Alonso punished with time penalty

Alonso punished with time penalty

Fernando Alonso's hopes of victory in Hungary took a blow on Friday when stewards awarded the Renault driver a time penalty for qualifying in regard to dangerous driving in Friday's second practice session. The main incident under investigation ...

Fernando Alonso's hopes of victory in Hungary took a blow on Friday when stewards awarded the Renault driver a time penalty for qualifying in regard to dangerous driving in Friday's second practice session. The main incident under investigation involved Red Bull third driver Robert Doornbos.

Fernando Alonso.
Photo by xpb.cc.

Alonso was seen to make angry gestures at Doornbos, presumably believing the Dutchman had hampered him, and then appeared to veer in front of the Red Bull and brake abruptly in the next corner. The stewards deemed the slowing down was of an "unusual and unexpected degree" and it caused Doornbos to take avoiding action.

They ruled that Alonso's actions were "unnecessary, unacceptable and dangerous". The Spaniard was also found guilty of overtaking under yellow flags and as a consequence he will have two seconds added to his fastest lap in each of the three qualifying sessions on Saturday (one second for each incident). Renault is not expected to appeal.

The penalty will make it near enough impossible for Alonso to make the final stage of qualifying and will hand title rival Michael Schumacher a clear advantage. The Hungaroring is notoriously difficult to overtake on and a good qualifying spot is a very high priority.

There's only 11 points between championship leader Alonso and Schumacher in the standings and barring any unexpected events Schumacher looks set to close the gap even further on Sunday. Alonso hasn't maintained his usual calm recently and speculation suggests he is starting to crack under pressure.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Fernando Alonso , Robert Doornbos