Formula 1

Mark Webber & Fernando Alonso slam "comical" penalty

Webber will take a ten-place grid drop. (©GettyImages)
Webber will take a ten-place grid drop. (©GettyImages).

An angry Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso have slammed the "comical" penalty they were given for the taxi Alonso gave Webber back to the pits after Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix.

Webber suffered engine problems late in the race on Sunday, rather than ride the moped usually provided back to the pits, Webber hitched a ride on the side of Alonso's Ferrari in a scene similar to Germany 2011 when Alonso rode back on the side of Webber's Red Bull.

After the race the pair were given reprimands for the ride, which triggered a ten-place grid drop for Webber as it was his third reprimand of the season.

"For Alonso and me to receive reprimands for our actions after the race is comical to say the least.

"Great moment, and fans loved it," Webber wrote on Twitter.

Indeed Webber then continued to post a montage of 12 such taxi rides in F1 history including that Singapore steward Derek Warwick took on the top of Gerhard Berger's Ferrari.

"Yes, I thought it had been done before," added Webber.

Webber also denied he was held back by marshals from crossing the circuit to climb aboard Alonso's car, which had stopped on the outside of the track.

Alonso also posted a response to the penalty on Twitter by tweeting a Photoshopped image of himself and his friend Webber on a mocked up version of the film poster for 'Taxi'. The caption underneath wrote "Ready for Hollywood".

In defence of the penalty, Warwick said other cars had had to swerve to avoid Webber crossing the circuit and the Ferrari, which was on the racing line on the exit of turn 7, indeed CCTV footage does show both Mercedes having to take action to prevent hitting Webber and Alonso's car.

But former Red Bull driver David Coulthard insisted: "Who were Webber and Alonso putting in danger?

"In reality, only themselves. And that's what they do every time they strap themselves into their racing cars," he wrote in a column for the BBC.

McLaren's Jenson Button agreed: "(I'm) disappointed to see the penalties for Webber and Alonso; (an) act of sportsmanship should not really be punished," he said on Twitter.

Some in the press have also been critical of the stewards decision.

"It is petty and hypocritical to accuse drivers who have risked their lives for two hours at an average of 200kph between concrete walls to have acted dangerously.

"It is treating them as though they are children who don't know what they're doing," Autosprint's Alberto Sabbatini said.

"Actually, as we could see from the cameras, (Lewis) Hamilton was doing only 60kph (when he passed Alonso-Webber) -- ridiculous speeds for the brakes and reaction times of professional drivers," he insisted.

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