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Alonso escapes penalty, Caterham fined

Race winner Fernando Alonso has escaped a possible penalty for receiving a flag on his in-lap after winning the Spanish GP
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso had a trip to see the race stewards after the end of the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya on Sunday afternoon.

He had received a Spanish flag from a track worker while on his in-lap after crossing the finish line to claim victory in the Barcelona event, something that's not allowed under FIA rules.

Receiving an object after the end of race signal is technically deemed an alleged breach of Article 43.3 of the FIA F1 Sporting Regulations. The race stewards - which in Spain included the 1980 F1 world champion Alan Jones - summoned the driver and Ferrari team representative to discuss the matter and also examined video evidence, have considered the following matter.

In the end, the fur stewards decided to take no further action regarding the matter, with the official reason being that it was in order "to be consistent with a previous decision made under similar circumstances."

Less fortunate was the Caterham team, which has received a 10,000 euro fine for allowing Giedo van der Garde to exit from pit lane on lap 20 with one of the wheels of the #21 car insecurely fitted. The left rear wheel came off moments later and flew off, fortunately into a gravel trap and not into the path of a competitor, but the stewards still deemed it a serious matter.

Van der Garde attempted to make it back to pit lane on three wheels, but the journey damaged the car too badly and it was retired in the garage having been running as high as 19th position at the time of the incident.

Finding that Caterham had instructed the driver to drive the car back to the Pits even though they were aware of the wheel not being attached correctly, the stewards deemed the team guilty of an unsafe release from a Pit Stop - a breach of Article 23.12 of the FIA F1 Sporting Regulations - and issued the fine.

The Sauber F1 team had also deemed to have breached the same F1 regulation during the race after releasing Nico Hülkenberg from his pit stall right into the path of Jean-Eric Vergne's Toro Rosso. In that incident, since the incident didn't lead to Hülkenberg's immediate retirement as it had in van der Garde's case, the stewards handed down a ten second stop-and-go penalty to the car which Hülkenberg served during the Grand Prix.

Last year's race winner, Williams' Pastor Maldonado, also fell foul of the race stewards during the race after exceeding the pit lane speed limit during one of his stops for fresh tyres. Maldonado was required to execute a drive-thru penalty during the race and finished the race out of the points in 14th place, one position ahead of Hülkenberg.

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12.05.2013-  Race, Crash, Giedo Van der Garde (NED), Caterham F1 Team CT03
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deathraceking - Unregistered

May 12, 2013 8:20 PM

That would have been the ****iest decision ever, even by current F1 standards. I could understand it if he was handed 25kg of lead weight to ballast his car up - but a flag!! Get a grip FIA.


May 13, 2013 1:39 AM

Really, crash.net? "In the end, the fur stewards..." Proof read, guys. "Maldonado was required to execute a drive-thru penalty..." This one is just inexcusable for a journalist.

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