Welcome at RacingNews365

Become part of the largest racing community in the United Kingdom. Create your free account now!

  • Share your thoughts and opinions about F1
  • Win fantastic prizes
  • Get access to our premium content
  • Take advantage of more exclusive benefits
Sign in
Fernando Alonso

Alonso adamant he will not change his ways despite Australia 'surprise'

Fernando Alonso has called for changes to Turn 6 at Melbourne's Albert Park Circuit, following his incident with George Russell a fortnight ago.

Alonso Australia
To news overview © EDGE Photographics

Fernando Alonso has declared his hefty 20-second time penalty and three penalty points for his incident with George Russell after the recent Australian Grand Prix as "surprising" although feels it is a sanction that will never be repeated

The Aston Martin driver was investigated by the stewards and penalised after being judged for "potentially dangerous driving".

Alonso's incident with Russell unfolded on the penultimate lap at Turn 6, and concluded with Russell crashing into a barrier before being spat back out onto the circuit, where his W15 came to rest on its side in the middle of the track.

There were suggestions the Aston Martin driver had brake-checked Russell, although this was never confirmed by the FIA following their investigation.

Following the Australian GP, team principal Mike Krack released a powerful statement defending the two-time world champion, who several drivers have criticised ahead of this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix

Others though, including team-mate Lance Stroll and Lando Norris, believe the Spaniard was wrongly penalised.

Alonso has been left bemused by the sanction, explaining in Suzuka that drivers are forced to drive slower through some corners at certain points of the race to manage a variety of situations.

When asked if he was clear on what he can and cannot do when defending a position, speaking to select media including RacingNews365, Alonso said: "It was clear, and I think it's still clear.

"It was a bit surprising the penalty in Melbourne, but yeah, nothing we can do, we have to accept it and move on and concentrate on here, but I think it will not change much on how we drive, how we approach racing, there is no obligation to drive 57 laps in the same way.

"Sometimes we go at a slower pace, to save fuel, to save tyres, to save battery, sometimes we go slow into corners when in some sectors of the track to give the DRS to the car behind because that will be a useful tool if the second car behind is at a faster pace.

"So all those things are completely normal and it was, it is, and it will be forever in motorsport. So we had one penalty, probably a one-off that will never be applied ever again. But it was for us, we take it, we accept it."

Issue with Turn 6

Alonso is seemingly adamant the fault lies solely on Turn 6 rather than on himself, and used recent crashes at what is a much faster corner since the venue's reprofiling as evidence.

"I think that the big thing is Turn 6 in Australia is not the safest corner at the moment on that track," Alonso pointed out.

"We saw an accident last year with Alex [Albon], in the race this year in free practice where he damaged the chassis. Also in F2, I think that Dennis [Hauger] crashed there as well, [and] George [Russell] obviously in the race.

"And that's probably for me, a more important point to change for next year than what the driver in front of me will be able to do or not to do. As long as I don't need to take action or whatever to avoid him, which was not the case. So that was my point after Australia, still now, and I will move on."

A key factor why incidents are so common at Turn 6 is because the corner is surrounded by grass and gravel, rather than asphalt run-off areas seen at most circuits nowadays.

Had the incident taken place at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, for example, then Alonso is confident Russell would have recovered and no problems would have arisen.

"100%," Alonso stated. "If he was in Abu Dhabi, with the run-off area in asphalt or whatever, I think George will rejoin the track a few metres after that. And he will try to have a go at me on the following lap or the following straight and it will not be any problem."

Join the conversation!

LATEST 'Flamboyant figure set for more hands-on Alpine F1 role'