2P4J561 RUSSELL George (gbr), Mercedes AMG F1 Team W14, ALONSO Fernando (spa), Aston Martin F1 Team AMR23, portrait during the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2023, 1st round of the 2023 FIA Formula One World Championship from March 3 to 5, 2023 on the Bahrain International Circuit, in Sakhir, Bahrain - Photo DPPI

Aston Martin will not appeal Alonso penalty for Russell incident

2P4J561 RUSSELL George (gbr), Mercedes AMG F1 Team W14, ALONSO Fernando (spa), Aston Martin F1 Team AMR23, portrait during the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2023, 1st round of the 2023 FIA Formula One World Championship from March 3 to 5, 2023 on the Bahrain International Circuit, in Sakhir, Bahrain - Photo DPPI

Aston Martin will not appeal a penalty imposed by FIA Formula 1 Stewards that dropped Fernando Alonso from sixth to eighth at the 2024 Australian Grand Prix.

The double Formula 1 world champion was handed a 20-second penalty after he braked unusually early into turn six at Albert Park on the penultimate lap, with Mercedes driver George Russell close behind and losing control.

Russell ended up with his Mercedes badly damaged and on its side in the middle of the track, the driver calling urgently for the race to be stopped.

For his part, Russell said: “My take is I’ve gone off and that’s on me, but I was half a second behind Fernando 100 metres before the corner and suddenly he came towards me extremely quick and I was right in his gearbox.”

Alonso gave his side: “Sure, I knew that he was coming and he was on the DRS, for already five or six laps so, yeah, he was very close. I was just doing qualifying laps and trying to maximise the pace, but it was not an easy race, not an easy weekend in general in terms of pace.”

Aston Martin team boss Mike Krack said in a letter to fans on social media on Tuesday that while everyone was relieved Russell walked away unhurt, “I want you to know that we fully support Fernando.

“He is the most experienced driver in Formula 1. 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.

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

Krack added that Alonso had been “using every tool in his toolbox” to finish ahead of Russell and said the Spaniard would “never put anyone in harm’s way.” (Reporting by Alan Baldwin); Additional Quotes by Agnes Carlier)

Big Question: Who was to blame Fernando Alonso or George Russell?