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George Russell

Russell: F1 risked 'can of worms' issue over Alonso incident

Fernando Alonso was issued a 20-second time penalty after the Australian Grand Prix for his defensive tactics on George Russell.

Russell Japan
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George Russell has warned that Formula 1 risked opening "a can of worms” if it did not penalise Fernando Alonso at the Australian Grand Prix.

Russell crashed on the penultimate lap of the race at Melbourne's Albert Park while chasing Alonso for sixth place.

The Mercedes driver lost control of his car as he dramatically closed in on Alonso who lifted off the throttle as they approached Turn 6.

Alonso was deemed guilty of dangerous driving and was shuffled down the final classification after being handed a 20-second time penalty.

“I think it was a bit of a strange situation that happened,” Russell told media including RacingNews365. “As I said at the time, [I was] totally caught by surprise.

“I was actually looking at the steering wheel, making a switch change in the straight, which we all do across the lap, and when I looked up, I was in Fernando's gearbox.

“It was too late and then the next thing I know, I’m in the wall.”

'Can of worms'

Russell suggested not issuing Alonso a penalty would have opened the door for other drivers to perform similar moves in the future.

“I think if it were not to have been penalised, it would have really opened a can of worms for the rest of the season," added Russell.

“And [also] in junior categories of saying, 'Are you allowed to break in a straight? Are you allowed to slow down, change gear, accelerate, do something semi-erratic?'

“I don't take anything personally with what happened with Fernando, and it probably had bigger consequences than it should have.

“It's nothing personal. When the helmet is on we're all fighters and competing.

“When the helmet is off, you have respect for one another. So [there are] a lot of emotions in the moment, but we both move forward from this.”

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