Grand Prix du Canada - Comment Alpine, la plus sanctionnée, se prive (pour l'instant) de la 4e place au championnat

Grand Prix du Canada – Comment Alpine, la plus sanctionnée, se prive (pour l’instant) de la 4e place au championnat

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Fernando Alonso lost two places and four points after the finish of the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday. A point on his superlicence, too. The FIA ​​stewards did not support his defensive zigzags in front of Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) between turns 10 and 12, in the penultimate lap of the ninth round of the World Cup contested on the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve. They added five seconds to his race time, which dropped him behind Valtteri Bottas and Guanyu Zhou, the Alfa Romeo members who are – a bit unfortunate – the brand’s pressing opponents at the A arrow in the Constructors’ World Championship.

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It’s the first time the field veteran has been pinched in a race this year, and he was simply put on the same diet as Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) in Melbourne. We can still note that he only has six of the 12 points left on his Formula 1 driver’s license. When he has none left, he will be suspended for one race. However, each lost point is recouped after a year, putting it farther away from that spectrum; unlike the Canadian all-round champion mentioned above.

“Ferrari is paid with words, their plan is constant improvisation”

Double trouble in Miami

Unfortunately, this is not a first for his team, Alpine, far from it. The French team is even at the top of the most penalized since the start of the season; no less than five times in all. And she will not see the points she dropped during Grands Prix this season.

If Fernando Alonso was talked about on Sunday in the Belle Province, Esteban Ocon was also caught by the federal patrol. The soap opera started in Imola. During the fourth round of 2022, the native of Evreux was penalized 5 seconds for getting out of his pit in a dangerous way. An “unsafe release” which is somewhat the specialty of the Blues this season, and which was followed by consequences: the 5-second penalty imposed on the pilot of the A522 n°31 caused him to tumble from 11th to 14th final place.

On the other hand, during the following event in Miami, Fernando Alonso suffered the double penalty for his double fault: an attack launched out of nowhere on Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) and a time saving on a cut chicane. Result: a penalty of ten seconds, two places (from P9 to P11) and 2 points gone.

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Knowing how to return an unfair advantage

“It’s my mistake and it happens to me sometimes. I braked too late and destroyed Pierre’s race”, flatly recognized the quadra “Nando”. As for the second fault, he could have repaired it himself, if he had really wanted to or if the team had encouraged him to do so. But, that’s the problem, neither of them really wanted to recognize the error in its magnitude. After his straight, the Asturian did not really slow down in order to erase his “lasting gain”, as the FIA ​​accused him. Quite oddly like Sunday in Montreal moreover, Fernando Alonso made his mistake in the last laps. Did he naively think of escaping an investigation? With a beginner we would have understood, but less so.

In Miami, the offense was obvious enough to dispense the race director from summoning him or a team representative. Alpine trapped, Otmar Szafnauer could only express his astonishment and demand a clearer rule from the FIA. Which is enough apparently, since the FIA ​​has not made any update since. The high authority still judges that it is easy to evaluate an undue saving of time on the track and continues to punish minimalist repairs.

It must be said, Alpine and its drivers have often played like the other teams with the limits this season, and have sometimes found them. But Esteban Ocon’s demotion from ninth to twelfth place (another 5 second penalty) in the Principality remains an aberration and witness to the approximations from which the FIA ​​is not cured.

Points that are worth millions of euros

When braking at turn 1, on the 18th lap of the Monaco Grand Prix, the Frenchman was in his right. He was almost a step ahead of the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton, when it hit him and destabilized him. “I went to the stewards, because this penalty is illogical and makes no sensepestered Esteban Ocon afterwards. They explained to me that there was a new rule stipulating that when there is a car inside, it is the one who is attacked who is penalised. They confirmed to me that last year it would have been a simple fact of racing, and that they themselves did not understand the rule.

“With ten points scored, the team retains its fifth place in the Constructors’ Championship, eight behind McLaren”, Alpine wrote on Sunday evening. But when we take stock, the total penalties imposed amount to eight points. Errors or misunderstandings which are costly since they deprive the team of appearing in fourth place in the World Cup, its precise objective this season, and potentially of a few tens of millions of euros from the distribution of sports earnings, in end of season.

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