Fernando Alonso has escaped sanction from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix stewards for going off-track to complete a pass on Jean-Eric Vergne’s Toro Rosso.
The Ferrari driver came out alongside Vergne when he rejoined following his second pit stop. The two cars went side by side, with Alonso going over the circuit boundaries at Turn 2 as he edged ahead.
A post-race investigation was announced, prompting a late charge from Alonso in which he set fastest lap while trying to pull a gap to those behind in case of any penalty. But he will keep his fifth place after the stewards, including former Lotus and Arrows Formula 1 driver Martin Donnelly, decided no further action was necessary.
The stewards agreed with Alonso’s assessment that he had not been left room, and felt it was a racing incident in which neither driver gained an advantage.
“While car #3 did leave the track at Turn 3-4 the stewards believe that he had no choice, as car #18 closed on him,” said an official statement.
“Car #18 was at the end of his stint with worn tires and was fully committed to the turn as car #3 exited the pits. Telemetry confirms that car #3 was significantly faster, on option tires, and had the advantage throughout the sequence.
“The drivers’ explanations were completely clear. Therefore the stewards determine that neither car could avoid the incident, and no advantage was gained as a result of the incident.”
Vergne subsequently made another pit stop and finished only 17th.