A spanner was thrown in the works of conspiracy theorists at Budapest on Saturday following Fernando Alonso’s qualifying penalties.
Putting their impartiality beyond doubt, FIA stewards also threw the book at the Spaniard’s championship challenger Michael Schumacher, after the Ferrari driver overtook under red flag conditions in the Saturday practice session.
Coincidentally, it is understood that the man Schumacher overtook was none other than Alonso, who shares an identical two-second addition to each of the three sections of ‘knockout’ qualifying.
Both racers dropped out of qualifying after the second part, leaving them twelfth (Schumacher) and fifteenth (Alonso) on the grid.
After criticising Alonso for his ‘stupid’ actions on Friday, Niki Lauda told German TV that he thought stewards were also justified to penalise Schumacher.
”If you get one second for (ignoring) the yellow flag,’ the Austrian said, ”then it is right that he got double the penalty for red.”
Jenson Button’s blown Honda V8, for the record, brought out the red flags, and he started qualifying in the T-Car and will cop a ten-place qualifying penalty.
”The chassis might have been damaged too,” Honda chief Nick Fry also told German TV.