Mercedes triggered Alonso’s pitstop penalty

Wed, 22 March 2023, 08:00

Mar.22 (GMM) It was Mercedes that was responsible for alerting the FIA to Aston Martin’s pitstop penalty transgression in Saudi Arabia.

That is the claim of the newspapers Bild (Germany) and Blick (Switzerland).

They each separately reported that Toto Wolff-led Mercedes asked the governing body to look at whether a mechanic had touched the green Mercedes-powered car with a jack while Fernando Alonso was serving a penalty during the Jeddah race.

The subsequent penalty initially cost the 41-year-old Spaniard his podium place, although after a farcical process Alonso’s third position was reinstated at 1.02am on Monday morning.

“According to our information, it was the Silver Arrows who gave the FIA race stewards the hint through their radio system during the race,” Bild claimed.

Mercedes declined to officially comment on the claim.

But boss Wolff did admit that his team saw the transgression of Alonso’s mechanic.

“We saw it and played the video a few times. It wasn’t entirely clear if there would be a penalty,” said the Austrian.

Reportedly, the FIA initially penalised Alonso because it thought there was an agreement between the teams that merely touching a car was a no-no.

But that agreement apparently did not exist – and so the decision was reversed.

Wolff now admits that he would be open to ensuring such a misunderstanding never happens again.

“We need to discuss whether a penalty is correct if the jack just touches the car,” he said. “Maybe that needs to be changed, even if we may benefit in such a case.”

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