Fernando Alonso handed Canadian Grand Prix time penalty for weaving

After the race Alonso, who finished seventh, explained his actions to the stewards

Montreal celebrates the return of Grand Prix weekend

Fernando Alonso has been dropped back two places in the final standings of Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix after receiving a five-second penalty for swerving while defending his position.

Alonso, who started second on the grid, was found to have broken the rules in his efforts to stop Valtteri Bottas passing, blocking any route through by swerving left and right repeatedly. The rules state that a defending driver may only make one move to block a car approaching from behind, and once they have chosen their move they must stick to it.

After the race Alonso, who finished seventh, explained his actions to the stewards but evidently they were not pursuaded, and handed down the punishment which pushes him back two spots behind Bottas and his Alfa Romeo teammate Zhou Guanyu, collecting two points instead of six.

The verdict from the stewards read: “Between turns 10 and 12, on the penultimate lap of the race, car 14 [Alonso] made repeated changes of direction to defend against car 77 [Bottas] who had to lift at one point and briefly lost momentum.

“Whilst noting the driver’s point that at no stage was any point of car 77 alongside car 14, the Stewards consider this to be a clear breach of the above regulation. The Stewards therefore impose a 5 seconds time penalty in line with that imposed for a similar incident in Australia 2022.

At the front of the race Max Verstappen had more success holding off Carlos Sainz. The Dutchman revealed that finding the perfect racing line at the corner before the DRS zones was decisive in holding off the Ferrari to win the Canadian Grand Prix.

Verstappen was the dominant force all weekend in Montreal and looked set for a comfortable victory until a safety car after Yuki Tsunoda crashed out tightened up the field in the closing stages. It ensured a 15-lap shootout to decide the race and - despite being on slightly older tyres, as well as his pursuant having the benefit of DRS speed boosts - Verstappen demonstrated his incredible driving skill to keep Sainz at bay.

The Ferrari had greater straight-line speed and the long back straight at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve enabled the Spaniard to use DRS to get up to the Red Bull’s rear wing but he was unable to get past at either the final corner or Turn 1 of the following lap. And the world champion explained the precision required to not leave himself vulnerable to an overtake from the slightly quicker car.

“Well, of course, you always have to make sure that you know the place where he had DRS, [and] you have a good exit the corner before,” said Verstappen. “It was all about just really pushing to the limit and not making a mistake in general because I knew that, even in sector one, if I would have made a tiny mistake, Carlos would gain a tenth on me.

“That might have been enough to then get closer in the first DRS zone, and then in the second...it was proper racing, proper pushing.”

Sainz’s wait for maiden F1 win goes on, while Verstappen now has a 46-point lead over team-mate Sergio Perez atop the Drivers’ Championship and looks like a heavy favourite to retain his world title. But the 24-year-old hinted that it wasn’t completely smooth sailing at the Canadian Grand Prix despite his eventual triumph.

“I had my moments where I had a bit of oversteer, and then I looked in the mirror and saw Carlos having the same amount of moments,” added Verstappen. So, it was really on the edge, but that’s good to see.”

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