“I do feel that nationality matters” — Alonso frustrated with inconsistency of stewards after Hamilton not penalised at the start of F1 Miami GP Sprint

Photo Credit: Aston Martin Aramaco F1 Team
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Fernando Alonso and Aston Martin have faced multiple penalties this season, and the Spaniard was deeply unhappy after the Sprint and Grand Prix qualifying in Miami.

The two-time World Champion has picked up two penalties in recent races, starting with an incident in Australia where Alonso was penalised for allegedly driving in an erratic matter, resulting in George Russell’s crashing behind him on the penultimate lap.

This was followed by another penalty in China due to him pushing Carlos Sainz off the track in the Sprint at turn 9. Between those incidents, he got 6 penalty points.

The team believed these penalties were unduly severe and sought a review from the FIA, which was promptly rejected.

This frustration reached a boiling point after Miami’s sprint yesterday, where Lewis Hamilton sent a massive lunge on Alonso, triggering a chain reaction that involved Lance Stroll and Lando Norris. The Spaniard had contact with his Canadian teammate before his fierce rival appeared on the scene down the inside.

Despite Norris and Stroll retiring, it was classified as a racing incident.

A bewildered Alonso spoke after qualifying and blamed the inconsistency of penalties that the FIA and the stewards give, strongly hinting that Spanish drivers are unfairly treated.

“I do feel that nationality matters.

“And I will speak with Mohammed [Ben Sulayem, FIA president], with the FIA, whatever.

“I need to make sure that there isn’t anything wrong with my nationality or anything that can influence any decision. Not only for me, also for the future generation of Spanish drivers. They need to be protected.

“I had to open the gap, because Hamilton was coming from the inside without control of the car. If I do that, for sure I get a penalty.”

Speaking about his qualifying performance, he expressed his disappointment by qualifying only 15th.

He attributed the drop in performance to set-up changes. Lance Stroll outpaced him once again to beat the Spaniard in both qualifying sessions this weekend.

“A little bit disappointed with qualifying for us. P15 in Q1, P15 in Q2, so I didn’t have much pace today.

“We made some set-up changes since this morning – looking at the time, they probably didn’t work as expected and we are a little bit less competitive than normal.

“I was understeering a lot in the high-speed and oversteering a lot in the low-speed [corners] and I felt like no grip on the car in any of the runs.

Alonso then emphasised the narrow margins in performance, noting the close margins between everyone the top 4 teams.

“With two tenths you can be P8 or P15. We are on the wrong side of that group as we’ve been on the good side in the last few races.

“It’s going to be a tough race. Hopefully, with Lance starting P11 we’re going to score a few points. With me P15 it is going to be very difficult.”