Alonso gets backing of FIA president on rule consistency

(L to R): Fernando Alonso (ESP) Aston Martin F1 Team with Mohammed Bin Sulayem (UAE) FIA President on the grid. 21.04.2024. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 5, Chinese Grand Prix, Shanghai, China, Race Day. -, EMail: © Copyright: Batchelor / XPB Images
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Fernando Alonso says he's got the backing of FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem for a full review of Formula 1's guidelines driving standards and on how penalties are decided by race stewards at a Grand Prix.

Alonso was controversially given penalties in the Australian Grand Prix and China sprint race that he felt were within the rules while Lewis Hamilton wasn't rebuked for an aggressive first corner move in last week's Miami sprint.

This led Alonso to publicly state that Hamilton has escaped without censure "because he's not Spanish", implying a national bias to the decisions of the stewards.

While this has been denied by the FIA, it has led to moves to officially review the guidelines and ensure that they are fair across the board regardless of nationality.

And after his remarks became public, Alonso was seen deep in conversation with Ben Sulayem in the paddock in Miami, and seemingly getting a favourable response to his arguments.

"I spoke with him and he's always on board on every opinion that the drivers have," Alonso replied about his informal meeting with the FIA president when asked by "He has always listened to us.

"He knows that we are the ones driving the cars and that we can have some suggestions on things," Alonso continued.

"There are a couple of points that we need to address as a sport, [so] let's see if we make F1 a better sport and a little bit more consistent."

It's generally understood that the FIA is already finalising a revised set of driver guidelines for F1 and other categories to bring extra clarity to what is expected from competitors.

Discussions have already taken place with other stakeholder such as the the Grand Prix Drivers' Association (GPDA) to help produce a document that that will cover all aspects of racing including overtaking, defending and track limits.

The plan is for the new guidelines to be enshrined in the International Sporting Cod in time for the start of the 2025 season when they will be applied to all levels of racing.

Alonso's boss, Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack, said greater consistency would be welcomed by everyone in F1, especially now that stewards are tending to hand out tougher ten-second penalties for driving offences

"There's two elements there. One is obviously we want consistent judgements," Krack said. "But on the other hand we've also introduced new guidelines for this season and sometimes maybe we [get] stuck in the way we've been driving before.

"Sometimes you think they should be more consistent., but depending on which end you are, obviously [there's] a different interpretation of consistency," he acknowledged. "But I think everybody wants consistency.

"Everybody should look over the guidelines, including ourselves, and then we take a fresh start."

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