Aston Martin issue fresh Fernando Alonso defence in statement to fans

Thomas Maher
Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, 2024 Australian Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonso was penalised for 'potentially dangerous driving' in the Australian Grand Prix.

Aston Martin team boss Mike Krack has explained why they elected not to appeal against Fernando Alonso’s time penalty in Australia.

Alonso was given a 20-second time penalty after the Australian Grand Prix, due to his “potentially dangerous” driving while defending against George Russell’s Mercedes.

Mike Krack: Aston Martin ‘fully support’ Fernando Alonso

Alonso was given the penalty after a post-race investigation by the stewards, after Russell crashed heavily while pursuing the Aston Martin.

At a distance of half a second, Russell was caught out by the gap vanishing in front of him as Alonso slowed down approaching Turn 6, only to speed up again approaching the sweep in for the high-speed turn.

Alonso’s actions merited investigation under the regulations for erratic or dangerous driving, with the stewards opting to punish the Spaniard and hit him with a penalty that dropped him to eighth place from his sixth place finish.

Aston Martin elected against appealing the decision, and team boss Mike Krack has now come forward to explain why.

In a statement released on Tuesday night, Krack thanked Aston Martin’s fans for their “messages of support”, and outlined the team’s position on the incident that blighted the final minutes of the Grand Prix.

“Firstly, in motorsport, everyone is relieved that George was okay and walked away after his accident,” he said.

“I want you to know that we fully support Fernando. He is the most experienced driver in Formula 1.

“He has competed in more Grands Prix than anyone else and has more than 20 years of experience. He is a multiple World Champion in multiple categories.”

Krack said that, since there hadn’t been a collision, it had been a tough decision to accept.

“To receive a 20-second time penalty when there was no contact with the following car has been a bitter pill to swallow, but we have to accept the decision,” he said, before explaining why the team elected against pursuing a right to review the penalty.

“We made our best case but without new evidence, we are unable to request a right of review.

“Fernando is a phenomenal racer and he was using every tool in his toolbox to finish ahead of George -just like we saw in Brazil last year with Sergio [Perez]. This is the art of motorsport at the highest level. He would never put anyone in harm’s way.” recommends

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In a social media post he released hours after the Grand Prix, Alonso expressed his stance on being given the penalty – saying there was no intent against Russell on his part.

“A bit surprised by a penalty at the end of the race regarding how we should approach the corners or how we should drive the race cars,” he wrote.

“At no point do we want to do anything wrong at these speeds.

“I believe that without gravel on that corner, on any other corner in the world we will never be even investigated. In F1, with over 20 years of experience, with epic duels like Imola 2005/2006/Brazil 2023, changing racing lines, sacrificing entry speed to have good exits from corners is part of the art of motorsport.

“We never drive at 100% every race lap and every corner, we save fuel, tires, brakes, so being responsible for not making every lap the same is a bit surprising. We have to accept it and think about Japan, to have more pace and fight for positions further up the field.”

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