The Aston Martin driver finished third on the road in Sunday’s grand prix in Jeddah but was demoted from the podium after receiving a 10-second time penalty after the race. 

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Alonso picked up a five-second penalty for being out of position on the starting grid, and was then handed an additional post-race penalty after his crew were deemed to have been working on his car in the pits before the five seconds had elapsed. 

But after Aston Martin appealed the decision, the FIA announced the penalty had been overturned, officially confirming Alonso’s second podium of the season. 

"We considered that our original decision to impose a penalty on Car 14 needed to be reversed and we did so accordingly,” the stewards said. 

Why was the penalty overturned?  

"The Stewards received a letter dated 19th March 2023 from Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team with a Petition for Review pursuant to Article 14.1.1 of the International Sporting Code (ISC) of this Stewards panel’s decision to impose a 10-second penalty to Car 14 for failing to serve the penalty properly.

"In support of the Petition for Review, the Stewards were shown minutes of the latest SAC meeting and video evidence of 7 different instances where cars were touched by the jack while serving a similar penalty to the one imposed on Car 14 without being penalized.

"The clear submission by the Team was that the alleged representation of an agreement between the FIA and the teams that touching the car in any way, including with a jack, would constitute “working” on the car for the purposes of Article 54.4 (c) of the Sporting Regulations, was incorrect and therefore the basis of the Steward’s decision was wrong.

"In the light of the Petition, the Stewards had to decide if there was a “significant and relevant new element [that was] discovered which was unavailable to the parties seeking the review at the time of the decision concerned”.

"If there was such an element(s) then the Stewards would need to consider whether the decision needed to be modified in any way. 

"Having reviewed the video evidence presented and having heard from the Team representative of Aston Martin and the relevant members from the FIA, the Stewards determined that there did exist significant and relevant new evidence as required under Article 14.1.1 to trigger a review of the decision, in particular the video evidence and the verbal evidence from the Team and from the FIA.

"It was clear to us that the substratum of the original decision, namely the representation of there being an agreement, was called into question by the new evidence. We therefore proceeded to hear the substance of the request for review. 

"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, without more. 

"In the circumstances, we considered that our original decision to impose a penalty on Car 14 needed to be reversed and we did so accordingly."

The FIA's response 

An FIA spokesperson said: "The request to the Stewards for review of the initial decision (Document 51) was made in the last lap of the race. 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.

"This topic will therefore be addressed at the next Sporting Advisory Committee taking place on Thursday, 23 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."