Alonso to talk to FIA about nationality bias in F1 penalty decisions

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Fernando Alonso says he’ll be looking to engage with the FIA regarding his concerns over what he perceives as a nationality bias influencing the stewards’ penalty decisions in F1.

The Aston Martin driver’s sentiment stems from a string of recent incidents where he and his teammate have received penalties that they consider unfair.

Alonso was sanctioned in Melbourne for driving in a “potentially dangerous” manner that contributed to an accident involving his Mercedes rival George Russell.

The Spaniard was also in the line of sight of the stewards in China for a contact with Carlos Sainz in the closing stages of the Sprint race in Shanghai.

In the Grand Prix proper, Lance Stroll was penalized for colliding with RB’s Daniel Ricciardo under the safety car. Team principal Mike Krack has openly criticized these decisions as "frustrating" and "unfair."

Further fueling Alonso's belief in bias was a multi-car incident at the start of Saturday’s sprint in Miami, triggered by an aggressive move at the first corner by Lewis Hamilton, and for which the seven-time world champion was given a free pass by the stewards.

The officials’ leniency in that instance prompted Alonso to claim that Hamilton wasn’t punished because “he isn’t Spanish”.

“I do feel that nationality matters," Alonso said after Saturday’s qualifying. "And I will speak with Mohammed [Ben Sulayem, FIA president], with the FIA, whatever.

"I need to make sure that there isn't anything wrong with my nationality or anything that can influence any decision. Not only for me, also for the future generation of Spanish drivers. They need to be protected.

"I had to open the gap, because Hamilton was coming from the inside without control of the car. If I do that, for sure I get a penalty."


Alonso will have his work cut out for in this afternoon’s race, having endured a challenging qualifying session that left him stranded in Q2 in 15th position.

"A little bit disappointed with qualifying for us. P15 in Q1, P15 in Q2, so I didn't have much pace today," he admitted.

"We made some set-up changes since this morning - looking at the time, they probably didn't work as expected and we are a little bit less competitive than normal.

"I was understeering a lot in the high-speed and oversteering a lot in the low-speed [corners] and I felt like no grip on the car in any of the runs.

"With two tenths you can be P8 or P15. We are on the wrong side of that group as we've been on the good side in the last few races.

"It's going to be a tough race. Hopefully with Lance starting P11 we're going to score a few points. With me P15 it is going to be very difficult."

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