Fernando Alonso may have been pushed off the track by Lance Stroll but that didn’t give him the right to cut the chicane, says F1 race director Charlie Whiting.
Alonso was puzzled by his Japanese Grand Prix penalty, saying it shows “how bad Formula 1 is” given that he was penalised when another driver, Stroll, pushed him off the track.
The McLaren driver was hit with a five-second time penalty for cutting the chicane and rejoining the track ahead of Stroll.
“It just shows how bad Formula One is,” he said. “In the decisions, in the randomness, in the pure consistency.
“You are braking on the outside at the last corner, and one guy didn’t see you and came here to apologise after you go on the gravel and you get the penalty. It’s a shame.”
Fernando don't care pic.twitter.com/o0xXL86s9A
— iGP Manager (@iGPManager) October 7, 2018
Whiting, though, has explained that while the stewards were aware that Stroll had pushed Alonso off the track, that didn’t give him the right to cut the chicane and take a position off the Williams driver.
“The stewards felt that it was perfectly clear what Fernando did,” he said.
“He cut the chicane, drove quickly across the gravel and came back on way in front.
“It was pretty clear that he had gained an advantage by leaving the track.
“The stewards felt that Stroll had actually forced Fernando off, so you could not say that because Fernando was forced off he was entitled to cut the chicane. He wasn’t.
“He should not have taken a place by doing it but equally Stroll should not have pushed him off the track.
“So they felt each driver should get a five-second penalty for two separate offences.”
Stroll was also penalised for his part in Alonso’s off.