Fernando Alonso, Alpine, Circuit of the Americas, 2022

Alpine launch protest to overturn US GP penalty which cost Alonso points finish

2022 United States Grand Prix

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Alpine has launched a protest of its own in a bid to overturn the penalty which cost Fernando Alonso a points finish in the United States Grand Prix.

The stewards gave Alonso a 10-second stop and go penalty, converted post-race to a 30-second time penalty, ruling the team ran his car in an unsafe condition when one of his mirrors worked loose and fell off. The mirror was dislodged when Alonso collided with Lance Stroll earlier in the race, and fell off 38 minutes later.

Alonso originally finished the race in seventh place. His penalty, which came about following a protest by Haas, dropped him to 15th.

Alpine confirmed in a statement they intend to challenge the penalty on the grounds of its admissibility. They pointed out the stewards accepted Haas’s protest despite it having been submitted 24 minutes too late.

The stewards acknowledged this in announcing Alonso’s penalty, stating they “determined that the compliance with the deadline was not possible in this case.” Article 13.3.5 of the International Sporting Code allows for this, stating protests must be submitted “no later than 30 minutes after the publication of the Provisional Classification, except […] in circumstances where the stewards consider that compliance with the 30-minute deadline would be impossible.”

Alpine also questioned the penalty on other points, but did not indicate these will form part of their protest. They noted the FIA chose not to use the black-and-orange flag to force Alonso to pit and said the FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer determined the car was legal after the race.

Alpine statement on protest over Alonso penalty

BWT Alpine F1 Team is disappointed to receive a post-race time penalty for car number 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 chassis 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.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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37 comments on “Alpine launch protest to overturn US GP penalty which cost Alonso points finish”

  1. Good. What a joke the meatball system has been this year. Consistency is required for fairness.

  2. As far as I’m aware, drive-through and stop-go penalties are inadmissible for appeal.

    1. If you had read the article you would see they’re appealing the 30-minute-admission rule, not the actual penalty.

    2. Yes they are, but they’re going one further and saying there shouldn’t have been a penalty because the FIA gave them the all clear during and after the race, and the protest by Haas was made too late.

    3. WSRGO, I thought the rationale of making a drive thru penalty inadmissable for appeal was that once the penalty is served in the race, you cannot possibly undo it. However, the penalty Alonso received was a post race time penalty, not a drive thru, so there is no reason why it cannot be appealed.

  3. If his car was considered unsafe, the stewards should have called Alonso in during the race. You just can´t apply a penalty after the race because someone else is moaning… Very unfair decision by the stewards.

  4. I don’t understand why the protest by HAAS wouldn’t have been technically possible within the given time limit. HAAS knew all they protested during the race. Or was their protest against the confirmation of the car being legal by Bauer that ALPINE refers to?

  5. One report says HAAS relayed their concerns to race control during the race but no action was taken, which, I assume, is why the statement from the stewards mentions a concern at the delay in taking action.

  6. Wittich is so much more oncompetent than Masi, unbelievable, though no wonder, the farses I have seen in dtm.

  7. Very Otmar of them to launch a protest based on something that has been specifically addressed by the stewards in their findings and is literally in the rules.

    1. Or maybe it’s the only part of the ruling which they can appeal.

      1. This being Otmar, they’re appealing something that clearly cannot be appealed under the circumstances.

        As quoted above: “except […] in circumstances where the stewards consider that compliance with the 30-minute deadline would be impossible.”

        As the original ruling says, this point was considered, and the stewards found that this exception did indeed apply:


        4. It was noted that the Protest was lodged 24 minutes out of time however the Stewards, exercising their power under Article 13.3.5 of the International Sporting Code, determined that the compliance with the deadline was not possible in this case and that the Protest was admissible.”

        1. Exactly!
          As one cannot appeal against a drive through penalty (art. 17 F1 Sporting Regulations), they can only appeal against the decision of the stewards to admit the protest (even though it was 24min late).

          If Alpine is successful then the protest by Haas was deemed too late, and no penalty can be issued.

        2. @proesterchen As far as i can see the stewards have not explained why they found that it was not possible for Haas to submit their protest within the time. Without any explanation or evidence supporting this determination, I can see why Alpine would appeal.

          1. @keithedin

            I don’t see where the International Sporting Code requires the stewards to explain their decision under 13.3.5:

            “except: – in circumstances where the stewards consider that compliance with the thirty-minute deadline would be impossible”

            Did the stewards know Haas’ protest was lodged after the 30-minute mark? Yes.
            Did the stewards consider the exception to the 30-minute rule as laid out in 13.3.5? Yes.
            Did the stewards decide on the issue? Yes, see their decision.

            Asked and answered.

            This is the same nonsense Otmar pulled in Hungary in 2021, putting on a Spiel for the public, trying to find more fuel in Seb’s car (which btw he didn’t, because there wasn’t any extra fuel to be found) despite that being irrelevant to the disqualification.

