Formula 1

Penalty Protest Decision with ‘Dictate’ if Formula 1 is ‘Going in the Right Direction’ – Alonso

2 Mins read
Credit: BWT Alpine F1 Team

Fernando Alonso feels the outcome of his BWT Alpine F1 Team’s protest over his post-race time penalty in Sunday’s United States Grand Prix will determine whether the FIA Formula 1 World Championship is heading in the right direction when it comes to officiating and regulations.

The Spaniard was handed a post-race ten-second stop and go penalty by the stewards at the Circuit of the Americas after they deemed that his A522 was unsafe due to a loose right-hand side mirror, which was damaged during his high-speed collision on the back straight with Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team’s Lance Stroll.

The mirror would eventually detach itself from the car, ironically on the back straight where his accident with Stroll occurred, but the stewards felt Alpine should have repaired the mirror, like they did with the front wing, before returning the car to the track.

Alonso feels, like Alpine have, that the penalty was unjustified, and this Thursday a hearing will be heard at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez ahead of the Mexico City Grand Prix to determine whether the penalty remains or whether it will be overturned. 

The veteran Spaniard insists it should not have been a penalty in the first place, and the outcome of the protest will see if the regulations in Formula 1 are right for the sport or not.

“It’s one of those rare times in sport that I feel we are all on the same page and share the same opinion towards rules and regulations,” said Alonso on his official Instagram page on Monday.

“It is an important day for the sport as this decision will dictate if we are going in the right direction.”

Prior to receiving his penalty, Alonso had been delighted with seventh place at the Circuit of the Americas, particularly after his collision with Stroll that could have easily seen him retire on the spot. 

Not only did he momentarily be launched onto two wheels by the clash, but he also brushed the barrier on the inside of the circuit, luckily without damaging his suspension.

“It was a fantastic race for everybody today,” said Alonso prior to the penalty.  “We were lucky with the first Safety Car and we were very fast after that on the Medium tyres.

“At the restart I tried to overtake Lance [Stroll], he moved towards me and we touched wheels. I thought that I would retire the car after the incident, and it was pretty scary. But the car is made of strong stuff and we were able to carry on after changing the front wing.

“I’m very proud of our efforts today as a team. It’s incredible that we were able to make the tyres last on the final stint and despite losing out to Lando [Norris] on the last few laps, we still come away from this race with some good points.”

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