Fernando Alonso criticises 'random' Monaco GP penalty

Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso retired after 41 laps in Monaco

McLaren's Fernando Alonso criticised the "random" decision to give him a penalty during the Monaco Grand Prix.

The Spaniard was docked five seconds for colliding with Nico Hulkenberg when passing him on lap one in a race won by Mercedes' Nico Rosberg.

Asked if the penalty was fair, he said: "Of course not. I am in Turn Five on the inside, Hulkenberg on the outside where probably you need to back off.

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"To give penalties randomly like this is strange but it is what it is."

The decision had little effect on Alonso's race and he was on course to finish ninth - in the points for the first time this year - when his gearbox failed after 41 laps.

It was his second mechanical failure of the weekend after an electrical problem in qualifying which consigned him to 15th place, although he started 13th after penalties for other drivers.

Alonso, whose car had also failed in qualifying, was running behind team-mate Jenson Button, who did make it to the end of the race to score the first points for McLaren's new partnership with engine supplier Honda.

Button said: "It was a good race; I'm really happy for and very proud of the whole team.

"This is a stepping stone to a hopefully positive future. We're not going to be patting ourselves on the back too much for eighth place but it's a good day.

"We came here hoping to score points and we scored four. It was an unusual race, I really enjoyed it."

Brake problems for Lotus's Pastor Maldonado, which was running ahead of the McLarens at the start, spread out the field more than usual at Monaco.

"Because of Maldonado's problems it split everyone up so it was flat out from lap four and it actually became a little bit physical for once. It's nice," added Button

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"I don't think our pace was too bad compared to the leaders.

"This is a stepping stone to a hopefully positive future. We're not going to be patting ourselves on the back too much for eighth place but it's a good day."

Hulkenberg, whose front wing was damaged when he hit the barriers in the incident, said he did not think Alonso should have been penalised.

"For me, it's racing," the German said. "Obviously it kind of ruined my race but he didn't do it on purpose. That's just the dynamics of first-lap fighting, especially in Monaco when things are tight."

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