced/understeered into Stroll. But it wasn’t entirely clear cut from the transmission. It also looked like Stroll could have left just a little bit more space.

    3. @flyingferrarim I agree that Albon is not “wholly at fault”. Another blunder by the new race direction, to add to cutting the track and overtaking under safety car. Race direction should have called this a racing incident.

      1. This is not too different from Albon vs Hamilton Brazil.
        Going with consistency, Albon is at fault.

      2. Quite similar to tsunoda vs stroll in interlagos too. Stroll showing his poor situational awareness again

  2. I blame Stroll for their late incident.
    Albon couldn’t move any more left than he was & was considerably enough alongside to have right for space, so Stroll should’ve left him more rather than take all away at the last minute, yet a 3-place grid penalty for Albon.

  3. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    27th March 2022, 21:41

    Weird, Albon came from far back but was very much alongside going into the corner – looked to me Stroll wasn’t looking in his mirrors and could have given Albon more space. Don’t agree with that.

  4. Weird that Leclerc didnt get a penalty or warning for crossing the white line at pit entry.

    1. Not even an investigation. I remember Yuki being pinned for it in Austria twice last year but his whole car was in the entry lane and then he crossed out of it again. I’m not sure if the regulation allows a portion to cut it (which is what happens in Brazil yeh?)

  5. RandomMallard
    27th March 2022, 21:46

    I agree with the general sentiment that it’s a bit harsh on Albon. To me, it looked much more like being slightly closer to Stroll’s fault or a racing incident (I often imagine these things on a spectrum from “Driver A’s fault” through “Racing Incident” in the middle through to “Driver B’s fault”, and would argue this one was slightly leaning towards Stroll’s side on this occasion).

  6. I’m not really convinced about the yellow flag ruling. Anthony Davidson showed the replays and it seemed all three drivers did what you might call a micro-lift and lost about 1-1.5 tenths on their delta compared to their fastest pass of that corner in the race. That hardly seems to comply with “slow down and be prepared to stop”. Let’s be honest, they were still going at racing speed when approaching the incident. This is not dissimilar to many drivers failing to lift at all when passing Max’s stricken car in Baku last year.

    I fear that if they don’t clamp down on behaviour under double waved yellows then there are bound to be further incidents which could end up being serious with potentially stopped cars, drivers, or marshals on the track.

    1. Yep, it’s too ambiguous. Would a localised VSC work? Also, what was with the marshals wearing grey pushing Alonso and Ricciardo’s cars in the pit entry? Perfect colour to not be seen…

    2. Quantifying stopping readiness is nearly impossible as this varies depending on circumstances such as track conditions, section (corner versus straight-line for instance), & speed when arriving into a caution zone.
      Sometimes higher speed reduction is necessary, sometimes lower.
      @keithedin @tommy-c

  7. I disagree. I looked to me as though stroll left room on entry and then slammed the door at the last second. Which would align with Stroll’s general racing style.

  8. It was a lot like Tsunoda on Stroll in Brazil last year too, come from far back, but both times they got more than half their car alongside and Stroll just turns in like they don’t exist. I don’t get the ruling by the stewards, surely having more than half your car alongside before the apex satisfies the ‘significant portion of your car alongside’ rule, in which case Stroll should be ruled at fault for just turning in like there isn’t a car there.

    1. someone or something
      28th March 2022, 0:20

      Completely agree. Seems like Stroll doesn’t learn from this kind of situation. Absolutely puzzling decision by the Stewards, penalising the wrong driver.

    2. @Laz @someone or something
      Tsunoda made a late kamikaze move that Albon didn’t, so the Brazil incident wasn’t Stroll’s fault.

  9. I’d have to see the replay again. My initial thought was that it was a racing incident where there was half a chance with Albon quite a way alongside but Stroll unwilling to yield. Disappointing for Albon but realistically it doesn’t look like it’ll make a world of difference.

    1. Stroll just did exactly what Albon did against Hamilton in their famous Brazilian coming together.

      1. You mean the famous incident that Hamilton apologized for after the race?

  10. Lot of people blaming Stroll. However the stewards have the access to the telemetry. If they saw that Albon would not have made the corner or allowed both to make the corner they would have penalised Albon.

    The guidelines say:

    “…a driver being overtaken must give “sufficient room to an overtaking car” if “a significant portion” is alongside.

    The overtaking manoeuvre must be done “in a safe and controlled manner, while enabling the car to remain within the limits of the track”.

    Based on this they must have judged that Albon did not have a significant portion alongside Stroll when Stroll turned in (other posters conceded Albon came from a long way back) and that Albon’s attempt was either not safe or controlled or would not have enabled the car to remain within the limits of the track.

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