Veteran Spanish driver Fernando Alonso achieved his 100th career podium by finishing third in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, the second round of the Formula One World Championship.
The 2005 and 2006 World Champion finished third during Sunday’s race but was relegated to fourth after adding 10 seconds to his race time due to an early violation of a previous five-second penalty.
Race watchers saw the mechanic touch the car before the five-second stop penalty expired, so the Spaniard paid the price by adding 10 seconds to his time.
As a result, Briton George Russell (Mercedes) took third place, considering this decision a kind of “sharpness”.
But the Aston Martin team appealed the decision of the International Federation, which returned Alonso to the starting position.
“After reviewing the new evidence, we concluded that the lack of a clear agreement, as previously suggested by the race stewards, can be relied upon to determine that the parties agreed that touching the lever on the car was tantamount to operating the car.” the IAAF wrote in a statement late Sunday evening.
He continued: “In these circumstances, we felt that our original decision to impose a fine on car 14 (Alonso) should be reversed, and we did.”
Alonso received the first penalty after crossing the legal line and leading the race for 50 laps.
The Spaniard didn’t look nervous after falling from third place as he climbed to the podium alongside Mexican race winner Sergio Pires in front of his Red Bull teammate, the last two seasons’ world champion, Dutchman Max Verstappen.
He said: “I’m not very upset. It’s not harmful. I stood on the podium, took pictures and got the cup.”
The 41-year-old accused the FIA of misapplying the penalty: “You can’t apply a penalty after 35 laps in the garage.”
In turn, Russell said: “The punishment for Aston Martin is severe. They deserve to be on the podium today.”
Alonso is third in the overall driver standings after third in the opening rounds in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, with Verstappen one point clear of teammate Pires.
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