As a result Alonso cut the chicane before rejoining the track and was penalised for doing that.
But when Fernando Alonso was deemed to have gained an advantage after being pushed off the Suzuka track by Lance Stroll, and subsequently penalised along with the Canadian, it left the McLaren driver equal parts bemused and unamused. They finished 14th and 17th respectively.
Asked to clarify what he meant, he replied: "In the decisions, in the randomness, in the pure consistency".
Alonso was not too unhappy with the incident itself, as he accepted Stroll's explanation that he had not seen the orange McLaren on his left-hand side.
"Even when the driver comes to apologise I think it's hard to understand the decision", Alonso subsequently told reporters, "but you know, this is how bad Formula 1 is". I was coming into the last corner, braking on the outside and the other guy didn't see me, so I had to go off to avoid him after some contact. Speaking to the media after the race, Alonso could not resist the opportunity to take another swipe at the championship.
"He didn't see me".
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The bad news, though, is that far fewer people watched it than anyone could have expected. And it typically performs well in delayed viewing.
"It was one of those first lap racing incidents", the Williams driver said.
"Now he comes to apologise because I was in the gravel but I still get the penalty..."
Two-time world champion Alonso said the MCL33 was not handling badly, but just slow as he lapped 1.8s off the pace, nearly half a second clear of his team-mate. "Austin is generally a good track for us and I can't wait to unleash this beast there", he added talking about the United States Grand Prix, which is up next in two weeks' time.
Stroll was handed two points on his superlicence, taking his tally for the rolling 12 month period to six. Alonso is leaving F1 at the end of the season, having grown exhausted of the uncompetitive machinery he has been given since his return to McLaren in 2015.
Former world champion Fernando Alonso says the penalty he received in the opening stages of the Japanese Formula One highlights "how bad Formula One is" when handing out punishments.
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