Alonso enjoys the appearance on the podium and shrugs at the demotion
Fernando Alonso shook off his disappointment on Sunday after being snatched the 100th podium of his remarkable career at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
The Spaniard received a 10-second post-race penalty for an infraction during his pit stop as he served a 5-second penalty for a false start and handed third place to Mercedes’ George Russell.
Beaming with satisfaction at his rousing commitment to Aston Martin, he said he was not genuinely upset by the decision and was encouraged by the performance of his car and team.
“I’m not too upset,” he said. “It was good and it doesn’t hurt much. I was on the podium, I took the pictures, I got the trophy. I celebrated with the champagne. Now I’m down three points, I don’t have 15, I have 12 .
“I think it’s more of a bad show from the FIA today than a disappointment for ourselves.
“You cannot issue the penalty 35 laps after the pit stop. You had enough time to inform us. If I had known about the penalty I would have had 11 seconds with the car
“I think we were faster here than in Bahrain and things are looking very good for the future.”
The 41-year-old two-time champion had taken the lead on the first corner of the 50-lap race but received a five-second penalty for starting from an incorrect position too far left on his grid position.
He attempted to serve the penalty as he came to his pit stop after being passed by Red Bull’s race winner Sergio Perez, but a mechanic, his rear jack, was found to have touched the car before the five seconds had elapsed .
It was a similar infraction to that suffered by Alpine rider Esteban Ocon, who received three penalties at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.
The decision was only made public at the end of the race – and after the popular Spaniard had appeared on the podium and in the post-race interviews.
Russell benefited from climbing the podium but was keen to speak to Alonso, saying ‘hard lines mate’.
Nevertheless, the Briton was happy about the trophy for third place.
“That penalty for Fernando was tough. They deserved a podium today but I’ll take an extra trophy with me,” said Russell. “I am not complaining.”
Alonso, who made his record-breaking 357th race start, showered his team with praise after the race.
“These guys have built a fantastic car, fantastic execution of the race here and in Bahrain, with the strategy and now two podiums.
“These guys give me power and I push myself to the end and also in the qualifying rounds. The Red Bulls are out of reach but the rest was behind us so I’m happy with that.”
Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack said they studied the videos before deciding whether to appeal.
“We’re studying this now and don’t yet know how we’re going to deal with it.”