Fernando Alonso has claimed that certain drivers are given an easier time by FIA race stewards depending on their nationality.
The Alpine driver caught plenty of attention for his approach to the start of the Russian Grand Prix last time out, running wide on the opening lap after ‘testing’ the grip on the run off area on his reconnaissance lap.
Alonso rolled out of the throttle afterwards to hand position back to Lance Stroll at the start of the race but some suggested that he had gained an advantage anyway, having avoided the squeeze into Turn 2.
Speaking ahead of the Turkish Grand Prix, Alonso said the incident confirmed to him that rules were being applied inconsistently and noted that some drivers are given an easier time than others.
“There are different rules for different people, or different talks the week after for people,” Alonso said. “Let’s see the next one that crosses the white line on the entry. Let’s see which nationality he is and which penalty he will get.”
His comments appeared to be in direct reference to Lando Norris’s crossing of the white line on pit entry in the final laps of the Russian GP. The usual sanction would have been a time penalty for the breach but Norris was handed a reprimand after the race instead.
Alonso confirmed that his approach to the start in Sochi was intentional and that his running into the run-off area was premeditated. FIA race director Michael Masi confirmed after the race that he was satisfied with Alonso’s lift and ceding of position but the repercussions are still on the mind of the two-time world champion.
“[It was] Just to confirm you know when, when I do things they have a different repercussion,” he continued.
“Maybe they’ll change the run-off area in the first couple of corners. There have been idiots on track for most of the championship. I’ve been overtaken from the outside of the asphalt by many people in the first couple of races – in Austria [race] one or two, and nothing happened. There were no questions following race and now, after Sochi, there is a question, so it’s a confirmation.”
In both Austrian rounds, Alonso found himself pinched to the Turn 1 apex while other drivers ran over the kerbs on corner exit to gain a place against the Alpine driver.