Gasly, Alonso given penalty points for Istanbul collisions

Jon Wilde
First corner of the Turkish Grand Prix. Istanbul October 2021.

Fernando Alonso and Pierre Gasly make contact in the first corner of the Turkish Grand Prix. Istanbul October 2021.

Fernando Alonso and Pierre Gasly have both received penalty points for the Turkish Grand Prix collisions they were adjudged to have caused.

A race on a damp circuit, where only intermediate tyres were used apart from a quickly-aborted gamble on slicks by Sebastian Vettel, proved largely uneventful in the circumstances.

The stewards were only really called into action during the opening laps when Alonso was the driver mostly involved in the incidents that were happening.

At the very first corner, the Spaniard was sent spinning when he was clipped by Gasly’s car and the AlphaTauri driver was found to be responsible.

As the Alpine tumbled down the order as a result, Alonso found himself among the backmarkers and tangled with Mick Schumacher, the stewards deciding this time he was at fault rather than the innocent victim.

Gasly and Alonso each served a five-second time penalty at their pit-stop and while the Frenchman recovered to finish sixth, close behind Lewis Hamilton, the two-time former World Champion never got over that early contact and trailed in 16th.

Both drivers received two points on their superlicence, those being Alonso’s first of the current 12-month period – he only returned to the sport this season – while Gasly now has a total of three.

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Of the initial collision, the stewards’ verdict read: “Gasly tried to negotiate Turn 1 with [Sergio] Perez on the inside and Alonso on the outside.

“Alonso was slightly in front of Gasly at the exit of the corner when both cars made contact, causing Alonso to spin.

“The stewards determine that Gasly was predominantly at fault for the collision as he did not leave enough space for Alonso on the outside.

“It should also be pointed out the stewards do not consider this incident as an unavoidable Turn 1 contact between two cars as Gasly was not sandwiched between two cars when he touched Alonso’s car.”

Gasly claimed over the team radio he had been “sandwiched” straight after the incident.


A simpler explanation for the Alonso/Schumacher incident on lap two read: “Alonso tried to make a move on Schumacher on the inside at the approach to Turn 4, but never got in a position to complete the move and made contact with the insider rear wheel of Schumacher’s car, causing the latter to spin. The stewards determine Alonso is predominantly to blame.”

Enrique Bernoldi, who drove for Arrows in 2001-02, was the ex-driver steward on duty in Istanbul.


Winners and losers from the Turkish Grand Prix

Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen will be pleased with their races, but even after rising through the field, Lewis Hamilton was one of the big losers in the Turkish Grand Prix.