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Aston Martin will not appeal Fernando Alonso’s penalty at the Australian Grand Prix after the Spaniard was deemed to drive in a “potentially dangerous” manner in front of George Russell.

Alonso was handed a 20-second time penalty for the way in which he approached Turn Six on the penultimate lap of the race, dropping him from sixth to eighth in the final classification – a decision issued by stewards more than three hours after the end of the race.

Following the post-race investigation, which included the study of data, replays and interviews with both drivers, stewards said telemetry from Alonso’s car showed that the Aston Martin had “lifted slightly more than 100m earlier than he ever had going into” Turn Six on the penultimate lap of the race as Russell chased him down.

Alonso claimed that he was simply trying to ensure a better exit from the upcoming corner, with Russell applying heavy pressure as the pair approached the DRS zones in which the Mercedes driver, on fresher tyres, would likely have had his best chance of overtaking.

Aston Martin had the right to appeal but have decided to not do so, two days after the race.

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A panicked George Russell calls for a red flag over Mercedes team radio following his crash on the penultimate lap of the Australian Grand Prix. Video contains content that some viewers may find distressing.

“To receive a 20-second time penalty when there was no contact with the following car has been a bitter pill to swallow, but we have to accept the decision,” said Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack.

“We made our best case but without new evidence we are unable to request a right of review.”

Krack: Alonso would never put anyone in harm’s way

Alonso says he was “surprised” by the penalty and took to social media after the race to give examples of battles he’s had since his F1 career began in 2001, where he took different racing lines and speeds into corners to attack and defend. He pointed out his duels with Michael Schumacher at Imola in 2005 and 2006, plus his battle against Sergio Perez in Brazil as examples.

Russell’s accident turned Mercedes’ bad weekend into a nightmare as they failed to score points for the first time since the 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

The British driver called for a red flag several times but only a Virtual Safety Car was deployed on the last lap of the race.

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On the Sky Sports F1 Podcast, former F1 strategist Bernie Collins and F1 YouTuber Matt Gallagher debate if a red flag or a virtual safety car was the right call following George Russell’s crash on the penultimate lap of the Australian GP.

Krack reiterated Russell’s safety was the first thought on Aston Martin’s mind, before reiterating Alonso was using his experience to defend against the Mercedes driver.

“In motorsport, everyone is relieved that George was OK and walked away after his accident,” Krack wrote.

“I want you to know that we fully support Fernando, he is the most experienced driver in Formula 1 history. He has competed in more Grands Prix than anyone else and has more than 20 years of experience. He is a multiple world champion in multiple categories.

“Fernando is a phenomenal racer and he was using every tool in his toolbox to finish ahead of George – just like we saw in Brazil last year with Sergio [Perez].

“This is the art of motorsport at the highest level, he would never put anyone in harm’s way.

“Thank you to everyone who has got in touch, we move forward together.”

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George Russell and Fernando Alonso give there accounts of Russell’s final-lap crash where the Aston Martin driver appeared to slow dramatically.

Chandhok: Alonso crossed a line with early braking

Sky Sports F1’s Karun Chandhok on the incident:

“There’s a way to drive tactically, and there’s a way that that goes slightly beyond what is being judged as fair, and in this instance, it feels like that was the case.

“If I look at Alonso’s example of Imola 2005 that he cited, that was brilliant tactical driving by him, positioning the car in the right place at the right time, slowing the corner entry to get a better exit. But it was done in a in a predictable manner, and I think that is the keyword here, predictable.

“A lot of people have referenced Kevin Magnussen’s driving in Jeddah, questioning how it was okay for him to intentionally slow down the field there, but Alonso got done for the move in Melbourne.

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Ted Kravitz is in the paddock to review all the biggest stories from the Australian Grand Prix.

“There was a predictability in what Magnussen was doing. He was driving in a tactical way, slowing down mid-corner in long radius corners where there was only one line, so nobody had the opportunity to overtake him. But it was done in a way that the cars behind knew what he was doing.

“In Fernando’s case, looking at some of the GPS data as well, what’s quite clear is, in contrast to his own driving in the previous few laps, he seemed to back off and brake significantly earlier on this lap and then accelerated and braked again. And that’s where the unpredictability came in for George.

“I think any driver on the planet would have obviously tried to brake early to get a good exit, I think where this perhaps crossed the line is it was so much earlier, so much so that he in fact had to speed up again.”

Formula 1’s biggest ever season continues with the Japanese Grand Prix, live on Sky Sports F1 from April 5-7. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership – No contract, cancel anytime

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