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Webber, Alonso slammed for joyride

2013-09-23 10:50

THANKS FOR THE LIFT MATE: Webber needed a lift back to the pits and Alonso was happy to oblige. Reckless stunt? Good-natured fun? F1 drivers and experts have mixed-feelings on the Red Bull/Ferrari pair’s joyride.Image: YOUTUBE

SINGAPORE, Malaysia - Mark Webber will slide 10 places at the 2013 Korean Formula 1 GP on September 29 for his joy-riding stunt at the 2013 Singapore Formula 1 GP. Webber hitched a ride to the pits on a side pod of Alonso's Ferrari.

Webber will retire from F1 at the end of the 2013 season and the grid penalty applied because he had two previous penalties during 2013.

Video: Webber, Alonso joyride

Webber's Red Bull race car stopped on the last lap of the floodlit race and a video shows him running across the track from an escape road to jump on to Alonso's car for a lift back to the pits. It also shows Alonso, who reprimanded by stewards, parked on the racing line, causing two cars - one of them driven by Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton, to take evasive action.

'IT WAS GOOD TV'

Stewards penalised Webber for entering the track on foot without permission. Alonso was reprimanded for driving the car "in a manner which could be deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers or any other person". He received no grid penalty.

Webber said the penalty was "tough to take". F1 commentator Martin Brundle wrote on Twitter: 'Just spoke with Mark Webber. You have no idea how pissed-off he is.'

Red Bull boss Christian Horner also disagreed with the penalty, insisting the sight of a stricken hero getting a lift back to the pits "was good TV". Hamilton also thought it was good spectacle but he was "shocked" when he turned a corner on the cooling-down lap and found Alonso parked on the racing line.

Hamilton said: "If Mark had been walking where I went I would have run him over. It's good for the fans to see and, as long as it's done in a safe manner - you don't stop on the racing line - then maybe it should be allowed for the future."

Veteran F1 correspondent Roger Benoit said that after reviewing the footage Alonso and Webber had clearly been  "reckless", behaving in a "potentially life-threatening" manner.

Defending the penalty, F1 steward Paul Gutjahr insisted: "We could not do otherwise."

In a separate incident, Lotus was reprimanded because a team member was not wearing a helmet during a pit stop for Romain Grosjean.

Do you think Webber's 10-place penalty was excessive. Tell us in the Readers' Comments section below or Email us
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