The BWT Alpine F1 Team’s protest over the penalty handed out to Fernando Alonso after the United States Grand Prix has been successful, meaning the Spaniard has retaken the seventh-place finish he initially lost.
A protest from the Haas F1 Team after last Sunday’s race at the Circuit of the Americas had seen a thirty-second time penalty applied to Alonso after his car was deemed to be dangerous thanks to a lose mirror on the right-hand side of his A522.
The penalty had dropped Alonso from seventh to fifteenth, but a protest – and a right of review – from Alpine was heard on Thursday ahead of this weekend’s Mexico City Grand Prix.
Initially Alpine’s protest was deemed to be not admissible, with the regulations citing that a penalty of this note is not permitted, but the French team instead utilised their right to review instead, with new evidence being presented.
Haas made their initial protest outside of the thirty minutes permitted within the regulations – they were an additional twenty-four minutes later than allowed – and Alpine also noted that the protest was made after Haas were informed by race control of the potentially dangerous car.
After these new lines of evidence were presented and accepted, the protest was reopened, and it was found that Haas could have provided their protest in time, backtracking on the initial claim that it was impossible to have done so.
As a result of this, Haas’ initial protest was deemed inadmissible, meaning Alonso regained his seventh-place finish. Sebastian Vettel now falls back to eighth, with Kevin Magnussen and Yuki Tsunoda completing the top ten.
As part of the investigation, the FIA have made moves to clear up the confusions that surround the use of the black and orange flag, which has often stirred up controversy by its inconsistent usage.