Alonso, Hamilton Handed 20-Second Penalties at Sepang

As if they didn’t have a troublesome afternoon already, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton were each handed 20-second penalties by the FIA stewards at the end of the Malaysian Grand Prix, at Sepang International Circuit.

Hamilton was the first to be handed the penalty, for making more than one move on Sepang’s straight line when defending his position to Alonso, breaching Article 20.2 of the Sporting Regulations. On the other hand, the Ferrari-an will also have 20 seconds added to his overall race time due to clipping the rear of Hamilton’s car when trying to overtake the British driver, breaching Article 16.1 of the Sporting Regulation.

The incident caused damage to both racers, as Alonso damaged his front wing and had to make an unscheduled visit to the pits, while Hamilton’s rear tires did not last for too long and the McLaren racer was too forced to make a late pit stop for tire change. Alonso finished the race 6th, while Hamilton had to settle for 7th.

With the new penalties though, Hamilton’s finishing position at Sepang is 8th place, dropping below Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi in the timing reports, while Alonso keeps his 6th place.

I knew I was going to get a penalty. I'm not surprised,” admitted Hamilton after the race. “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.”

It doesn't change positions, so there is no a big drama,” added Alonso. “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.”
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