Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso avoided penalty Sunday after having a close call with Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne. Race stewards released an official statement of the incident:
“While car #3 did leave the track at Turn 3-4 the stewards believe that he had no choice, as car #18 closed on him,”
“Car #18 was at the end of his stint with worn tyres and was fully committed to the turn as car #3 exited the pits.
“Telemetry confirms that car #3 was significantly faster, on option tyres, and had the advantage throughout the sequence.
“The drivers’ explanations were completely clear. Therefore the stewards determine that neither car could avoid the incident, and no advantage was gained as a result of the incident.”
Alonso believed that Jen-Eric Vergne should have been scrutinized as he didn’t leave enough room for the Spaniard given the fact that he was alongside the Frenchman saying:
“Obviously it’s always a bit of a question mark what they’ll decide,” said Alonso.
“You have to leave a space when you have a car alongside.
“He didn’t give a space and I had to go outside of the track.
“He will say I went off the track to pass him, so we’ll see.”
That’s actually not what Vergne said. For Vergne’s part, he’s grateful Alonso went off track to avoid a collision telling AUTOSPORT:
“It was a racing incident and if he had not gone on the outside [of the track] like he did, we would have had a big crash,” Vergne said.
“It was high-speed, and what he did was right. Actually, I am really happy he did that otherwise we would have had an accident, so yes, definitely [the stewards made the right decision].”
Alonso was intent on making his pit stop effective and placing him ahead of teammate Felipe Massa. The exit of pit lane can be tricky at the Yas Marina circuit but Alonso made the pass on Massa while garnering the attention of the race stewards for running off the circuit to avoid Vergne.