Fernando Alonso threatens to skip Miami Sprint with ‘not worth it’ claim after penalty

Michelle Foster
Fernando Alonso leads Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez in the Sprint

Fernando Alonso leads Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez in the Sprint

Slapped with three penalty points for causing a collision in the Sprint in China, Fernando Alonso has questioned whether it’s “worth” taking part in the next short race in Miami.

Alonso was leading a fierce four-way fight for the final podium position in Saturday’s Sprint at the Chinese Grand Prix weekend only to come off worst when he had to retire his AMR24 with damage.

‘It makes you think if in the next Sprint, you even want to run’

Additional reporting by Pablo Hidalgo

Carlos Sainz was the first to attack Alonso with the Aston Martin driver trying to fight back only for the two to make contact, opening the door for Sergio Perez to slide through.

Suffering a puncture, Alonso was overtaken by Sainz and Charles Leclerc before limping back to the pits to retire the car.

The stewards ruled that he was responsible for causing the collision and said “per the guidelines on driving standards” the infringement required a 10-second penalty. They, however, didn’t state exactly what Alonso had done wrong.

But while the 10-second time penalty was a non-entity given he’d retired from the race, the more impactful punishment was the three penalty points put on his licence.

That took his tally up to six in the space of just one month after his incident with George Russell at the Australian Grand Prix.

“These sanctions are not understood and I do not share them, especially in the case of licence points,” Fox Sport Mexico quotes him as having told DAZN.

“Such an incredible penalty is once again unprecedented.”

In fact, such is his ire over the penalty, he says it’s “almost worth not” taking part in the next Sprint in Miami.

“It makes you think if in the next Sprint, you even want to go out for a run,” he said.

“Due to the points that are given and that we are not going to have the tyres we use [to use in the Grand Pix], it is almost worth not going out.”

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Alonso had a better time in the Grand Prix where his three-stop strategy netted him seventh place with his late swap to soft tyres seeing him overtake Nico Hulkenberg, Lewis Hamilton and Oscar Piastri.

He admits this year’s Aston Martin is not getting the podiums they had last season, not because the car isn’t quicker, but because their rivals have stepped up.

“We start with a less competitive basis than last year,” he explained.

“The car is better, almost 1.5 seconds faster than last year’s car as we saw in Japan. But our rivals are too strong: McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes… and Red Bull are in a completely different league.

“It looks like we are P7-P8 which is not as good as last year but not because the car is worse, it’s because the other teams are really good.

“Two years ago this team [Aston Martin] had a factory that looked like a karting industrial unit and now we are qualifying ahead of Ferrari, Mercedes… So I’m very proud of this team and there are 20 races left. Let’s have fun.”

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