The inaugural Miami Grand Prix was an expensive weekend for the Alpine F1 Team, both financially and in regards to the constructors’ championship.
Esteban Ocon performed brilliantly in the race, finishing in eighth-place despite having started from the pit-lane.
Fernando Alonso had initially crossed the line in eighth, one spot above his team-mate, but was later demoted to eleventh following two separate five-second penalties.
The first of these penalties which was awarded during the race, came after Alonso made contact with Pierre Gasly, following a late dive-bomb at Turn 1.
The second penalty, which dropped the Spaniard from ninth to eleventh, was awarded some-time after the race had finished.
It was deemed that Alonso had run-off the newly-built circuit and gained an advantage, however, Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi believes that Alonso “handed back the time”.
“This [penalty] is certainly difficult to accept since Fernando handed back the time during the lap and we were not able to present the evidence to clarify the particular situation before the penalty was issued.” explained Rossi,
“With the opportunity to explain, we’re very confident Fernando would have kept his ninth place.”
The inaugural weekend in Miami, was also extremely expensive for Alpine, after Ocon crashed heavily during FP3.
In almost an exact replica of Carlos Sainz Jr’ crash on the previous day, Ocon lost the rear of his A522 at Turn 13.
What followed was a heavy impact into a concrete barrier at an astonishing 51G, causing his car’s chassis to crack.
The damage resulted in Ocon’s pit-lane start, as the team were unable to repair the heavily damaged car in time for qualifying.
Following Sainz’ earlier crash, teams asked the FIA if a Tecpro barrier could be put in place to cover the concrete wall, the FIA refused.
Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer, was disappointed with the FIA’s handling over the decision, he believes a “review” is needed.
“Hindsight’s a wonderful thing,” explained Szafnauer,
“If we look back then the FIA, too, should have a review. My personal opinion is if we had a TecPro barrier there then it would have been safer.
“Yeah, the FIA’s job isn’t protecting cars but protecting cars and drivers are highly correlated. If the car is damaged, the driver can get damaged too.”
Ocon appeared lucky to have walked away from the crash.
Sainz on the other hand, reported after the race had finished that he was still suffering from neck pain as a result of his incident on Friday.