Toto Wolff argues Alonso’s Jeddah infringement was ‘the technical violation’ from Ocon in Bahrain
Toto Wolff believes Aston Martin putting the jack to Fernando Alonso’s AMR23 when he pitted in Saudi Arabia to take his five-second penalty was “the technical violation ” as seen with Esteban Ocon in Bahrain.
Unlike Ocon, though, Aston Martin had Alonso’s 10 second penalty squashed.
Alonso bagged his second podium of the season at the Jeddah circuit, the Spaniard crossing the line 5.1s ahead of George Russell, but his rose water celebrations were curtailed when he was informed as he stepped off the podium that he had a 10-second penalty.
That meant that while Alonso was on the podium, it was Russell who attended the post-race press conference with even the Briton feeling Alonso’s penalty was “too extreme”.
Hours later, though, with Aston Martin having appealed the penalty, it was overturned as the stewards agreed the wording of the regulation relating to working on the car during a penalty period in a pit stop was ambiguous.
Wolff, however, feels it was the same violation that cost Ocon 10-seconds in Bahrain.
“This is the technical violation that we saw with Ocon in Bahrain,” he told Sky Deutschland. “It was the jack.
“You have to discuss whether the penalty is right if the thing just touches the car. Maybe it is something we need to change.”
There was speculation after the race that it was Mercedes who brought the jack incident to the stewards’ attention although that has not been confirmed.
All Wolff said was: “We saw it quickly, played the video up and down. It wasn’t entirely clear if there would be a penalty.”
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Nico Rosberg agrees it was a “similar” mistake to Ocon’s
Former F1 driver and Mercedes’ 2016 World Champion Nico Rosberg agrees with Wolff that it was the same infringement.
Given that Ocon was penalised just 14 days prior for Alpine working on his car during his penalty, ironically also for incorrectly lining up on the grid, Rosberg feels Aston Martin should have learned from Alpine’s mistake.
“It’s similar to what happened to Ocon in Bahrain,” he said. “Then it’s a mistake. After a race weekend you have to analyse what others did wrong.
“It was very likely that the jack touched the car and that can then be interpreted to mean that work was being done on the car. That must not happen.
“For me, a clear mistake by the management.”
Timo Glock argues there was ‘no benefit from it’
But his fellow Sky Sports pundit Timo Glock argues there was “no benefit” from lining the jack up just underneath the car as Aston Martin did.
Although they may have touched the car, they didn’t actually work on it so he reckons the rule should be revised.
“There was no benefit from it,” he said. “Whether the jack is on the device structure or two or three centimetres away – there was no benefit.
“You may have to reconsider this regulation. The topic may be over-regulated.”
He does, however, feel Aston Martin and Alonso made “two careless mistakes that have a big impact.
“First, that he wasn’t on the grid the start of the race and then the team’s mistake. That shouldn’t happen to him, but we’re all human and we make mistakes.”