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Alonso cleared of any wrong-doing by stewards

Nov 3, 2013, 12:00 PM EDT

Mideast Emirates F1 GP Auto Racing AP

Fernando Alonso has been cleared of any wrong-doing by the stewards at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after appearing to pass Jean-Eric Vergne off-track during today’s race.

The Spanish driver failed to qualify inside the top ten for the first time since the 2012 European Grand Prix, but he managed to recover during the race to finish fifth ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Force India’s Paul di Resta. However, the post-race investigation meant that he was poised to drop to ninth place behind teammate Felipe Massa and McLaren’s Sergio Perez if he had been found guilty.

After making his late second stop, Alonso came out close to Vergne and Massa who were battling for position at the time. The pit lane and exit at Abu Dhabi is unique with a tunnel leading drivers under the first corner and eventually releasing them on a fast left-hander heading down towards the chicane. On exit, Alonso found himself on the left-hand side of Vergne, but he did not yield position and instead made it past by taking to the kerbing on the inside of the corner.

Soon after this incident, the stewards confirmed that Alonso was under investigation for exceeding track limits and that a verdict would be given after the race.

However, the Spaniard was eventually cleared by the panel led by Martin Donnelly in Abu Dhabi, meaning that he kept hold of fifth place and the ten points he scored. This sees him extend his lead over retiree Kimi Raikkonen in the battle for second place in the drivers’ championship, and it would take a remarkable turnaround to see Alonso squander his thirty-four point lead over the Finn.

Ferrari did lose ground in the constructors’ championship though as Mercedes outscored the Italian marque by seven points. The Silver Arrows are now well-placed to secure the runner-up spot behind champions Red Bull.

  1. worknman24hours - Nov 3, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    This is a case where Alonso directly benefitted for the current unhappiness between Kimi and the Lotus team.

    No strong protest from them means Alonso gets to keep the spot he took.

    Good for Alonso, I guess.

    • redrock81 - Nov 3, 2013 at 6:53 PM

      The situation between Kimi and Lotus has absolutely nothing to do with it. Its a surprise he even showed up to race.

      The main point here is if Alonso was forced to run wide. And if you look at replays it would seem that way. The stewards have investigated and determined that “While car #3 did leave the track at Turn 3-4 the stewards believe that he had no choice, as car #18 closed on him,”.But Alonso going over the kerbs did trigger his car’s medical alarm and he was sent to the hospital for a routine check up after.

      • worknman24hours - Nov 3, 2013 at 10:21 PM

        The odd thing about Formula One is that Alonso going over the kerbs does affect the points standing if he was penalized from the race for intentionally going over the kerbs.

        Had Team Lotus encouraged the other teams involved to protest Alonso’s actions as blatantly dangerous because he was racing from the pit lane instead of racing on the track and merged into a pair of racing cars without regard for their placement on the track there actually could have been penalties taken against Alonso.

        There is always consequences to team discord.

        Alonso got lucky today.

    • indycar02 - Nov 7, 2013 at 9:46 PM

      yes, good on alonso!…

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