Fernando Alonso believes there are differing levels of scrutiny and punishment in Formula 1, depending on who you are.
The two-time former World Champion took the escape route at the first chicane on his laps to the grid in Russia before doing so again at the start – leaving some to wonder if the move was pre-meditated and whether he gained an advantage as a result.
Upon receiving questions surrounding the legality of the move, Alonso admitted he had been waiting to “see the questions here in Istanbul” as he wanted to clarify if any double standards existed when it came to these scenarios – particularly as he feels he has been on the wrong end of others breaking track limits previously.
With that, though, he felt those questions confirmed his suspicions that not everyone has their on-track behaviour analysed equally.
Fernando Alonso didn't pull any punches in his press conference!
"There are different rules for different people…"
— PlanetF1 (@Planet_F1) October 7, 2021
“[It was] just to confirm when I do things, they have a different behaviour and a different repercussion on the following event,” Alonso told reporters in Turkey.
“So now, maybe they change the run-off area on lap one in the first couple of corners.
“I’ve been the idiot on track for most of the championship while I’ve been overtaken from the outside of the asphalt by many people for the first couple of races.
“Even in Austria, I remember Austria 1 and Austria 2 and nothing happened. There were no questions at the following race.
“Now after Sochi, there is a question. It’s a confirmation.
“There are different rules for different people, or different, let’s say, talks the week after for different people.”
In terms of others on the grid, questions were raised about Lando Norris when he crossed the white line on pit entry when coming in to change to intermediate tyres as rain fell last time out.
While it would have been a matter of course that Norris would have normally received a penalty for that, when he slid through the pit line in Sochi, the FIA took no action against him – something Alfa Romeo team principal Fred Vasseur believes still should have been punished despite widespread sympathy for the McLaren driver as his first win slipped away from him.
With that, Alonso reiterated his opinion that British drivers tend to have an easier time of things when under the microscope.
“Let’s see, the next one that crosses the white line on the pit entry, let’s see which nationality he is and which penalty he will get,” he quipped.
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