Fernando Alonso has avoided a grid penalty for Sunday’s Turkish Grand Prix after being investigated by the stewards after qualifying.
Alonso was accused of failing to respect double waved yellow flags at Turn 1, which were deployed after Max Verstappen spun in the opening minutes of Q1.
With his top six starting position under threat, the onboard camera showed that Alonso backed off through the corner, before going on to set his first flying lap.
“I heard the engineer say ‘double yellows’, I saw the double yellows as well at Turn 1 on the dash on the steering wheel,” Alonso said. “It was very clear to me and I aborted the lap.
“But because it’s the first lap of qualifying, you still set a time. Then the following lap I was three seconds faster without aborting the lap. That was probably the confusion. But no problem from the stewards, the green light from them.”
A statement from the stewards clarified that Alonso’s push lap that was undertaken after he passed the double-waved yellow flag zone was not deemed to be a meaningful effort.
“It was evident that the driver fulfilled the requirement of reducing speed significantly after the double yellow flags were displayed and therefore complied with the provisions set out in Art. 2.5.5.b) of the FIA International Sporting Code,” the statement read.
“Nonetheless, Note 7.1 of the Race Director’s Event Notes require drivers not to set a meaningful lap time in a double yellow flag situation.
“Taking into account the fact that the yellow flag situation occurred at the time the driver started his first timed lap of the session and noting that the driver was fully convinced that he did not set a meaningful lap time as his next flying lap was approximately 3.5 seconds faster than the one when the yellow flag situation occurred, the Stewards are satisfied that the driver complied with the relevant regulations and take no further action.”
Alonso ended qualifying in sixth place but will start Sunday’s race from fifth due to Lewis Hamilton’s grid penalty.