Alonso promoted to points finish after Raikkonen penalty

Fernando Alonso has scored the first points finish since his Formula One return after Kimi Raikkonen was handed a post-race penalty at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Raikkonen had finished ninth, ahead of Alonso’s Alpine teammate Esteban Ocon. However, after the race he was deemed to have broken F1 rules around the restart which followed the suspension of the race after Valtteri Bottas and George Russell’s crash.

That has elevated Ocon to ninth and Alonso to tenth position, giving Alpine three points from the race.

Alonso, who won the world title in 2005 and 2006, returned this year following a two-year haitus from the championship.

The extra 30 seconds relegated Raikkonen to 13th.

Raikkonen had spun while the cars followed the Safety Car back around the circuit to the start-finish line, where the race resumed. Rules dictate Raikkonen could take his position in the queue of cars if he got there before Turn 13’s Safety Car line, but if he did not he would have to come into the pit-lane and start once the pack had passed.

Raikkonen did not retake his correct position but took the restart as normal.

The stewards’ verdict said: “”On the lap before the re-start following the race suspension, Raikkonen spun at Turn 3. Art 42.6 indicates that the driver may retake his position, so long as he does so prior to the first safety car line (SC1). At first the team instructed him to do so, but then told him to hold his position,” the stewards report explains.

“Art 42.6 then indicates that should a driver fail to take his position he must enter the pit lane and can only re-join the race once the whole field has passed the pit exit.

Art 42.12 indicates that during a rolling start, once the safety car turns its lights out, “No driver may overtake another car on the track until he passes the Line…” In this case, the driver caught up to the cars ahead of him between Turn 13 and 14, but the safety car turned its lights out at approximately Turn 10.

“This would appear to be a contradictory instruction and the team instructed the driver to not regain his position, fearing that this would create a safety issue in the wet conditions. They radioed the Race Director, but there was no time for a response between their call and the restart.

“The Stewards consider it to be a further contradiction that when the cars are behind the safety car during a safety car period, the are prohibited from passing, but when they are behind the safety car for a restart, they are permitted to – even though the reasons for a rolling start are that the track conditions don’t permit a standing start.

“However, the rule requiring a car to enter the pit lane if it fails to regain its position is consistent amongst several championships, has been in the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations for several years and has been consistently applied.”

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