          2. @Proesterchen,
            You fail to see the obvious: it is not prohibited in the rules to protest this decision. That’s why Alpine did it; they cannot protest the penalty decisions.
            It might very well be decided that the stewards made the right decision and don’t need a reason, but that doesn’t prohibit Alpine from protesting.

          3. @jff

            On what basis would they protest the decision? Which rule did the stewards fail to follow?

            The question of the admissibility of Haas’ protest has been considered and decided in accordance with the rules, as evidenced by the ruling linked above, yet if one were to believe Alpine’s PR, that’s what they are hoping to protest. Which is just plain silly.

        3. Alpine can only appeal a decision they disagree with; in this case the stewards allowing this protest to be filed. If the stewards had judged otherwise, there’d be nothing for Alpine to appeal.

          1. Alpine can jump up and down or stomp their collective feet, they have no basis for a protest. (but that’s just trademark Otmar for you)

  8. Alonso should have had a penalty for causing a collision.

    1. someone or something
      25th October 2022, 0:06

      If you wonder what the signs on the fence around you are saying: They’re telling people not to feed you.

  9. We probably need masi back.. this changing of directors and more inconsistent stewarding is ridiculous.

  10. I think it’s very poor sportmanship from Haas to protest this. They complaind about the black/orange flags earlier this year for Magnussen so why hang this on Alonso. This protest is only based on oppertunistic points gain. If they had saftey concerns they should have addressed the FIA and call for more consistency.

    1. Yes it was opportunistic, but they probably figure there’s no point in merely complaining. So long as the FIA stewards continue to only target small teams for these things, and completely ignore the same issue from the likes of Red Bull and Mercedes, it’s only fair that Haas protests every single car that is treated different from theirs.

      It’s perhaps the only way the FIA might eventually clean up its act and treat all competitors the same. Although judging by the ridiculous excuse they made for Pérez, Haas might need to file a dozen more protests for them to wise up.

    2. Haas should protest a car that finished behind them.

    3. petebaldwin (@)
      24th October 2022, 15:27

      Alpine and Alonso are just collateral damage. Haas have already complained about being given the black & orange flag twice for minor damage and were told “these are the rules now so deal with it.” Then when we have a Red Bull with the same damage Haas had as well as Alonso driving around with his mirror flapping about and the FIA do absolutely nothing about it. They’re absolutely right to protest and ask why it’s only them being penalised for this.

      Perez and Alonso should have been told to stop during the race and fix their issues but as the FIA missed it, it’s insane that Alonso is given a penalty now. They’re created a major problem for themselves as the next time someone is leading a race with visible damage on their car, you can guarantee there will be protests afterwards.

      1. They’re created a major problem for themselves as the next time someone is leading a race with visible damage on their car, you can guarantee there will be protests afterwards.

        Judging by yesterday’s form in regards to Pérez and Russell (and arguably Verstappen, though that was marginal), they’ll just say something along the lines of “but it wasn’t dangerous and we know this because we know this; by the way you can’t appeal because it’s a race director’s issue”.

        In F1, some teams are more equal than others. Good for Haas for protesting. Hopefully Ferrari learns a trick or two from their partners.

    4. Then you clearly doesn’t understand sportsmanship. Why have Alpine (Ocon), Red Bull (Verstappen) and others vocally on the radio called for a black and orange for Magnussen in previous races due to his flapping endplate? Poor sportsmanship right?

      It’s not about sportsmanship, but about equality and fairness in upholding the rules for everyone.

      1. Exactly, Horner went on and on about how dangerous it was to have parts flapping about during those races when his cars were behind a damaged car. It’s unfortunate that ALO is bearing the brunt of it as he is always stating how the rules aren’t applied to the big teams. I think Alpine got a pass yesterday because the season is over for the championships and the only thing left are the midfield battles.

      2. I think a driver should not ask for a black and orange flags because it’s the stewards who have to judge and make the decission based on saftey. So the examples you give are also bad sportmanship. I can understand the position of Haas and they have a good point. still I personally don’t like the attitude of asking for penalty’s unless it’s something that directly affects you.

  11. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    24th October 2022, 16:04

    This one is so cruel, the guy did a wheelie for 100m before hitting a wall and risked his backside dragging that car into 7th place. It was a superhuman effort that should go down in F1 folklore, this penalty is so disappointing. If the FIA missed it then the moment has gone.

    I also have a gut feel with all the inconsistencies this wouldn’t have happened to a race winning car, different teams different rules.

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      24th October 2022, 17:35

      Alpine point out the precedence that Lewis and Charles in a previous GP were allowed to race with one mirror but that seems to have no effect. The precedence has been set with K-Mag being called in but Perez is allowed to drive on.

      Is that bias in a ruling?

  12. I hope Alpine wins it.

  13. Does this set a precedence that car has be to retired if it looses one mirror? Also any damage to the car or to the front wing specifically?

Comments are closed.