Fernando Alonso ‘knew what he was doing’ with George Russell battle tactics

It has been claimed that Fernando Alonso was trying to exploit a "grey area" in his late battle with George Russell.

Fernando Alonso was punished for "potentially dangerous driving"
Fernando Alonso was punished for "potentially dangerous driving"

Ex-F1 driver Timo Glock has claimed Fernando Alonso knew exactly what he was doing with driving that ultimately earned him a penalty at the Australian Grand Prix.

Aston Martin driver Alonso was penalised 20 seconds for “potentially dangerous driving” in an incident that led to a heavy crash for Mercedes’ George Russell.

The pair were battling over sixth place in the closing stages of the Melbourne race when Russell crashed out, although the pair never made contact.

Alonso admitted he had braked too early at Turn 6 before accelerating again. The manoeuvre took Russell, who was running directly behind, by surprise as he lost control of his car and slammed into the barriers.

Former grand prix racer Glock believes Alonso was trying to exploit a “grey area” of the regulations in order to “gain an advantage”.

“Alonso brakes very early and allows Russell to catch up,” Glock told Sky Deutschland. “Alonso’s idea was to catch Russell off guard, slow him down, and then accelerate early to open a gap.

“It was so extreme that Russell didn’t expect it at all. He got way too close and lost downforce.

“Alonso extends his elbows and uses the grey area to gain an advantage. He already knows what he’s doing with his experience.”

Alonso described his punishment - which dropped him from sixth to eighth in the final results - as “disappointing” and insisted he had been nursing battery problems on his car in the final stages.

"George caught me quickly, I knew that he was coming," Alonso said.

"Then he was in DRS range for five or six laps, so I was just doing qualifying laps to stay ahead.

"I wanted to maximise my exit speed from Turn 6 to defend against him. That’s what any racing driver would do, and I didn’t feel it was dangerous.

"It’s disappointing to get a penalty from the stewards for what was hard but fair racing. Still, I’m glad that George is okay. It was not nice to see his car in the middle of the track."

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