• Crónica Alonso entrenches himself on the podium amid historic chaos in Australia
  • Max Verstappen controversy, his bad position at the start and the approval of the FIA: "I was on the line"

On the paddock of the Albert Park circuit, a man, Carlos Sainz, tries to control himself, to breathe, even to keep quiet. It has one target: the hall of the stewards of the International Automobile Federation (FIA). And it has a purpose: that they remove the sanction they have imposed on him. But before discussing with them it must comply with multiple obligations and one of them is to attend to the televisions with rights in the mixed zone. From the outset on DAZN, in Spanish, he moderates: "I prefer not to speak before going to see the commissioners." But in English then he raises the tone. "It's the most unfair sanction I've ever experienced," he first told Sky Sports. "It's the biggest shame I've seen in recent years," he blurts out later on Viaplay. In the end, with anger boiling in his blood, the Ferrari driver leaves to talk to the referees who, given the subsequent statement, do not attend to his reasons.

"On the first lap of a restart the stewards are usually more permissive, but car 55 [Sainz] had enough space to avoid contact," the FIA said, knocking Sainz out of the points. From fourth place to twelfth, a severe, very severe penalty. Why? What happened?

Find out more

Formula 1.

Alonso entrenches himself on the podium amid historic chaos in Australia


Alonso entrenches himself on the podium amid historic chaos in Australia

The first episode of the confrontation between Carlos Sainz and Fernando Alonso. Godfather Alonso de Sainz since he was a child, friends both, travel companions, hotels and even vacations, in Bahrain it was already proven that this season will test their relationship and this Sunday in Australia was confirmed. After a chaotic race in the first laps and quiet in the hour after, the two Spaniards found themselves side by side. With only two laps to go, a red flag. With only two laps to go, one restart. With Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton ahead, Alonso was placed in third place on the grid and Carlos Sainz in fourth, practically in parallel. With so much tension, surviving the first corner would be a feat. With cold tires, the concatenation of accidents was assured. Alonso made a quick start, placed himself on the outside to pass Hamilton and Sainz, also fast, on the inside, took him ahead.

"No, they can't do that."

Luckily there were no more. Alonso's car, stranded in the middle of the track, did not hit the walls or another car. And Sainz was able to continue his march in third place. Moreover, as chaos broke out around them and the Alpine drivers, Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly, crashed into the wall, the FIA stewards decided to cancel everything that happened and return Alonso to third place and Sainz to fourth. Everyone happy. Alonso celebrated his third consecutive podium of the season, which keeps him third in the World Championship, one step behind the Red Bulls, and Sainz increased his advantage as the best Ferrari after the retirement of Charles Leclerc. But suddenly the radio message came. "Carlos, they are going to sanction you with five seconds," they warned from the red garage. "No, no, they can't do that. It's too harsh a punishment," Sainz said. Despite their laments and the subsequent meeting, there was nothing to be done.

"The penalty is hard, because when you have cold wheels you are not going to hit anyone," Alonso analyzed, in the mixed zone, exculpating his friend, although minutes before he had a tense conversation with Ricardo Adami, Sainz's track engineer. In reality the Aston Martin driver – like Verstappen and Hamilton – was at Race Direction for having shown that red flag and creating a race with only two laps to go in which incidents were assured.

"That red flag was not necessary. Everything could have been solved with a 'safety'. If you take out a red flag for safety reasons and then make a two-lap restart, you create more danger, because something is going to happen yes or yes, "said the Spaniard, happy with his third place despite the incident with Sainz. The confrontation between the two has begun and their relationship is threatened.

According to The Trust Project criteria

Learn more

  • Ferrari
  • Lewis Hamilton
  • Fernando Alonso
  • Articles Javier Sánchez