FIA explains why Fernando Alonso escaped penalty for Spa incident

FIA Formula 1 race director Charlie Whiting has clarified to drivers why Fernando Alonso did not receive a penalty for his driving in a wheel-to-wheel battle with Jolyon Palmer at Spa

FIA explains why Fernando Alonso escaped penalty for Spa incident

Alonso and Palmer went side-by-side into Rivage for 12th midway through the Belgian Grand Prix, with the McLaren taking the inside line and then running Palmer wide through the 180-degree corner.

The matter was raised in Friday's drivers' briefing when Kevin Magnussen asked why he got a penalty for a similar move on Nico Hulkenberg in Hungary but Alonso escaped sanction.

Palmer said he believed Alonso's driving was "identical" to Magnussen's move, which pushed Nico Hulkenberg wide and promoted the "suck my balls" post-race row.

According to the FIA's guidelines, which were made clear to the drivers back in 2013, if a driver is intending to overtake on the outside, and at the apex of the corner he is in front, he must be given room on the exit of the corner.

Whiting showed the drivers onboard footage of both incidents, which showed that Hulkenberg had his car in front by the time they reached the apex, hence Magnussen was given a penalty.

While it was very marginal, close inspection of the footage showed that Palmer did not have a wheel in front of Alonso and therefore the incident was not looked at by the stewards.

As Alonso was in front, and knowing the rules, he exploited his right to use the whole width of the track and take the position.

Speaking about the drivers' briefing, Grosjean said: "We watched a few incidents - like the Hulkenberg/Magnussen one and the Alonso/Palmer one as we didn't know what was the difference."

When asked what Whiting's reasoning was for not looking at the Palmer/Alonso incident, Grosjean said: "They thought Palmer wasn't ahead at the apex of the corner, so he didn't have to be given the room on exit, and we're now all aware we can play with that room."

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