Fernando Alonso received a 10-second post-race penalty and was consequently demoted from the podium.
Fernando Alonso has dropped his 100th Formula One podium after the FIA stewards penalized him during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in Jeddah.
The Aston Martin driver finished in the top three for the 100th time in his F1 career despite suffering a five-second time penalty for starting outside the grid with his car too far to the left after which he subsequently took the lead from eventual race winner Sergio Perez.
Alonso was given this penalty when he stopped in a safety car, but video later showed that the rear jack made contact with his Aston Martin before this sanction had run its course, giving the Spaniard an extra 10-second penalty.
Alonso pitted under the safety car brought on by teammate Lance Stroll’s retirement after being overtaken by Perez, and he served the penalty.
He stayed in second place, but Max Verstappen’s surging Red Bull passed him, dropping him to third at the finish line.
At the end of the race, Alonso was advised by his Aston team to ensure a margin of more than five seconds ahead of George Russell just in case there were extra penalties coming.
But, instead of a five-second penalty being added to Alonso’s race time, a 10-second penalty was instead assessed because the Aston driver was found to have served the penalty improperly. And while maintaining fourth place above Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes, he has now fallen behind Russell as a result.
The rear jack did appear to touch Alonso’s AMR23 before the penalty had been fully served, though it is still unclear what the pit stop infraction was as crew members were not permitted to touch the car during the serving of the time penalty.
Russell’s latest podium finish is his 10th in Formula 1 and kicks off Mercedes’ season’s trophy tally despite the W14 car’s disappointing debut. The team has already announced that it would be making significant changes to the car’s development because it believes it made a mistake with the concept.