The FIA will act immediately to amend an inconsistency in its rules which led to Fernando Alonso temporarily losing third place in yesterday’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
He was originally penalised 10 seconds after the stewards ruled Aston Martin had failed to serve another penalty correctly earlier in the race. They decided that by touching Alonso’s car with a jack while he was serving a five-second time penalty, his Aston Martin team had broken the rule forbidding them from working on his car while the sanction was being observed.
The stewards noted they “stated that what was agreed at the [Sporting Advisory Committee] meetings with the teams was that no part of the car could be touched while a penalty was being served as this would constitute working on the car.”
However Aston Martin successfully petitioned the FIA to reinstate Alonso to third place after pointing out other teams had acted the same way while serving past penalties. “Having reviewed the new evidence, we concluded that there was no clear agreement, as was suggested to the stewards previously, that could be relied upon to determine that parties had agreed that a jack touching a car would amount to working on the car,” the stewards agreed.
The conflict between the two interpretations of the rules is now set to be addressed before the next round of the world championship in Australia.
“The subsequent decision of the stewards to hear and grant the Right of Review by the competitor was the result of new evidence regarding the definition of ‘working on the car’, for which there were conflicting precedents, and this has been exposed by this specific circumstance,” said an FIA spokesperson.
“This topic will therefore be addressed at the next Sporting Advisory Committee taking place on Thursday, 23rd March, and a clarification will be issued ahead of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix. This open approach to the review and improvement of its processes is part of the FIA’s ongoing mission to regulate the sport in a fair and transparent way.”
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and