We saw two drivers have to push to get out back on track this afternoon, but it was not as simple for Fernando Alonso when he stormed out of the pits on Lap 45 alongside Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne. The two-time world champion took avoiding action, which meant he had no other alternative than to inadvertently exceed the track limits.
The Spaniard went airborne off the track as well, which would have provided a hard landing for both car and driver, who is having his back checked out as a precaution. The stewards, led by ex-F1 driver Martin Donnelly, were quick to state that the incident was to be reviewed after the completion of the 55-lap race.
After some deliberation, the stewards decided no penalty was to be issued to Alonso and issued the following statement via the official Formula 1 website: “While car #3 did leave the track at Turn 3-4 the stewards believe that he had no choice, as car #18 closed on him,” said an stewards’ statement.
“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.”
So Alonso stays ahead of first-lap retiree Kimi Raikkonen, who is currently 34 points behind the man who will be his teammate in scarlet red next season, with Fernando looking to keep the gap as much as possible come Interlagos.
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