Fernando Alonso was involved in a major incident on Sunday in Austin. The Spaniard drove into the back of Lance Stroll’s Aston Martin, following a dangerous defensive manoeuvre from the Canadian, launching himself up in the air and into the wall.
While Stroll was forced to retire following the incident, Alonso performed a miracle, not only by continuing the race but by coming hope to finish in P7.
Alonso has since been hit with a 30-second penalty for driving an unsafe car, stemming from Haas’ decision to launch a protest against the Alpine driver.
The American-owned team were enraged that Alonso was not shown the black and orange flag, which forces drivers with unsafe damage to pit for repairs, with Kevin Magnussen having been shown this flag earlier in the season for only a damaged front wing endplate.
The FIA agreed with Haas that Alonso’s car was unsafe, and because they could not issue a stop and go penalty, with the race being over, they instead gave him a 30-second time penalty which relegated the Spaniard from P7 to P15.
Alpine have released the following statement:
“BWT Alpine F1 Team is disappointed to receive a post-race time penalty for Car #14 from today’s United States Grand Prix, which unfortunately means Fernando moves to outside the points-paying positions.
“The team acted fairly and deemed the car remained structurally safe as a result of Fernando’s incident with Lance Stroll on Lap 22 of the race with the right-side rear view wing mirror detaching from the cassis as a result of accident damage caused by Stroll.
“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.
“Moreover, after the race, the FIA technical delegate considered the car legal. The team also believes 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.”
Stroll was given a penalty for his part in the incident alongside having to retire, while the FIA found Alonso to not be at fault for the collision, with the Spaniard continuing to finish the race.
With Alonso having moved out of the points positions, Alpine will be hoping that their protest is successful, with McLaren only six points behind the French team going into the final trio of races this season.