Alonso suddenly best in training: Punishment for Verstappen, Hamilton is waiting for his verdict

Alonso suddenly became the best in training
Penalty for Verstappen, Hamilton awaiting judgment

Lewis Hamilton was on the road with an irregular rear wing in qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix – but even hours after the investigation began, it is unclear whether this will be punished. Max Verstappen gets away with a fine. Shortly before the sprint, however, the main problem is the uncertainty.

On the home stretch of the Formula 1 season, a minor drama is looming over the two World Cup rivals in Brazil. After qualifying on Friday, the Mercedes was criticized by record world champion Lewis Hamilton, the Englishman is threatened with the start from the pit lane in this evening’s sprint (8.30 p.m. / Sky and in the live ticker on The decision is still a long time coming, however, and threatens to degenerate into a farce in view of the long uncertainty. The longer the announcement is delayed, the more the fans, observers and experts are dissatisfied with the uncertainty – and also with the little information that is leaked to the outside world.

The stewards also dealt with Hamilton’s World Cup opponent Max Verstappen, and this case is directly related to Hamilton’s possible offense: Verstappen examined the rear wing of his Red Bull immediately after qualifying and touched it, which he then repeated on Hamilton’s Mercedes . With this, Verstappen violated the parc fermé rules.

“Max checked a bit, that’s actually nothing unusual,” said Red Bull team boss Christian Horner at Sky UK and added: “Mercedes’ speed on the straights is impressive. You have to ask yourself questions.” Verstappen’s investigation then had consequences, albeit not sporting: the Dutch World Cup leader has to pay a $ 50,000 fine.

The accusation against Hamilton seems more serious: When the Drag Reduction System (DRS) was used, the adjustable rear wing opened too far. The FIA ​​announced that the maximum allowed between the upper and lower element had been exceeded. This could explain his big speed advantage in qualifying. The wing is still confiscated.

Alonso surprises with the best time

During the second free practice session today, the hearings of the Mercedes and Red Bull delegations were over, but a judgment had not yet been published. Like all drivers, Hamilton and Verstappen also took part in the unit, Hamilton used a replacement rear wing with the approval of the FIA, the World Automobile Federation.

Ex-world champion Fernando Alonso (Alpine) won the session, in which mainly racing simulations were completed, with a lap time of 1: 11.238 minutes. Verstappen came in second (+0.864 seconds), Hamilton came in fifth (+1.503). The times are not really meaningful, however, as the teams concentrated on the optimal set-up of their cars for the sprint and the race.

The starting line-up for the sprint is therefore still uncertain just a few hours before the traffic lights go out. Hamilton secured first place ahead of World Cup leader Verstappen and his Finnish team-mate Valtteri Bottas. In the short race, however, it is primarily about the starting positions for the Grand Prix on Sunday (6 p.m. / Sky and in the live ticker at, the three fastest over 24 laps also secure points (3-2-1).

For the actual race, the fourth last World Championship round of the season, Hamilton expects a penalty transfer by five starting positions due to an engine change. The Briton is 19 points behind Verstappen in the drivers’ championship. If Verstappen leaves Brazil by at least 24 points, Hamilton will no longer be able to win his eighth title this year on his own.

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