• Crónica Alonso entrenches himself on the podium amid historic chaos in Australia

In the middle of the podium ceremony, as happened in Saudi Arabia with Fernando Alonso, images and more images and more images. A new controversy. Max Verstappen, the winner of the race in Australia, the leader of the World Championship, was poorly placed on the second restart, the last, which took place just two laps from the end. The photographs of the fans at Albert Park proved it, the television replays corroborated it, but the stewards of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) did not investigate it. Why?

For a few minutes, the possibility of a sanction was considered. With five seconds of penalty, the current champion would fall to eighth position, Lewis Hamilton would be proclaimed winner and Alonso would ascend to second place. But the option of punishment was quickly ruled out. And curiously it was made public by the most interested team, Mercedes.

As revealed by the English team boss, Toto Wolff, before the end of the race they asked the FIA about that strange position of Verstappen, the stewards studied the tests and ruled out that he had left the regulations. The Red Bull's wheels stepped on the front white line and that saved the Dutchman. He would only have been penalized if his car had been a few centimeters ahead, that is, outside the white line.

The decision seems sensible, but it surprised locals and strangers by precedents. In Bahrain Esteban Ocon was penalized for being slightly placed on the left. In Saudi Arabia, exactly the same thing happened to Alonso. Neither took advantage of their position, but both took a five-second penalty.

Until this Sunday in Australia, the yellow line that is usually painted next to each starting box was supposed to be the reference. There, at that point, the pilots must stop and if they do it later they expose themselves to punishment. But from now on, with Verstappen's place at the Albert Park circuit, all participants will try to hurry by positioning their cars on the white lines, a few centimeters beyond the historic yellow line.

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  • Fernando Alonso
  • Max Verstappen
  • Articles Javier Sánchez