Lewis Hamilton deserved penalty for ‘very dangerous’ incident involving Fernando Alonso

Michelle Foster
Lewis Hamilton shakes hands with Fernando Alonso after they both finish on the Canada podium.

Lewis Hamilton shakes hands with Fernando Alonso.

Lewis Hamilton should’ve been handed a five-second penalty for his near-collision with Fernando Alonso in the Canadian pit lane, that’s according to former F1 team boss Paul Stoddart.

Racing for position at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Hamilton and Alonso pitted at the same time with Aston Martin a bit quicker changing their driver’s tyres, resulting in Alonso heading down the pit lane as Mercedes released Hamilton.

Alonso had to take avoiding action, the driver mocked by Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff for trying to create drama.

“[It was] a bit of drama,” said the team boss. “Shaking the steering a little bit and a little bit of touching of the brakes.

“He is good at that, the cries of ‘I nearly hit him’… a bit of drama.”

Stoddart, however, believes Hamilton should’ve received a penalty for an unsafe release.

“Fernando Alonso’s race in Canada was excellent. He was bit unlucky with a couple of things,” the former Minardi team boss said in his Racingnews365.com column.

“I really think that incident with Hamilton in the pit lane was worthy of a five-second penalty at the least, but was also very dangerous, because it could have ruined both their races.”

The stewards investigated the near-miss but made the call not to penalise the Briton.

That, though, was just one mistake on what the Australian felt was a weekend littered with errors, although most of those came from the drivers’ side with Stoddart saying driving standards at the moment “leave a bit to be desired”.

From Sergio Perez’s hard tyre strategy that put him in a “DRS train and had nowhere to go” to Goerge Russell putting his W14 “into the wall”, Stoddart added: “George’s mistake, Checo’s mistakes, mistakes at Ferrari on any given day between one of the drivers – Leclerc again, out of Q2. They’re not doing themselves any favours.

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“And then you have somebody like Gasly, who was just completely denied a Q3 position by Carlos Sainz almost falling asleep in the middle of the final corner. Some of the driving standards really do leave a bit to be desired, to be honest.”

“You see it across the teams,” he added.

“Look at McLaren, you’ve got Lando Norris who can make mistakes, Oscar Piastri put it into the wall. There are drivers that are just not doing themselves any favours.

“I know we’ve got a few rookies this year, and Piastri has clearly come out as the best of them. But you look at others like Nyck de Vries, who’s just nowhere to be seen. Teams that don’t have at least one outstanding driver are struggling, and that’s quite sad to see.

“You now see the top 10 quite regularly separated by less than a second, and sometimes you see right down to 20th separated by less than two seconds, and that’ll include somebody like Logan Sargeant who is really struggling. He hasn’t got the updates because he hasn’t really performed as well as might have been expected.

“But nevertheless, the pressure that’s put on all these drivers to get out there and put in a lap is showing, and that’s where I think a lot of these mistakes are coming from.”