Guenther Steiner’s Fernando Alonso verdict after playing ‘games’ with George Russell

Jamie Woodhouse
Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso in street clothes at the 2024 Australian Grand Prix

Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso in street clothes

Former Haas team boss Guenther Steiner says that since the stewards saw “games” being played by Fernando Alonso leading up to George Russell’s Australian GP crash, the stern penalty issued was “correct”.

Russell had been pursuing Alonso in a battle for P6 late in the Australian Grand Prix when he lost control of his Mercedes W15 and hit the wall, his car rebounding and coming to a stop in the middle of the track. Race Control determined that Alonso had more than played his part in what was a scary shunt which Russell thankfully walked away from unhurt.

Guenther Steiner believes Fernando Alonso penalty ‘correct’

After looking through Alonso’s data, the stewards determined that the Aston Martin driver had lifted off the throttle earlier for that corner than on any prior lap, and also braked slightly and downshifted at an unusual point. Russell’s increased closing speed caught the Mercedes driver out as he headed for the scene of the accident.

Alonso had been complaining of “battery and deployment” issues while also claiming over team radio after the incident that he could no longer go full throttle, though the stewards decided to issue a drive-through penalty, converted to 20 seconds, plus three Super Licence points, having deemed Alonso’s driving “potentially dangerous”. Steiner does not have any complaints.

“The penalty, I would say it needs to be a penalty,” he told Sky Sports F1.

“I haven’t seen the data and if you don’t see the data, it’s difficult to say what actually happened, but it seems like the stewards came to a conclusion that there was some games played to keep George behind, so I think that the penalty was correct.” recommends

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Russell was panicking on team radio after his crash as he sat stranded in the middle of the track, pleading for red flags which never came. Instead, the race ended behind the Virtual Safety Car.

And Steiner saw some “potentially dangerous” goings on there too, stating his belief that the race should have been red flagged.

“I think on the red flags they were a little bit slow as it should have been red flagged if a car is almost upside down and the driver is still in it,” said Steiner.

“So it could have been potentially dangerous.”

Alonso’s post-race sanctions dropped him from P6 to P8 – behind Aston Martin team-mate Lance Stroll and RB’s Yuki Tsunoda – in the final Australian Grand Prix classification.

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