Fernando Alonso performed a minor miracle at the Circuit of the Americas, coming home in seventh after an accident that looked destined to force the Spaniard to retire.
Alonso was launched up into the air and against a wall, after a dangerous manoeuvre from his 2023 teammate Lance Stroll forced the Spaniard to drive straight into the back of him.
Race control decided not to show Alonso the black and orange flag, which forces drivers to pit to repair and unsafe car, and also passed the car in the post-race checks, however following an appeal from Haas, Alonso was hit with a 30-second penalty, taking him out of the points.
“For me, it’s all about consistency, the FIA is the regulator and they must be consistent,” Haas boss Guenther Steiner said about the controversy.
The American team argued that their drivers have been shown the black and orange flag for much less, so if the FIA were consistent then Alonso should have received the same orders.
Following Alpine’s statement on appealing the penalty, Alonso has taken to social media to stress the importance of the FIA making the right call.
“It’s one of those rare times in sport that I feel we are all on the same page and share the same opinion towards the rules and regulation,” he posted.
“Therefore Thursday is an important day for the sport that we love so much, as the decision will dictate if we are going in the right direction for the future.”
Alpine argued that race control could have issued the black and orange flag at any time, but chose not to, making it unfair to punish Alonso after the race, seemingly changing their mind on the condition of the car.
The Rafa Nadal Museum in Mallorca has also poked fun at the FIA’s decision making online, with it seeming that the common consensus is that they got it wrong this time.
“We have just seen that our Alonso car at the Rafa Nadal Museum is also missing a rear view mirror,” posted the museum.
“We hope not to be sanctioned by the FIA.”
The light hearted joked is a play on the fact that the appeal from Haas came after the deadline for such an argument, however the FIA still decided to slap Alonso with a penalty, taking his points total for the weekend to zero, despite an impressive drive, considering the damage.
Alpine will hope for a reversal of the punishment, with the drivers’ championship being so tight, that every point matters in the battle with McLaren.