Alonso facing stewards over his part in last-lap Russell crash

Aston Martin Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso has been summoned to visit the Australian Grand Prix stewards for his potential part in George Russell’s last-lap crash.

Russell was catching Alonso for sixth place but on the last lap he lost control of his Mercedes W15 into the high-speed Turn 6/7 right-hander.

After hitting the tyre wall, the Mercedes rebounded sideways across the gravel trap and was flipped onto its side by its own wheels as it came to rest.

Russell had closed to within a few tenths of Alonso in the braking zone of Turn 6 as he went off.

After the race the stewards summoned Alonso and an Aston Martin representative for 5.20pm local time, just under an hour from when the incident took place.

No reason was given other than “incident in Turns 6-7” on the last lap.

After the race Fernando Alonso said told Sky Sports F1 he was “focusing in front, not behind”.

He said he had an issue with “something on the battery” for the last 15 laps of the race.

“I knew that he was coming and he was in the DRS distance for already five or six laps. He was very close and I was just doing qualifying laps and trying to maximise the pace.”

Russell found it “interesting” that the stewards had summoned Alonso but stopped short of accusing Alonso of foul play.

“My take is I’ve gone off and that’s on me but I was half a second behind Fernando, 100 metres before the corner and suddenly he came towards me extremely quick, I was right on his gearbox,” he told Sky Sports F1.

“I don’t know if he had a problem or not, so that’s a bit bizarre in a circumstance like this.

“It’s clear he braked 100 metres before the corner and then went back on the throttle and took the corner normally because we’ve already seen the data of that.

“Not going to accuse him of anything until we’ve seen further.

“I just wasn’t expecting it, caught me by surprise. That part is on me. it’s interesting that we’ve been called to the stewards, intrigued by what they have to say.”

Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin said: “George had an opportunity to get the place back on the final stint and was clearly caught by surprise by the unexpected deceleration in front on the penultimate lap.”

Onboard footage and radio traffic from Alonso’s car during the race supports his description of a problem with the Aston Martin.

He repeatedly alerts the team of something strange on the throttle, onboard footage shows an unusual juddering and odd noises and he coasts into the pitlane in neutral at the end of the race having first asked the team if he risks “damaging the engine” by driving back to the pits.


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