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Lance Stroll

The DRS trick that questions Alonso's 'joke' penalty

Fernando Alonso's time penalty in the Australian Grand Prix has been a topic of hot discussion amongst the drivers ahead of the Japanese GP at Suzuka.

Alonso Australia
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Lance Stroll has highlighted DRS tricks drivers sometimes play as he criticised the "joke" penalty handed to team-mate Fernando Alonso in Australia.

The stewards handed Alonso a drive-through penalty, converted to a 20-second time drop and three penalty points on his super-licence for the penultimate lap tactic at Turn 6 against George Russell's Mercedes.

It was discovered Alonso had dabbed on the brake of his Aston Martin 100 metres earlier than on the preceding lap before again applying the throttle, an action the stewards deemed to be 'potentially dangerous driving'.

Russell was forced to take avoiding action, only to hit a barrier, leading to his W15 ending up on its side in the middle of the track. The Briton believes F1 risked opening a "can of worms" if Alonso had not been penalised.

Stroll, the two-time F1 champion's team-mate, has pointed to the DRS detection tactics some drivers often deploy to ensure a rival is ahead at the line - as happened between Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen at the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Stroll

"I thought it was ridiculous to be honest, I don't think he did anything stupid," Stroll told media including RacingNews365.

"He was just preparing the exit of the corner, and for me, it was ridiculous to be given a drive-through penalty for an incident that didn't even involve any contact between the cars or anything like that.

"The penalty in general is kind of a joke. Where do you draw the line between driving unnecessarily slowly and then just being tactical?

"There have been instances in the past where guys have slowed down to try and get the DRS, or being giving the DRS, and those guys were not getting penalties."

Stroll has also questioned the tradition in F1 these days of "lifting and coasting" in a race. He added: "If you've lifted 500 metres going into a corner, does that mean it is driving unnecessarily slowly?

"Where is the sweet spot for that? We're having to do all of those things anyway, for the tyres and fuel, and if you ask me, Fernando did a big lift and coast.

"The tyres are also getting very tricky at the end of the race, and you want to get a good exit out of that corner, and it is not like he braked and George ran into him.

"George didn't run into the back of him. Unfortunately, he lost downforce, had a moment, but that is racing."

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