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Formula 1 United States GP

Alpine to protest Alonso F1 penalty after losing US GP points

Alpine will protest the penalty handed to Fernando Alonso after the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix, claiming it is invalid as Haas missed the deadline to take action.

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Alonso recovered from his car going airborne in a crash with Lance Stroll to finish seventh at the Circuit of The Americas on Sunday.

But the Spaniard was hit with a 30-second post-race penalty that dropped him to 15th after Haas lodged a protest, claiming the Alpine car was unsafe due to its moving right-hand mirror before it fell off.

The stewards and FIA technical staff agreed the car was unsafe, but Alpine has now issued a statement confirming it will protest the penalty.

Alpine said that it “acted fairly and deemed the car remained structurally safe” after Alonso’s crash with Stroll that led to the loss of the right-hand mirror.

“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,” the team said.

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

The stewards acknowledged in the hearing on Sunday in Austin that the black and orange flag had not been used, but said they were “deeply concerned” no action was taken by race director Niels Wittich.

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522, in the pits after a crash on track

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522, in the pits after a crash on track

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Haas team manager Peter Crolla contacted race control twice to report Alonso’s mirror was loose and was told the matter was being looked into, only for nothing to happen.

Alpine also claimed in its statement that “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.”

“As a result of this point, the team has protested the admissibility of the original Haas F1 Team protest,” the team added.

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The initial FIA ruling notes that Haas lodged its protest 24 minutes out of time, but the stewards “determined that the compliance with the deadline was not possible in this case”, thus making it admissible.

Should the stewards deem Alpine’s protest to be admissible, it is likely that a new hearing will take place ahead of the Mexico City Grand Prix this weekend at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

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