Fernando Alonso summoned to FIA stewards in Australia after George Russell crash

Thomas Maher
George Russell, Mercedes, 2024 Australian Grand Prix.

George Russell crashed out on the final lap of the Australian Grand Prix, but the stewards want to have a second look...

Fernando Alonso and George Russell are off to the stewards following the British driver’s last-lap crash in Australia.

The two drivers, who were fighting over sixth place in the Australian Grand Prix, have been called to see the stewards after Russell crashed out on the last lap.

George Russell crashes in battle with Fernando Alonso

Russell had latched onto the back of the Aston Martin and was eyeing up the Spaniard for a DRS-assisted pass down the back straight when he appeared to be caught out by Alonso slowing dramatically at the apex of Turn 6.

Russell lost control of the car and crashed heavily, coming to rest in the middle of the track as the race was quickly neutralised under the Virtual Safety Car.

The British driver was uninjured in the incident but lost any chance of a points finish – meaning Mercedes went home without a point after Lewis Hamilton’s earlier power unit failure.

But all might not be as straightforward as initially appeared in the Russell/Alonso incident, with the stewards choosing to take another look.

Both drivers will explain their perspectives to the stewards, who have not outlined any grounds for the summons.

Speaking to media after the race ended, Alonso explained that he had been struggling with a battery issue on his Aston Martin but he had been settling into the idea of finishing seventh behind Russell.

“I was focusing in front of me and not behind. I had some issues for the last 15 laps or something on the battery and deployment,” he told Sky F1.

“So, yeah, definitely I was struggling a little bit at the end of the race, but I cannot focus on the cars behind. He’s okay. I saw the car and I was very worried.”

Elaborating in a separate interview, he said: “I knew that if he was faster, he will pass because with four DRS zones, it’s very possible.

“But yeah, we had some battery issues as well I was complaining [about] and asking the team [about] because the car did change for the last 15 laps.

“So I was concerned about keeping the position but I was happy with seventh as well, so it was a good race.”

As for what the battery issue was, Alonso explained “It was derating more, it was a little bit inconsistent so let’s see.”

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George Russell: The data revealed Alonso’s braking into the corner

Speaking to Sky F1 afterward, Russell offered a diplomatic version of events from his perspective.

“My take is I’ve gone off – that’s on me, but I was half a second behind Fernando 100 metres before the corner and, suddenly, he came towards me extremely quick,” he said.

“I arrived on his gearbox, I don’t know if he’s got a problem or not. We’re off to the stewards. So that’s a bit bizarre in a circumstance like this.

“I’ve got nothing more to say right now. I need to see everything. I’m just disappointed to end the race like that.”

Asked outright whether he felt Alonso had brake-tested him, Russell said that he wasn’t going to accuse his rival of doing such a thing, but would let the stewards make their own decision on the matter.

“It’s clear that he braked 100 metres before the corner, and then went back on the throttle again and took the corner normally,” he said.

“We’ve already seen the data of that, so I’m not going to accuse him of anything until we’ve seen further but I was right behind him for many, many laps – half a second behind him approaching the corner and then, suddenly, he slowed up very dramatically and got back from the power.

“I wasn’t expecting that and caught me by surprise. So that part’s on me, but it’s interesting that we’ve been called to the stewards so intrigued to see what they have to say.”

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