Symonds backs stewards’ Alonso penalty

Mon, 14 August 2006, 12:31

Pat Symonds has no quarrel with Hungarian GP stewards’ decision to penalise Fernando Alonso after an incident with Robert Doornbos.

In Budapest earlier this month, the championship leader copped a two-second qualifying penalty after swerving into Red Bull’s Doornbos, who allegedly blocked him, before then brake-testing the Dutch tester.

Spaniard Alonso protested his innocence to reporters after the Friday incident, but Symonds – Renault’s director of engineering – is now quoted as saying that the 25-year-old, ‘like everyone, makes mistakes’.

He told Holland’s ‘Formule 1 RaceReport’: ”In the heat of battle, these things happen. I say no more.”

Asked if he questioned the stewards’ arguably harsh reaction to Alonso’s on-track behaviour, Symonds replied: ”Absolutely not.

”We must uphold standards in formula one, which is why Fernando’s punishment has not been criticised.”

And although Alonso insisted that his clash with Doornbos was ‘something that happens at every race’, Symonds reckons the Renault driver will wish ‘deep down’ that it never happened.

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