Both drivers were fighting for P10 late in the race but ended up finishing outside the points
By Olivia Kairu
Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll have both evaded penalties after the stewards ruled their turn 1 altercation at the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday as a racing incident.
The drivers were fighting for P10 late in the race but ended up finishing outside the points in Barcelona. The Spaniard was struggling on heavily degraded medium tires when Stroll made a bold attempt at an overtake around the outside of turn 1. Due to lack of grip, Alonso forced the Canadian to run wide and off the track in the middle of the second chicane.
Stroll then tried the same move on the same part of the track a lap later, managing to overtake Alonso. The Alpine driver continued to lose positions and finished 17th, while Stroll took the chequered flag on the eleventh position.
After being pushed off the track, the Aston Martin driver failed to follow the re-entry procedure, leading to a post-race investigation.
“Stroll was forced off the track between turn one and turn two in a racing incident with Alonso and as a result of the incident, was forced behind the apex kerb at turn two,” read the stewards report on the incident. “Stroll explained to the stewards that he then steered to the left towards the bollards at the exit of turn two. This was apparent from the in-car video.”
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Stroll, however, gave the position back to Alonso, which was enough for the stewards to decide for the ‘no further action’ ruling.
“Having not passed behind the bollards, Stroll then rejoined the track safely and deliberately slowed and let Alonso and Bottas, who was lapping, to pass him, eliminating any possible lasting advantage. The Stewards were therefore satisfied with Stroll’s actions and decided not to issue him a penalty.”
The stewards also determined that Alonso took the necessary precautions to avoid a collision with Stroll but was unable to do so completely, which led the Alpine driver to steer him off the track. “Alonso, who was on older tyres, moved as far as possible onto the apex kerb of turn 1, but was unable to hold the car’s line.”
FIA race director Michael Masi’s event notes for the race dictated that the rules on rejoining the track may not be enforced if a driver is forced wide by a rival. Ultimately, both Stroll and Alonso agreed that the skirmish was not a result of deliberate action but merely a racing incident, leading the stewards to take “no further action.”
Race control was keeping a close eye on the part of the track in which the incident happened. Masi dictated in his notes ahead of the race weekend that turns 1and 2 would be under heavy regulation.
“As we’ve had here for a number of years, particularly missing the apex of turn 2, so if you go off-track at turn 1, or before the yellow sausage at the apex of turn 2, you need to go all the way along and then rejoin the track safely after the second bollard that’s out there,” read a pre-race report,” he wrote ahead of the race.
Both Alonso and Stroll have five points in the 2021 drivers’ championship after four races.