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Fernando Alonso

Jordan fumes as Ecclestone 'pet hate' revisited after Alonso penalty

Fernando Alonso's post-Australian Grand Prix continues to remain a bone of contention. Is a valid point being made here?

Alonso Saudi Arabia FP2
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Former team boss Eddie Jordan believes Formula 1 should revisit a "pet hate" of old supremo Bernie Ecclestone and make a rule change after witnessing the penalty handed to Fernando Alonso after the Australian Grand Prix.

Two-time F1 champion Alonso was accused of 'potentially dangerous driving' for a penultimate-lap incident involving George Russell that left his Mercedes on its side and in the middle of a section of Melbourne's Albert Park circuit, leading to him screaming for red flags.

Alonso, who was discovered to have dabbed his brakes 100 metres earlier than normal on the approach to Turn 6 before reapplying the power and again braking to turn in, went on to finish the race in sixth position.

The stewards, however, took a dim view of the Aston Martin driver's actions and handed him a retrospective drive-through penalty, converted to 20 seconds that demoted him to sixth.

Jordan, however, feels such post-race punishments are unfair to all concerned, and feels Ecclestone made a point back in the day which should perhaps be given fresh consideration.

Speaking on the Formula for Success podcast with David Coulthard, Jordan said: "I really get so upset when I watch a race, and I think Alonso has finished fifth, or whatever it is, and then he’s demoted three [sic] places.

"I remember Bernie [Ecclestone], it was one of his pet hates. He’d say to the timekeepers and the stewards, ‘Never give me a set of results 30 minutes or an hour after the race with a different set of positions because it’s not fair on the television, it’s not fair on anyone and it confuses the crap out of everybody’.

"And in my opinion, if they felt something was wrong, they should have said, ‘You’ve got a two-place grid position penalty at the next race’. But don’t take the race position from him. Why the hell should they do that? It’s nonsense.

"For heaven’s sake, Formula 1, will you get a grip! The race results are the race results. And if there are penalties, they come in the future."

Mercifully for Russell, no harm was done, with Mercedes technical director James Allison revealing that despite the anxiety the Briton was feeling in the cockpit of his W15 at the time, he was remarkably back on an even keel soon after returning to the paddock.

Jordan feels Alonso used all of his 20 years of motorsport experience to hold onto his position in the race, and that it is Russell who should have been more aware of who he was facing, and the type of trick that might have been pulled.

"I saw it immediately, it was semi-suspicious to the eye,” said Jordan on the incident. "But remember this, it is Alonso’s position to defend. And we saw what he did with [Sergio] Perez in Brazil. He let Perez pass him so that he could get quicker down the straight. He is a very, very clever driver.

"There’s not many out there on that grid who could take on Fernando Alonso in mind games, because I think he is above everybody else.

"So what happened, only he knows. But it did look to me as if the car slowed. If that’s the case, then it’s up to the driver behind to be able to look out for that.

"The driver behind is always the person that has to use the initiative because he has to balance everything in his mind that gives him the safest option. That was a big accident. That could have been horrific.

"But George will learn from that. I think he - and most of the grid - will be very aware when they come up about fighting with Alonso.”

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