Alpine and Aston Martin fined for pit lane qualifying chaos

Alpine and Aston Martin teams have both been fined €5,000 euros by the Italian Grand Prix stewards for pitlane infractions that occurred in Friday’s qualifying at Monza.

The second segment of the early evening session was marked by a sudden melee in the pitlane when multiple cars rolled out of their respective garages to return to the track.

Vettel was waved out into the path of the oncoming Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton, a clear unsafe release that justified Aston Martin’s penalty fine.

But simultaneously, an Alpine team member was deemed by the stewards to have committed an “unsafe act” when he stood in Vettel’s path while waving out Esteban Ocon.

“Several cars were released into the pit lane at the same time,” noted the stewards, referring to the incident involving Vettel.

“The driver of Car 5 [Vettel] was released by his team, but at the same time the team’s other car was also being released. This caused Car 5 to move towards the fast lane when Car 44 [Hamilton] was passing and Car 44 had to take avoiding action to avoid an incident.

Regarding Alpine’s pitlane infraction, the stewards stated: “Several cars were released into the pit lane at the same time. The team member of Car 31 [Ocon] who was responsible for releasing Car 31 stepped back into the pit lane, close to the fast lane into the path of Car 5 [Vettel].

    2021 Italian Grand Prix – Qualifying results

“While the Stewards accept that members of other teams also stepped this far into the pit lane, they did not obstruct another car and were not in a particularly dangerous situation.

“In the case of Car 31 the Stewards determined that this was an ‘unsafe act’.”

At the end of the day, the chaotic moment did not benefit the drivers of either Aston Martin or Alpine as all four failed to make the Q1 cut.

Vettel, Lance Stroll, Fernando Alonso and Ocon will line up respectively P11, P12, P13 and P14 on Saturday’s sprint qualifying grid.

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