Alonso loses points with penalty for unsafe F1 car, Perez cleared

Fernando Alonso has lost his points finish at the United States Grand Prix following a protest from rival F1 team Haas. 
Fernando Alonso (ESP)
Fernando Alonso (ESP)

The Alpine driver turned in a remarkable drive at COTA to finish seventh despite being sent airborne in a scary collision with Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll

But Haas launched a post-race protest against Alonso’s car on technical grounds after he was not shown a black-and-orange flag when his right wing mirror came loose when overtaking Haas driver Kevin Magnussen in the final stages. 

Remote video URL

Haas had previously voiced their annoyance at Magnussen receiving the flag, which requires a driver to pit as soon as possible for repairs, on three occasions this season - in Canada, Hungary and Singapore. 

The FIA stewards said they were “deeply concerned” Alonso had not been shown the black-and-orange flag after being released back out into the race in an unsafe condition when he pitted following his accident with Stroll. 

FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer noted that “a flapping mirror was dangerous and it could come loose and hit another driver causing injury”. 

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB18 leads as Lance Stroll (CDN) Aston Martin F1 Team AMR22 and Fernando Alonso (ESP)
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB18 leads as Lance Stroll (CDN)…

As such, the stewards handed Alonso a retrospective 30-second time penalty, relegating him from seventh to 15th. 

The post-race penalty promotes Sebastian Vettel up to seventh, while Magnussen and Yuki Tsunoda each move up one position to eighth and ninth. Alonso’s Alpine teammate, Esteban Ocon, moves into the points in 10th. 

Haas also protested Sergio Perez’s Red Bull on the same grounds after the Mexican shedded a front wing endplate from his car early in the race. 

But the stewards dismissed the protest after deeming that Perez’s car was not dangerous. 

"Mr Bauer explained that after the end plate had fallen off, Red Bull had contacted him and sent him detailed photos of the front wing,” their verdict noted. 

"Mr Bauer determined that the car was not in an unsafe condition."

Alpine protest to overturn penalty 

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Alpine F1 Team A522. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 19, United States Grand Prix, Austin, Texas,
Fernando Alonso (ESP) Alpine F1 Team A522. Formula 1 World Championship,…

Alpine conformed in a statement they intend to challenge the penalty on the grounds of its admissibility. 

The Anglo-French squad pointed out that the stewards had accepted Haas’ protest despite it being submitted 24 minutes too late. 

However, this was something the stewards acknowledged. They applied discretionary authority to accept the protests, claiming “the compliance with the deadline was not possible in this case.”. 

Alpine said: “The FIA has the right to black and orange flag a car during the race if they consider it unsafe and, on this occasion, they assessed the car and decided not to action the flag.

“Moreover, after the race, the FIA technical delegate considered the car legal.

“The team also believes due to the protest being lodged 24 minutes past the specified deadline, it should not have been accepted and therefore the penalty should be considered as invalid.”

Read More