Aston Clinton racer Mark Webber has been punished by Formula 1’s governing body after sitting on the side of Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari for a lift back to the pit lane at the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday.
It was a move described as ‘scary’ by former F1 driver David Coultard and the FIA agreed reprimanding both Webber and the Spaniard for their part in the controversy.
After being forced to retire when his car burst into flames on the last lap, Webber, who last week launched the Aylesbury College Trust at Waddesdon Manor, was stranded at Turn Seven.
Alonso, a firm friend of the Aussie, stopped to allow him to climb onto his car as he drove back to the pits after finishing second.
As it was Webber’s third reprimand this year he has triggered an automatic 10-place grid penalty for the next race in Korea.
The rules say three reprimands in one season will trigger a 10-place grid penalty if two of them were imposed for “driving infringements”.
The incident evoked memories of Nigel Mansell giving Ayrton Senna a lift back to the pits in the 1991 British Grand Prix.
But while Alonso and Webber are two of the most experienced drivers on the circuit, Coultard said it could be dangerous.
“It is (nice to see) but that’s a scary thing, because a Formula 1 car going slow, is still really fast,” Coultard said while commentating for BBC.
Alonso stopped in the middle of the track and some other drivers were forced to steer around the pair.
Speaking about the decision to punish him, Webber said it was ‘tough to take’.
“There’s not much I can say about that,” he said.
“It’s very frustrating, but the stewards have made their decision. It’s now going to compromise my race in Korea, which is tough to take.”
What do you think? Was it dangerous and are the FIA right to punish the drivers or should this kind of camaraderie be allowed in sport? Comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org
VIDEO: Courtesy of BBC footage; shows Webber hitching a lift back to the pit lane.