After a protest by Haas Alonso penalized with 30 seconds, Alpin appealed, Perez no penalty

Fernando Alonso; photo: Alpin

The Haas team lodged two protests – against Red Bull and Alpin – over their drivers not being given a drift warning during the US Grand Prix with damaged cars. The race stewards at the Circuit of the Americas accepted and considered the team’s objection. Sergio Perez had a damaged front wing at the start of the race after colliding with Valtteri Bottas shortly after the start. Fernando Alonso suffered an accident after hitting Lance Stroll. Sometime after that, one of his mirrors broke off and flew away.

The reason Haas lodged the protest was that Kevin Magnussen had been shown the caution flag three times this season because according to flight control, his car was unsafe due to such damage.

“There were bits and pieces falling from other cars and no one paid attention to it,” Gunther Steiner said after the COTA final

The US Grand Prix stewards looked into Haas’ protest and gave Alonso a 30-second penalty. That sent him from seventh in the standings to 15th. The team manager of the American team, Peter Crolla, indicated during the hearing that they had twice contacted flight control for the almost hanging right mirror of the Spaniard’s car. Received a message that the matter is being considered. Alpin’s Alan Perman pointed out that there was a precedent, as Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc both had a similar problem during the 2019 Japanese race.

FIA technical delegate Joe Bauer agreed that the condition of Alonso’s car was not safe. He stated that the mirror could have caused injury to another driver and that it was dangerous for the car to continue to be driven without it.

His view was supported by the FIA’s head of single-seater racing, Nicolas Tombazis. The stewards’ decision states that Alpin’s team should have taken care of it. The precedent cited by Suzuka in 2019 was not accepted. Accordingly, a stop-and-go penalty was imposed on Alonso, which after the final was transformed into 30 seconds.

US Grand Prix stewards have also expressed concern that Alonso did not receive a caution like Magnussen earlier this season. As for the protest against Perez, Red Bull proved that the fallen sheet from his front wing did not make Perez’s car unsafe.

Alpin decided to appeal the decision of the stewards

According to the French team, Haas’ protest was submitted incorrectly. Such objections must be received within 30 minutes of publication of the preliminary ranking from a competition. Haas later did so, explaining that it was not possible to meet the deadline. The stewards agreed with their view and admitted the objections for consideration. However, Alpin will contest their validity.

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