“Rumour” emerges that Mercedes snitched on Alonso to FIA

Mercedes complained about Fernando Alonso to the F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix stewards to get the Aston Martin driver penalised, according to a paddock “rumour” revealed by Sky's Ted Kravitz. 
Fernando Alonso (ESP) Aston Martin F1
Fernando Alonso (ESP) Aston Martin F1

Alonso finished third on the road in Jeddah but was demoted to fourth after his team were deemed to have worked on his car while he was serving a five-second penalty during his pit stop.

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But the stewards’ overturned their decision and reinstated Alonso’s podium after Aston Martin successfully argued there were previous examples of drivers not being penalised in similar situations.

The U-turn raised question marks over why it had taken the FIA so long to investigate an incident that occurred relatively early in the race.

With two laps remaining, Mercedes’ George Russell was told there could be another penalty on the way for Alonso despite no official investigation being launched.

“Is he getting the penalty or not?” Russell responded. “I am pushing like a madman at the minute.”

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Aston Martin F1 Team AMR23. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 2, Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Jeddah,
Fernando Alonso (ESP) Aston Martin F1 Team AMR23. Formula 1 World…

Russell was the main beneficiary of Alonso’s second time penalty as it briefly promoted the Briton into third, before the decision was then reversed.

In an intriguing development, a rumour in the paddock suggests Mercedes were the team who reported Alonso to the stewards, according to Sky Sports F1 pitlane reporter Kravitz.

"He got a penalty, but when you serve a penalty, you are not allowed to do any work on the car,” Kravitz said.

"The remote operations centre had seen whether the guy at the back holding the rear jack had actually touched the car before the five-second penalty was served.

"At the time, they had decided that there was no real hard place to go with Aston Martin, that he hadn't touched the car, and even if he had, it was OK.

"But then later on, another team that had something to gain, the rumour is Mercedes but that is unconfirmed, complained and said we think you need to take a further look at this because the Sporting Advisory Committee (SAC) had said maybe you can't touch the back of the car with the rear jack.

"At the end Aston Martin said no, the SAC had never said that you can't touch the car with the jack, it is just you can't do any meaningful work on it and there had been lots of other instances where teams had touched the car with the jack.

“Rumour” emerges that Mercedes snitched on Alonso to FIA

"So, that in the end meant Alonso was confirmed in his third place.

"It is a difficult question because the previous race for Esteban Ocon, a team member had touched the car within the five-second penalty period and he had been given a 10-second penalty for the team member doing that.

"So, there is a little bit of inconsistency but Aston Martin were able to show that the minutes of the SAC had shown it doesn't count if you attach a jack."In a sporting way, it is a little thing, it didn't affect the outcome in a sporting sense.

"Alonso didn't gain any time by a team member attaching a jack to the back of his car so I think on balance, in a sporting way, it was the right thing to do to confirm his third place finish."

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