Alonso escapes penalty for double waved yellow flags

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Alpine F1 Team A521. 09.10.2021. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 16, Turkish Grand Prix, Istanbul
© XPB 

Alpine driver Fernando Alonso won't be penalised for an incident that took place under double waved yellow flags early in Saturday's qualifying session for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix.

Stewards summoned Alonso over the way he completed a flying lap after passing yellow flags for Max Verstappen spinning off ahead of him, but concluded that he had sufficiently respected the caution.

“It was evident that the driver fulfilled the requirement of reducing speed significantly after the double yellow flags were displayed," the official statement from the FIA noted.

The stewards added that they had taken into account "the fact that the yellow flag situation occurred at the time the driver started his first timed lap of the session."

They had also noted "that the driver was fully convinced that he did not set a meaningful lap time as his next flying lap was approximately 3.5 seconds faster than the one when the yellow flag situation occurred.

As a result, "the stewards are satisfied that the driver complied with the relevant regulations and take no further action.”

The ruling contrasts with a five second time penalty and three penalty points handed out to Sebastian Vettel in Belgium for a similar incident. On that occasion the Aston Martin driver had been deemed to have "continued trying to set a meaningful lap time".

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Alpine F1 Team A521 leaves the pits. 09.10.2021. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 16, Turkish Grand Prix, Istanbul

The stewards' conclusion means that Alonso will keep his fifth place starting position on the grid for tomorrow's race.

“It felt good today and I am happy with the result," he said. "The car felt fast, and I think we made the correct choice on which tyres to use in all of the sessions.

"We were also fast enough to qualify on the medium tyres in Q2, which was a nice luxury to have," he added. "We seem competitive so I think we have a good chance to score points tomorrow.

"Let’s see if we can keep the pace with those around us. I think strategy will be key as we saw tyre graining was quite high in dry conditions. We’ll be looking at the weather forecast and take it step by step.”

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Alpine F1 Team in qualifying parc ferme. 09.10.2021. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 16, Turkish Grand Prix, Istanbul,

Alonso's team mate Esteban Ocon was less fortunate in the changeable weather conditions and will start from 12th place.

“It’s disappointing not to be in the top ten today," he sighed. "Unfortunately I had to abort my Q2 lap due to traffic and I wasn’t able to complete the lap. It would have been close to reaching Q3, but it happens like that sometimes.

"Our focus is immediately on what we can do tomorrow, and the aim is to try and work our way back to the points.”

"Unfortunately Esteban couldn’t improve on his final attempt in Q2," noted racing director Davide Brivio. "He will have a free tyre choice tomorrow, so let’s see if it can be an opportunity and we’ll try to recover some places for him and target a top ten finish.

"The car has shown some good potential this weekend, so let’s see what we can do tomorrow when it all counts.”

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