Fernando Alonso’s closing lap charge in Abu Dhabi proved to be a costly one as he received three five-second time penalties for leaving the track and gaining an advantage.
Alonso looked to be doing just that as he put in the fastest middle sector of the grand prix only for replays to show he had cut the track in Turns 8 and 9.
He did it again, and again, earning himself three consecutive five-second time penalties.
FIA race director Charlie Whiting says the stewards were “surprised” by the McLaren driver’s antics.
“I think they were surprised it happened three laps in a row,” he explained to Autosport, “and they just gave him a penalty each time.
“It was the end of the race, and I don’t think it would have been very nice to give someone like Fernando a black flag in his last race, do you?
“I don’t think the black flag was ever discussed.”
Alonso took the chequered flag in 11th place as he called time on his Formula 1 career.