FIA clarify pit stop penalty rules after Alonso drama in Saudi Arabia

The FIA have issued a clarification around serving penalties at a pit stop following the drama that ensued at the F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix with Fernando Alonso.
FIA clarify pit stop penalty rules after Alonso drama in Saudi Arabia

Alonso was handed a five-second penalty following the opening lap in Jeddah for being incorrectly positioned on the grid.

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The Spaniard served the penalty, however, in the final few laps, he was put under investigation by the FIA for failing to serve the penalty correctly.

Alonso was initially handed a 10-second time penalty after the stewards found that Aston Martin were deemed to have been working on his car - his rear jack was touching the AMR23.

However, the decision was ultimately overturned following Aston Martin submitting a right to review, handing Alonso back his second podium of F1 2023.

Article 54.4 of the FIA’s sporting regulations reads: “whilst a car is stationary in the pit lane as a result of incurring a penalty in accordance with Articles 54.3a) or 54.3b), it may not be worked on until the car has been stationary for the duration of the penalty”.

Ahead of Friday practice in Australia, Steve Neilsen - the FIA’s single-seater director, clarified the issue: “For clarity and until further notice, in this context the physical touching of the car or driver by hand, tools or equipment (including the front and rear jacks) during any such penalty will all be considered to constitute work.

“The use of cooling fans during a penalty is permitted providing any such fan does not physically touch the car.

“As is already common practice, multiple penalties incurred under Articles 54.3a and 54.3b prior to a car’s pit stop can be served in series at a single pit stop. For example, a 5sec + 10sec penalty can be served as a single 15sec penalty and so on.”

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