Szafnauer: "Justice prevailed" on Alonso F1 mirror penalty

Alpine Formula 1 boss Otmar Szafnauer says “justice prevailed” after Fernando Alonso regained his seventh place in last week’s US GP following a series of hearings on Thursday.

Szafnauer: "Justice prevailed" on Alonso F1 mirror penalty

Alonso was originally given a post-race 30-second penalty after a protest by Haas that claimed the Spaniard’s car was in a dangerous condition after he drove for many laps with a flapping right mirror, and then finished the race with no rear visibility after it came loose and fell off.

Haas also protested the Red Bull of Sergio Perez, which ran for six laps with a damaged endplate that eventually flew off.

The Haas protests were sparked by frustration after the team lost points through a series of three black and orange flags for Kevin Magnussen at different races, all due to endplate damage.

The stewards rejected the Perez protest, but Alonso was excluded from his seventh place. Alpine then protested the decision on the basis that the Haas protest was put in late.

In fact it was late because race director Niels Wittich had erroneously told Haas that it had an hour to get protest in, when the actual limit was 30 minutes.

The admissibility of the Alpine protest was considered on Thursday in a virtual hearing conducted by the original Austin stewards.

They rejected the protest, but Alpine then countered with a request for a right of review.

That was accepted, and late on Thursday evening it was finally decided that Alpine had a good case, and Alonso’s penalty was cancelled and the original results reinstated.

Asked if the team had got the outcome it deserved Szafnauer said there was a bigger picture.

"I think we got the result that F1 deserved, really,” he told Autosport. “I believe justice prevailed, even though I have my natural biases, because I'm for this team and wanted to see him in seventh.

“But the protest was put in out of time, and it should have never been heard. And that was our argument. And I think the FIA recognised that, and made the right decision."

Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal, Alpine F1, in the team principals Press Conference

Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal, Alpine F1, in the team principals Press Conference

Photo by: FIA Pool

Szafnauer agreed that there were some grey areas in the whole process: “Definitely some anomalies. And I think in the end, when we took our time to look at all the rules, and how they're applied, the right decision was made.”

The FIA has confirmed that its president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has instigated a review of the use of black and orange flags to oblige drivers with damage to pit.

Szafnauer acknowledged that there was an issue, but suggested that the Perez situation in Austin was closer to the problems that Haas has experienced this year.

"Well, I think that it should be better defined, so that the decisions from the FIA are more consistent. And it's not really, for us.

"I think the comparison is more front wing endplate to front wing endplate. Sergio had his front wing endplate come off, and wasn't shown the black and orange flag. I think that happened to Haas before.

Read Also:

“So there's some inconsistencies there. But what we have to do is learn from those, and in the future, start becoming more consistent, so that everybody knows what to expect."

Szafnauer downplayed any suggestion that cars with mirror damage or missing mirrors should receive the black and orange flag.

"All that stuff we have to define. I mean, me personally, I've raced in 55 open wheel races, and I've raced some without mirrors, or a mirror. And I don't think it's that much more dangerous.

“Often you use your mirrors to place your car such that the guy behind you can't overtake you. And if you only have one mirror to do that, you're a bit more cautious!

“So it's not necessarily that one mirror is much more dangerous. But my point is, we have to define what that danger is.”

shares
comments
F1 Mexican GP: Sainz leads Ferrari 1-2 in truncated first practice
Previous article

F1 Mexican GP: Sainz leads Ferrari 1-2 in truncated first practice

Next article

F1 Mexican GP: Russell leads FP2 as Leclerc crashes in Pirelli test running

F1 Mexican GP: Russell leads FP2 as Leclerc crashes in Pirelli test running
How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1 Plus

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

Formula 1’s transformation into a global sport meant the gradual extinction for a small team determined to stay true to its low-budget roots. But Tyrrell would eventually be reborn as a world-beating outfit again, explains MAURICE HAMILTON, albeit in different colours…

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver Plus

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Many doubted Lewis Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes for the 2013 Formula 1 season. But the journey he’s been on since has taken the Briton to new heights - and to a further six world championship titles

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era Plus

Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

OPINION: With teams outside the top three having struggled in Formula 1 in recent seasons, the rules changes introduced in 2022 should have more of an impact this season. How well Haas does, as the poster child for the kind of team that F1 wanted to be able to challenge at the front, is crucial

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

Formula 1
Feb 1, 2023
The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021? Plus

How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021?

OPINION: A system to score all the grands prix from the past two seasons produces some interesting results and sets a standard that 2023 should surely exceed

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Plus

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Formula 1
Jan 30, 2023
Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return Plus

Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

He has more starts without a podium than anyone else in Formula 1 world championship history, but Nico Hulkenberg is back for one more shot with Haas. After spending three years on the sidelines, the revitalised German is aiming to prove to his new team what the F1 grid has been missing

Formula 1
Jan 29, 2023