Fernando Alonso ‘nationality matters’ claim analysed after ‘seriously too risky’ Lewis Hamilton move

Jamie Woodhouse
Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton embrace at the 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton embrace.

Dutch racer Tom Coronel can understand where Fernando Alonso is coming from by claiming nationality influences the decisions of FIA stewards, with a “too risky” move from Lewis Hamilton in Miami going unpunished.

It was quite the chaotic start to the Miami Sprint race, as Hamilton launched a lunge down the inside into Turn 1 which forced Lando Norris and Lance Stroll into retirement, while Alonso dropped to the back of the pack. How the stewards looked upon that incident did not go down well with Alonso at all.

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Alonso has felt the wrath of the stewards in a major way during recent rounds, picking up time penalties and super licence points after incidents in Australia and China, though when the stewards decided that Hamilton’s actions were not worthy of a penalty, the Spaniard said “nationality matters” and went on to hold talks with FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

And speaking on the RacingNews365 podcast, Coronel was not particularly approving either of Hamilton’s actions.

“I thought it was a very strange one, especially for a World Champion,” said Coronel.

“You know the grip is not there, you know the car is not going to turn the corner there and then you overshoot. I thought it was seriously too risky.”

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Referring to Alonso’s nationality claim as a “good quote”, Coronel concurred that there is a lack of consistency in decision making from the stewards, suggesting Hamilton’s status as a record-equalling seven-time World Champion could also be a potential factor which meant he was looked upon with such leniency.

“It’s how the FIA looks at it and that’s why I don’t think it’s neat,” Coronel stated. “Or you should let it all loosen up, but not punish one and not the other. Alonso is right about that.

“Because if Logan Sargeant had done this, would he have got a penalty?”

After Coronel’s podcast co-star Ruud Dimmers responded with “absolutely”, Coronel continued: “Then you already have your answer: because you are a seven-time World Champion, you don’t get the penalty.

“So then, because you live in America, you are a World Champion or you are not a Spaniard, you don’t get the penalty. That doesn’t work and I think the FIA is not consistent with the penalties.”

Alonso has six penalty points on his super licence, with 12 collected over a 12-month period triggering a one-race ban.

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