- Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Ferrari
No penalty for Alonso in Abu Dhabi
Fernando Alonso held onto his fifth place finish at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after the stewards decided to take no further action regarding his off track excursion following his second pit stop.
Alonso returned to the track alongside Jean-Eric Vergne at Turn 3 and had to take to the run off area before claiming the position. After the race the stewards launched an investigation into whether Alonso had gained an advantage by driving off the track, but decided he had no choice but to take avoiding action.
"While Car 3 [Alonso] did leave the track at Turn 3-4 the stewards believe that he had no choice, as Car 18 [Vergne] closed on him. Car 18 was at the end of his stint with worn tyres and was fully committed to the turn as Car 3 exited the pits. Telemetry confirms that Car 3 was significantly faster, on option tyres, and had the advantage throughout the sequence. The drivers' explanations were completely clear. Therefore the stewards determine that neither car could avoid the incident, and no advantage was gained as a result of the incident.
Alonso said it was clear to him that he had not done anything wrong.
"I was going out of the pit, I was alongside the Toro Rosso and we didn't have the space to both go on the track. At that point you are invisible and forced to be out of the track. The rules say that when you have a car alongside you, you cannot use the full width of the track and he used the full width of the track. I think it's clear."
He also revealed the bump as he went over the kerb had triggered an alarm on the chassis due to the severity of the impact.
"I still have all my teeth after the bump! My back is in a little pain because it was a big hit. We have an alarm on the chassis and after a minimum of G-force there is an alarm on the chassis for big crashes to tell the medical car and whatever. The chassis has this alarm now in parc ferme, but hopefully I am okay for Austin."