Fernando Alonso has been demoted to ninth place in the Canadian Grand Prix for weaving in front of Valtteri Bottas on the final lap.
The Spaniard was suffering from a power unit issue and had slipped back to seventh after starting on the front row, with his teammate Esteban Ocon trying to help him by staying no more than a second ahead and giving him the use of DRS in the closing stages. With Bottas closing in, Alonso was under pressure on the final lap and the Alfa Romeo got a run on him out of the hairpin, with the stewards taking exception to the way the Alpine driver defended.
“Between Turns 10 and 12, on the penultimate lap of the race, car No. 14 made repeated changes of direction to defend against car No. 77 who had to lift at one point and briefly lost momentum,” the stewards’ decision read.
“Whilst noting the driver’s point that at no stage was any point of car No. 77 alongside car No. 14, the Stewards consider this to be a clear breach of the above regulation (more than one change of direction to defend a position).”
Alonso was handed a five-second time penalty for the incident — matching a similar penalty for Lance Stroll in Australia — and the addition to his race time saw him drop behind both Bottas and the second Alfa Romeo of Guanyu Zhou.
Speaking before the penalty was confirmed, Alonso says he was frustrated to fall so far back through the field due to reliability issues.
“We had an engine problem on lap 20 where we cut the energy very early on the straights, as soon as we exited the corners,” Alonso said. “We tried to fix it but it didn’t work. Luckily we didn’t retire the car and we still score a few points, but until that point I think we were fighting for the podium at the beginning of the race.
“I felt strong compared to [Lewis] Hamilton. We just didn’t have the pace of [Max] Verstappen and [Carlos] Sainz. I was OK to control Hamilton in the Mercedes. Then the Virtual Safety Cars [happened] — lucky or unlucky — that could change the race, but we could still maybe be fighting for P3; P4.
“Then when the engine problem came. It was just trying to survive, trying to get the DRS, driving kamikaze in the corners before the detection because the DRS was my only safety on the straights after that.”