Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso penalised for collision

Pair hit with 20-second penalties following collision towards the end of the Malaysian Grand Prix

By Gareth Llewellyn
lewis hamilton
Lewis Hamilton drops to eighth place following the penalty Photo: Eugene Flore

lewis hamilton

Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso have been handed 20-second penalties following their collision on lap 46 of the Malaysian Grand Prix.

The former McLaren team-mates and rivals were penalised after coming together towards the end of the race.

The penalties mean that Hamilton drops from seventh to eighth place, but Alonso retains sixth.

Hamilton’s penalty was for making more than one change of direction while defending in the build-up to the clash, while Alonso’s was for causing a collision.

The McLaren driver accepted his penalty, but hinted that he feels the rule is inappropriate and questioned whether Alonso’s 20-second penalty was a sufficient punishment for the Spaniard.

“I knew I was going to get a penalty, I’m not surprised,” Hamilton told Autosport. “I was in with the stewards, so I anticipated it.

“I always try to assume the worst-case scenario. It’s only one spot, and it’s not really made me feel any worse than how the weekend has gone anyway.”

Asked if the penalty was fair, Hamilton replied: “It’s racing. I’m not going to argue or disagree with the penalty. From my side I’m not allowed to move more than once. Do I class it as dangerous? No, but that’s the rule.

“Twenty seconds is not such a bad penalty for it. As for Fernando, he hit me, he got a 20-second penalty, but it didn’t really do anything to him. It doesn’t exactly work out as a penalty, but again, that’s racing.”

The Ferrari driver was penalised for causing a collision on lap 46 as he suffered understeer when pulling out of the slipstream to make a move on Hamilton into Turn 4, clipping the rear of Englishman’s car.

“It doesn’t change positions, so there is no a big drama,” Alonso said. “I finished sixth in the race anyway, and it was a race incident.

“I tried to overtake, we touched each other and unfortunately I broke the front wing and had to pit again, and I lost the podium possibility. But in the next race I will try again.”

Alonso refused to be drawn on who was to blame for the collision, adding: “It is one of those things. You try and race and we touched each other. The stewards called us to see our opinions and the decision is this.

“We are not the ones that decide, or have anything to say about the decision. We try to race, to try to enjoy the race in the cockpit and hopefully next time we finish both with no problems.”

Earlier, Hamilton was expectantly downbeat after missing out on a podium finish despite starting from second on the grid.

“Today was just one of those days,” Hamilton said. “It’s never satisfying to start second and finish seventh, but that’s racing. We just have to take it on the chin and move on from it.

“Today wasn’t the greatest of days, but I’m going to China aiming to win; I’m only looking forwards.”

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