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Russell felt Alonso deserved P3 after "harsh" post-race penalty

The Mercedes driver believes Fernando Alonso should have kept his third place, after being denied the podium by the stewards post-race.

George Russell believes the penalty handed to Fernando Alonso that denied him of his 100th podium in F1 was "pretty harsh" after it promoted him to P3. The Mercedes driver finished behind on the road, but a 10 second time penalty post race promoted him to the final podium spot. "I think the penalty for Fernando is pretty harsh. They are deserving of a podium finish today, but I'll take an extra trophy," he told Sky Sports . Alonso was initially handed a five-second time penalty for being too far to the left on his grid slot at the start of the race. The Aston Martin driver served the penalty during his sole pit stop on Lap 19, but it appeared work was done on the car within the five-second window. As no work is allowed to be conducted, the stewards handed him a further 10-second time penalty post-race which dropped him behind Russell. The Mercedes driver was informed of the stewards decision while in the media pen, and jokingly shouted: "Get him off the podium!" UPDATE: However, three-and-a-half hours after the race, Alonso's penalty was overturned and his third place reinstated.

Russell told to manage gap to Alonso

Russell initially was not told about the penalty being served by Alonso during the first round of stops, but the team told him to close the gap towards the end in anticipation of a further one being issued. "There was a little bit of confusion because I thought Fernando had a five-second penalty, so I didn't want this both to be fighting between one another and we both lose out to Fernando. "I kind of wanted to sort of manage our tyres, stay inside the distance and there was almost a bit of a fair battle towards the end." The team wanted him to be within five seconds, but Alonso finished 5.1 seconds ahead at the chequered flag. This was nullified when the stewards issued a 10 second time penalty, in-line with their precedent set with Esteban Ocon in Bahrain two weeks ago .

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