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Naughty Alonso Gets Qualifying Penalty

Naughty Alonso Gets Qualifying Penalty

Championship leader Fernando Alonso has been given two penalties after an altercation in free practice in Hungary with Red Bull tester Robert Doornbos. Alonso will have two seconds added to each of his fastest laps (in each qualy session) because of dangerous driving and overtaking under yellow flags.

Initially, both drivers were summoned to the stewards office to give their account of the incident. It appears that Alonso brake-tested the Dutchman after completing a fast lap, gesticulating furiously in the process. After the initial meeting, Fernando was recalled to another meeting without Doornbos, after which Alonso said:

[I am] totally surprised by the last ten minutes. The same things happen in every test, every practice and every race, but for some reason, this weekend it seems important.

This incident and repercussions will likely result in Alonso not getting into the second session of qualifying, and will thus mean the Spaniard will start from (at best) in 17th place. With Ferrari and Michael Schumacher looking pretty mighty at the moment, and Renault backing down on the implementation of their Mass Damper system (which enables a better balance on the car), Alonso is going to have a very tough Formula One race on Sunday.

It wouldn’t surprise me if Renault counted their losses and changed his engine as well, demoting him to 22nd, but giving him a fresh V8 and bucket-loads of fuel.

Image courtesy of Sutton Images.

Oliver White

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