Fernando Alonso will start the Turkish GP from fifth on the grid after a stewards’ investigation cleared him of a yellow flag infringement.
The Spaniard was sixth fastest in Saturday’s qualifying at the Istanbul Park circuit, promoted to P5 on the grid as a result of Lewis Hamilton’s engine penalty.
Alonso’s P5, though, was thrown into doubt after qualifying when he was called to the stewards for an alleged yellow flag infringement.
Taking to the track in Q1, the Spaniard came across yellow flags at Turn 1 on his very first flying lap.
As he had no time on the board, that meant his time for sector 1 was recorded as his fastest of the session to date, which triggered an automatic investigation.
The stewards conducted a brief investigation, declaring that “no further action” was required.
A report read: “It was evident the driver fulfilled the requirement of reducing speed significantly after the double-yellow flags were displayed and therefore complied with the provisions set out in Art. 2.5.5.b) of the FIA International Sporting Code.
— Fernando Alonso (@alo_oficial) October 9, 2021
“Nonetheless, note 7.1 of the Race Director’s Event Notes require drivers not to set a meaningful lap time in a double-yellow flag situation.
“Taking into account the fact that the yellow-flag situation occurred at the time the driver started his first timed lap of the session, and noting 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, the stewards are satisfied that the driver complied with the relevant regulations and take no further action.”
The Alpine driver will therefore remain P5 on the grid, and was naturally happy to hear the news.
“On the yellow I heard the engineer saying double yellow,” he said when asked by Autosport. “I saw the double yellow as well on Turn 1. And on the dash, on the steering, the dash becomes yellow as well.
“So it was very clear to me. And I aborted the lap.
“But because it’s the first lap of qualifying, you still set a time. And then the following lap, I was three seconds faster without aborting the lap. And that was probably the confusion.
“But yeah, no problem I came now from the stewards, and a green light from them as well. So I’m happy.”
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