MARCH 21, 2023

FIA promise review after Alonso podium debacle

The FIA has vowed to review its processes after the farcical handling of Fernando Alonso's podium in Saudi Arabia.

Fernando Alonso, Saudi Arabian GP 2023
© Aston Martin Racing

The FIA has vowed to review its processes after the farcical handling of Fernando Alonso's podium in Saudi Arabia.

The 41-year-old stood on the podium after the Jeddah street race, but was subsequently stripped of third place after an Aston Martin mechanic touched his car with a jack whilst serving a pitstop penalty.

The Silverstone based team hit back at the stewards, insisting there were numerous other cases in which a mechanic touched a car during a penalty but didn't actually 'work' on the car.

Alonso's podium was finally reinstated at 1.02am on Monday morning, and according to the French magazine L'Equipe the governing FIA is now promising to review the situation.

"This subject will be discussed at the next sporting advisory committee which will take place on Thursday March 23," a spokesman for the Paris-based federation said.

"A clarification will then be published before the Australian GP. This open approach to reviewing and improving its processes is part of the FIA's ongoing mission to regulate the sport fairly and transparently," he added.

Alonso rolled his eyes at the entire affair, but he told Bild newspaper: "The FIA has not done a good job with this.

"It's not good for the fans if it takes 35 laps to impose a penalty and inform the team about it. And then if you wait until after the podium ceremony then something is really wrong with the system," said the former two-time champion.

"I feel sorry for the fans," Alonso added. "The FIA should act with common sense.

"I don't care, because I was on the podium with the champagne, all of our sponsors on the podium, so it hurt me less. But the FIA did everything a little bit wrong," he told DAZN.

Timo Glock, a former Formula 1 driver, told Sky Deutschland it is "only right" that Alonso got his podium back.

"There is simply over-regulation at the moment," he said.

"There is clearly no advantage or disadvantage whether a jack touches the car or not."

But Alonso insists that his real focus is on the big picture - and the big picture is that, after years of fruitless campaigns including a sabbatical, the 41-year-old finally has a top car to race.

"The objective of the weekend more than anything else was to see how competitive we would be on a very different circuit to Bahrain," he said.

"And we were the second fastest car. We controlled the Ferraris and the Mercedes at all times and we even led the race for a couple of laps.

"For me, the most important thing was to realise that our car is the second fastest. It's very good news," Alonso added.