Fernando Alonso cops penalty for Carlos Sainz sprint race clash

Fernando Alonso was hit with a penalty for a clash with Carlos Sainz in the China sprint race.

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Aston Martin F1 Team AMR24. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 5, Chinese Grand Prix, Shanghai, China,
Fernando Alonso (ESP) Aston Martin F1 Team AMR24. Formula 1 World…

Fernando Alonso has been handed a 10-second time penalty for a clash with Carlos Sainz in F1’s Chinese Grand Prix sprint race.

The two Spaniards collided while engaging in a hard battle for third place during Saturday morning’s sprint race in Shanghai.

Alonso picked up a puncture due to the contact and eventually retired from the race.

The two-time world champion’s penalty ultimately made no difference to the result but he did also have three penalty points added to his licence.

Alonso now has six penalty points for the current 12-month period, leaving him halfway to a potential race ban.

A statement from the FIA race stewards read: "As per the guidelines on driving standards, which was agreed with the teams, an infringement of this nature required that a baseline penalty of 10 seconds was to be added to the time of a car that caused a collision.

“Article 54.3 of the Sporting Regulations states if the 10 second penalty is imposed after the end of a sprint session, then 10 seconds will be added to the elapsed time of the driver concerned. We accordingly added 10 seconds to the elapsed time of Car 14.

“As an aside to the FIA, we note that the language in the regulations as to when a car has retired and the resultant consequences on penalties that may be imposed or served, especially when that car is otherwise classified, is somewhat unclear and we would recommend that the FIA considers making the necessary amendments to bring greater clarity to this issue.”

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