Fernando Alonso has remarkably clinched the 100th podium of his F1 career after the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix stewards opted to overturn their original ruling.
The Aston Martin driver was handed an additional 10-second post-race penalty after an initial five-second penalty had been incorrectly observed, knocking the two-time F1 champion down to fourth from third, with Mercedes' George Russell promoted.
Despite offering a full explanation as to why the 10-second penalty was imposed, following a right of review hearing the stewards accepted there were mitigating circumstances.
In rescinding their decision, it means Alonso is reinstated to third, and in so doing, chalking up a century of podium finishes of a storied career.
Explaining why it had opted to rescind its decision, and after receiving a right to review from the team, an FIA statement read: “In support…the stewards were shown minutes of the latest SAC (Sporting Advisory Committee) meeting and video evidence of seven different instances where cars were touched by the jack while serving a similar penalty to the one imposed on car 14 without being penalised.
“The clear submission by the team was that the alleged representation of an agreement between the FIA and the teams that touching the car in any way, including with a jack, would constitute ‘working' on the car…was incorrect and therefore the basis of the stewards' decision was wrong.
“In the light of the petition, the stewards had to decide if there was a ‘significant and relevant new element (that was) discovered which was unavailable to the parties seeking the review at the time of the decision concerned'.
“If there was such an element(s) then the stewards would need to consider whether the decision needed to be modified in any way.
“Having reviewed the video evidence presented and having heard from the team representative of Aston Martin and the relevant members from the FIA, the stewards determined that there did exist significant and relevant new evidence…to trigger a review of the decision, in particular the video evidence and the verbal evidence from the team and from the FIA.
“It was clear to us that the substratum of the original decision, namely the representation of there being an agreement, was called into question by the new evidence.
“We, therefore, proceeded to hear the substance of the request for review.
“Having reviewed the new evidence, we concluded that there was no clear agreement, as was suggested to the stewards previously, that could be relied upon to determine that parties had agreed that a jack touching a car would amount to working on the car, without more.
“In the circumstances, we considered that our original decision to impose a penalty on car 14 needed to be reversed and we did so accordingly.”