‘Karma’ for Fernando Alonso with FIA verdict delivered on pit lane incident

Henry Valantine
Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso speaks to media.

Fernando Alonso lifts his cap.

Nico Hulkenberg joked that the early exit of Fernando Alonso from the Belgian Grand Prix Sprint was “karma” for an earlier move which saw the Haas driver need to take avoiding action at the pit exit.

The two drivers almost came together as Alonso exited the pits, with the two-time World Champion seemingly moving to the left after exiting the pits and pushing the Haas driver towards the grass following the exit of La Source, forcing Hulkenberg to lift off the throttle.

Both drivers were summoned to the stewards after the sprint and the Aston Martin driver got away with a formal warning, but he did not see the finish line anyway after losing control of his AMR23 at Pouhon.

Additional reporting by Sam Cooper

Fernando Alonso accepts blame for crash, Nico Hulkenberg jokes it was ‘karma’

Alonso appeared to run wide at the exit of the fast double left-hander of Pouhon, getting onto the exit kerb and being sent into a helpless spin as he followed Hulkenberg on the road.

He ended his Sprint prematurely with a minor tap into the barrier, but the Aston Martin driver, who celebrated his 42nd birthday on Saturday, admitted it was his own error.

“I didn’t see the replay, but [it was] my mistake,” Alonso admitted to media including PlanetF1.com after the sprint.

“It was a bad day in general, not even a qualifying lap in Q2 with the red flag, and now we were well out of the points, only the eight first cars take the points.

“So it was worth risking, but let’s see tomorrow if we can take some points.”

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Speaking after the sprint himself, Hulkenberg added that he Alonso had “enjoyed my turbulence”, and quipped jokingly that his crash was a moment of “karma [having] hit back out at him.”

In their reasons for only giving Alonso a warning rather than a more substantial penalty, the FIA stewards explained the mitigating circumstances in play in the wet conditions at Spa.

They wrote: “Alonso was exiting the pits and moved over to the left, causing car 27 to have to take action to avoid a collision.

“Alonso explained that he had no visibility to the rear at the time, and that he had driven on the far left of the track at that location on every lap in order to maximize his forward visibility.

“While the Stewards accept these facts, the move from the right to the left in this case, while slower than the cars that had remained on track, caused the potential for a collision. Considering the conditions in mitigation, the Stewards issue a Warning.”

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