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Alonso reprimanded for ignoring blue flags

NEWS STORY
08/10/2017

Fernando Alonso has been reprimanded for ignoring blue flags during today's Japanese Grand Prix.

Focussed on his battle with former teammate Felipe Massa for the last point scoring position, Alonso ignored a number of blue flags as race leader Lewis Hamilton came up from behind to lap him. Indeed, the time Hamilton lost behind the Spaniard allowed Max Verstappen to close in and thereby put his win in jeopardy.

The Suzuka stewards examined video evidence, positioning data and heard from Alonso and a McLaren representative.

Alonso was shown a solid blue indicator light on his dash and waved blue flags between Turn 14 and Turn 15 on Lap 51. He also had received a flashing blue light informing him that race leader Hamilton was closing on him for over a lap before. Alonso let Hamilton pass during lap 52 at Turn 11.

The drivers had been told in drivers’ briefings that the provisions of the International Sporting Code, that they “must allow the following car to pass at the earliest opportunity”, which means that they should do this for lapping cars regardless of their current battle.

The stewards concluded that Alonso did not do this. The Spaniard noted in the hearing that there was an opportunity allow Hamilton to pass on the front straight, but not thereafter until Turn 11. The stewards accepted that there are limited safe places to let a car past between Turns 2 and 9 which contributed to the length of time it took to allow Hamilton past.

In applying the penalty, the stewards compared the incident to other similar incidents and considered that while a breach, this was less severe than others and that when he did move over he gave plenty of room, and subsequently to Verstappen. The stewards therefore applied a reprimand (Driving) and 2 penalty points.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by mickl, 09/10/2017 13:23

"Maybe they'll make him drive a Toro Rosso next year.........."

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2. Posted by FormerF1Fan, 08/10/2017 21:58

"Was there a Honda representative in the Stewards' committee?
"

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3. Posted by Esteban, 08/10/2017 21:28

"Lol, what can they do to him?"

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