Cape Town - Fernando Alonso's closing lap charge in Abu Dhabi proved to
be a costly one as he received three five-second time penalties for leaving the
track and gaining an advantage.
Heading into the final five laps at the Yas Marina circuit,
the retiring Spaniard was urged by McLaren to chase down Kevin Magnussen for
the final point.
Alonso looked to be doing just that as he put in the fast
middle sector of the grand prix only for replays to show he had cut the track
in Turns 8 and 9.
He did it again, and again, earning himself three
consecutive five-second time penalties.
FIA race director Charlie Whiting says the stewards were
"surprised" by the McLaren driver's antics.
"I think they were surprised it happened three laps in
a row," he explained to Autosport, "and they just gave him a penalty
"It was the end of the race, and I don't think it would
have been very nice to give someone like Fernando a black flag in his last
race, do you?
"I don't think the black flag was ever discussed."
Alonso took the chequered flag in 11th place as he called
time on his Formula 1 career.