Alonso penalised for Ocon clash


Sao Paulo stewards hit Fernando Alonso with time penalty and penalty points following first lap clash with teammate Esteban Ocon.

Having heard from both drivers and reviewed video and telemetry evidence, the stewards found that Alonso started a pass on Ocon at turn 15.

Alpine had noted that Ocon was unusually slow because aero damage due incurred earlier at turn 4, however the stewards determined via telemetry that the Frenchman was at similar speeds to other cars at the same point on the track that were not in a tow.

Alonso, however, was significantly faster as he had the tow, and - as he admitted in the hearing - slightly misjudged the time to pull out and struck Ocon from behind, his front wing striking the Frenchman's rear tyre.

The stewards deemed that Alonso was wholly at fault for the collision, which at those speeds and at that location on the track was dangerous.

As a result, in addition to a 5s time penalty the Spaniard was handed 2 penalty points bringing his 12 month total to 6.

"It's unfortunate for the team what happened on lap one,” said Ocon in the moments after the race, referring to the earlier incident at Turn 4. "I was trying to attack the McLaren, I took my line through four and Alonso came out of nowhere on the outside so we touched and from there on my race was pretty much over."

However, at the time, he was unaware of the incident for which his teammate was subsequently penalised.

"I had no idea this happened,” he said. "I got told just now. I don't know how that's possible.

"We were in such good position," he added, "we're now at the back with a lot of work to do tomorrow so it's going to be important to work together to come back to the field. We've done that a thousand times in the last two years.”

Asked if he'd spoken to Ocon, clearly feeling that the Frenchman was to blame, Alonso told reporters: "No, not really, I don't need to... it's one more race until it's over, finally.

"Obviously it's far from ideal when you touch on the first lap of the sprint race because it's too short to come back without a safety car or anything.

"I was very close to the wall in Jeddah I think," he added, referring to previous encounters with his teammate, "close to the wall in Budapest, today in turn 4 now here so sometimes it's very competitive inside the team.

"It's happened to him with Perez, with Verstappen here un-lapping himself," said the Spaniard.

"We are extremely disappointed with today's result, which has put us in a worse position on the grid for tomorrow's main race," said Otmar Szafnauer. "We are in a very tight and competitive championship fight for fourth place in the championship; an objective for which over 1,000 staff are tirelessly working and striving towards.

"Frankly, both Esteban and Fernando must do a better job to compliment the fantastic efforts of everyone in the team by avoiding on-track incidents and compromising the entire team's performance.

"Today, both drivers have let the team down. I expect more from them tomorrow where we must do everything we can to recover some points from the weekend for the Championship."

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Published: 12/11/2022
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