FERNANDO ALONSO WAS left furious after Nico Rosberg escaped penalty for what he believed was dangerous driving during the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Mercedes driver Rosberg forced both Lewis Hamilton of McLaren and Alonso of Ferrari to leave the track to avoid a collision in separate incidents during Sunday’s race.
Stewards met Rosberg, Hamilton and Alonso, and their team representatives after the race to investigate the two incidents but decided the German had done nothing wrong. Rosberg went on to finish fifth, 55 seconds behind race winner Sebastian Vettel, while Hamilton and Alonso were seventh and eighth respectively.
On lap 10, Hamilton pulled to the inside of Rosberg out of turn three and Rosberg defended by pushing him across the white line that distinguishes the edge of the track. The 2008 world champion kept coming and managed to overtake Rosberg.
The incident with Alonso was almost identical, but happened on lap 24. The Spaniard did not manage to pass Rosberg’s car. Alonso was heard on the team radio immediately after saying: “He pushed me off the track. You have to leave a space, all the time you have to leave a space.”
He later wrote on Twitter: “I think you are going to have fun in future races. You can defend position as you want and you can overtake outside the track! Enjoy!”
“I can only say that if, instead of such a wide run-off area, there had been a wall, I’m not sure I’d be here now to talk about it,” Alonso said.
But the stewards were more lenient towards Rosberg in their ruling.
“At the time Rosberg made the move, Alonso was behind him and no part of his car alongside the Merc. Rosberg made the move to the right before Alonso,” their explanation read.
“For more than half the distance travelled by Rosberg in moving in a straight line towards the right edge of the track, Alonso remained behind him. Because the speed delta (difference) between the cars was quite significant it was difficult for Rosberg to detect the exact position of Alonso in relation to his own car. No part of Alonso’s car was alongside Rosberg.”