Alonso was initially given a five-second time penalty for an incorrect starting position at the beginning of the race. When he served this penalty in the pits, it was initially ruled that mechanics began working on his car before the five-second penalty had elapsed - and this became the sticking point.

Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack said: “The regulations say ‘you may not work on the car’. It is ambiguous. We have a clear procedure, a countdown.”

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Alonso was critical: “On the second penalty, there was no information at all.”

Alonso was given a 10-second penalty for the second transgression, when his mechanics began work on his car too early, dropping him out of his podium-finish and into fourth-place behind George Russell. But it didn’t last long.

The FIA rule says a car that has a time penalty can not be “worked on until the car has been stationary for the duration of the penalty”.

The disagreement over whether Aston Martin broke rules, and therefore Alonso deserved to be punished, essentially comes down to: what constitutes “worked on”.

The rear jack man pushed his jack under Alonso’s car before the five seconds had elapsed. But he did not raise the car.

The FIA then said to justify penalising Alonso again: “No part of the car could be touched while a penalty was being served as this would constitute working on the car. In this case, it was clear, that the car was touched by the rear jack.”

Aston Martin appealed. The FIA Stewards were shown seven previous examples of a car being touched, but not lifted, by a rear jack without being penalised.

Aston Martin argued that the FIA wording that “touching the car in any way” is wrong. Essentially, only working on the car should be outlawed during a time penalty.

The Stewards reviewed the appeal and decided that the wording in the FIA rules cannot be clearly agreed upon.

So, Alonso was reinstated to his third-place finish!

Expect the FIA to re-word their rules to clarify this issue before the F1 Australian Grand Prix.