“What a mess it was for everybody else”: George Russell speaks about the ‘silly’ FIA-Fernando Alonso incident in Jeddah
George Russell revealed the moment he shared with Fernando Alonso after the 2023 F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as he felt that the latter had 'inside information' about the penalty imposed on him.
The race in Jeddah was an emotional rollercoaster for George Russell after what happened during the post-race analysis. Fernando Alonso finished P3 in the race, and Russell followed him up. After the Spaniard was done celebrating his 100th podium in Formula 1, it was told by the FIA that he had a 10-second time penalty post-race for not serving his previous penalty properly during the race.
Though Russell felt it was somewhat unfair, he was still happy to have the P3 trophy. However, the penalty was reversed and Alonso kept his podium after further investigation. The Briton revealed that he learned about this at the airport after 'bumping' into Alonso. PlanetF1 quoted Russell:
"Fernando was actually the first person to tell me that I’d lost the position because I bumped into him at the airport, so he clearly had some insider info."
"Obviously, it was the right decision. It was just a bit of a shame what a mess it was for everybody else."
George Russell feels he did not deserve the third-place finish in Jeddah
As mentioned, George Russell wasn't completely satisfied with winning the trophy for the P3 finish as he felt that Alonso deserved it.
He also mentioned that he and the team did not deserve the trophy, however, it was a nice feeling to have it. Adding onto it, he stated that it was 'silly' when it was taken back and the situation got weird:
"I think from my side and our side, we didn’t feel like we deserved to finish in third position but obviously it’s quite a nice feeling when it’s handed to you. But then when it’s taken away again, it was just all a bit silly."
As for Fernando Alonso, he was handed his 3rd place back and the trophy was personally delivered by Mercedes, as a rather comic social media post showed.
George Russell put up decent competition for Fernando Alonso during the race, however, it was easy for the Spaniard to pull away in the Aston Martin. This was quite apparent when he was asked to create a 5-second gap at the end of the race and he did so effortlessly.
Mercedes currently need to battle Aston Martin to make their way to the podium, however, with the strength the latter has shown, it seems to be a difficult challenge currently.