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Fernando Alonso

Alonso hits out at F1 stewards over penalty points

Fernando Alonso was punished by the stewards last weekend for making contact with a rival driver - however he only half agrees with his penalty.

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Fernando Alonso has questioned the stewards' handling of Formula 1 penalty points, suggesting they are not being used properly to judge driving standards.

At the Austrian Grand Prix, Alonso received a 10-second time penalty as well as two penalty points on his super licence after he collided with Zhou Guanyu.

The Spaniard made contact with the Stake F1 driver as they battled for position at Turn 3 at the Red Bull Ring.

Any driver who receives 12 penalty points in a 12-month period is automatically handed a race ban, with Kevin Magnussen the closest to a suspension with 10 points to his name.

However, Alonso believes the stewards are punishing drivers too harshly for wheel-to-wheel mistakes.

“I think when penalty points were introduced, it was to avoid dangerous drivers [from] accumulating penalties without a race ban,” Alonso told media including RacingNews365.

“Just to avoid dangerous manoeuvres and putting in danger anyone on track. Now we are mistaking racing mistakes for dangerous driving.

“I made a racing mistake in Turn 3 and I hit Zhou and I deserve 10-second penalty. I think maybe Nico [Hullkenberg] in the race made a racing mistake.

“You give back the position or you have five seconds or 10 seconds. This is a racing mistake, it always will happen and it did happen in the past.”

Alonso issues warning to F1

F1's penalty points system was first introduced in 2014, with no driver yet accumulating the 12 points that results in a race ban.

Alonso has warned that drivers will not engage in wheel-to-wheel battles through corners if the stewards continue to dish out penalty points for minor collisions.

“What I don't get is the danger involved from those manoeuvres, because there is no danger,” he said.

“We are taking away the incentive to try an overtaking manoeuvre. Because if you make a racing mistake, you will get penalised with penalty points.

“So it's better sometimes to stay behind because they are just promoting only DRS overtaking because you can make an attempt to pass any one because it’s going to be penalty points for one of the two drivers. So this is for me wrong.”

Also interesting:

In the latest RacingNews365.com podcast, Ian, Sam and Nick discuss the Austrian GP and look ahead to the British GP. Max Verstappen and Lando Norris' shocking clash is a HUGE talking point, as is Toto Wolff's radio blunder!

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