Alonso loses United States GP points finish after Haas protest

Fernando Alonso had an eventful F1 2022 United States Grand Prix, though his effort has gone unrewarded as a post-race penalty sees him drop to 15th.

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Fernando Alonso has been handed a 30-second time penalty, dropping him out of the points at the United States Grand Prix.

The Spaniard crossed the line seventh on Sunday despite being involved in a spectacular crash with Lance Stroll that his car go airborne earlier in the race.

After slowly returning to the pits after the incident, Alonso was able to continue after being fitted with a new front wing and tyres, though his right-rear view mirror was visibly damaged before falling off near the end of the race.

Haas protested his Alpine on technical grounds, arguing that his car was unsafe due to the damaged mirror, which the stewards and FIA’s technical staff agreed with.

The American team pointed out that one its cars has been shown the black and orange flag on three occasions this season due to a loose front wing end plate.

While Haas argued the car was unsafe, Alpine said the team were not to blame for the mirror falling off, citing the 2019 Japanese Grand Prix as a precedent for drivers being allowed to race with loose mirrors.

Stewards side with Haas

In the end the stewards chose to side with Haas, who contacted race control twice during the race about Alonso‘s mirrors. They were told the matter was being looked into, though no action was taken.

FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer stated that “a flapping mirror was dangerous and it could come loose and hit another driver causing injury”. His view was supported by FIA technical chief Nikolas Tombazis.

As a result Alonso was handed a 10-second stop/go penalty after the race, which was converted into a 30-second time penalty, dropping him from seventh to 15h.

It means Sebastian Vettel moves up to seventh ahead of Kevin Magnussen and Yuki Tsunoda, with Alonso‘s teammate Esteban Ocon entering the points in 10th.

Haas also lodged protest against Red Bull

Haas also lodged an appeal against Sergio Perez‘s Red Bull, but the stewards did not rule in their favour on the matter.

The Mexican’s car lost one of its front wing endplates early in the race, but it was revealed that Red Bull contacted Bauer with a picture of the front wing after the incident. Bauer stated this was enough to determine it was not unsafe, with Tombazis supporting the view.

Adriano Boin
Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1 and Ferrari.
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