D Driver


Fernando Alonso reprimanded for ignoring blue flags at the Japanese Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso has been penalized 2 points on his Super License after holding up the race leader, Lewis Hamilton, for longer than required during the penultimate lap of the Japanese Grand Prix. This allowed Max Verstappen to cut the gap to Hamilton to just under a second.

Immediately after the race Alonso was asked to meet with the stewards and discuss the incident.

The stewards mentioned that Alonso was shown a solid blue indicator light on his dash before Hamilton closed in, and he also had received a flashing blue light informing him that Hamilton was closing on him for over a lap before. Blue flags between Turn 14 and Turn 15 on Lap 51 were also waved at Alonso. Alonso finally let Hamilton pass during lap 52 at Turn 11.

Alonso pointed out in his hearing with the stewards that the only other opportunity to allow Hamilton to pass on the front straight, but not thereafter until Turn 11. The stewards accepted that between Turns 2 and 9 it wasn’t safe to let a car through, which contributed to the length of time it took to allow Hamilton through.

Comparing this incident to other similar incidents, the stewards concluded that although it was a breach of rules and regulations, the incident was less severe than others, as it didn’t really hamper the race battle between Hamilton and Verstappen. Ultimately, the stewards decided that Alonso will be reprimanded 2 points on his Super License for his offense.