Alonso claimed his second consecutive third-place finish in Jeddah but a 10-second time penalty for failing to properly serve an earlier penalty in the race demoted him from the podium, before the decision was overturned and his P3 was restored.

Can Red Bull win every race this season?

Having served an initial five-second penalty during his pit stop after being judged to have been out of position on the starting grid, Alonso’s crew were deemed to have started work on the car before the five seconds had elapsed.

Following a post-race investigation, the second time penalty was confirmed minutes after Alonso had taken part in the podium celebrations. Before it was overturned, the two-time world champion called it “sad” for F1’s governing body the FIA. 

“I think today is not good for the fans,” Alonso said. 

“When you take 35 laps to apply a penalty and to inform about the penalty and you inform after the podium, there’s something really wrong in the system. But it’s the way it is.

“I feel sorry for the fans. But I really enjoyed the podium. I took the trophy, I had the pictures, I celebrated with the champagne.

“Now to have 15 points or 12 points it really doesn’t change much for me. But it is a bit sad for the FIA, yes.”

The 41-year-old Spaniard said he also felt sorry for George Russell and Mercedes because they were not able to celebrate the podium they subsequently inherited. 

“No, it’s not fair for George, because I guess the Mercedes sponsors would love to be on the podium,” he added. 

“But for us it’s good, we have [Saudi-based title sponsor] Aramco, we have the picture and I think it’s not fair for George because if he really was third in the race he should enjoy the podium and not me.

“So I feel sorry for George, for Mercedes’ sponsors, for George’s fans. For me, I only took advantage of this race.

“If George really deserved the podium, it’s sad that he could not celebrate it. For me, I enjoyed it.”

Russell: Alonso’s penalties ‘too extreme’

Mercedes’ Russell, who was the beneficiary of Alonso’s demotion for as long as it lasted, felt the penalties were “too extreme” and called for “common sense” to be applied in such situations. 

"I understand why these rules are there, we've got to stick within the guidelines, a little bit of common sense needs to be shown," Russell said.

"Ultimately I think he was a bit to the left, was that right? He gained nothing from this, perhaps a five-second [penalty] is too much.

"But then in regards to his pitstop again, I don't know what happened and why he received a further penalty exactly, but a 10-second penalty is too extreme in that case again."