The FIA stewards have turned down Alpine’s attempt to have Fernando Alonso reinstated to his points-scoring finish in the United States Grand Prix, ruling their protest against the decision is not admissible.
Alonso was penalised after Haas brought a protest against his team, claiming his car was run in an unsafe condition during Sunday’s race. The right-hand-side wing mirror fell off his A522 around 38 minutes after it was damaged in a collision with Lance Stroll.
The stewards agreed with Haas and penalised Alpine on the grounds that they were responsible for the safety of the car. They also admonished race director Niels Wittich for failing to display the black-and-orange flag to Alonso which would have forced him to pit for repairs.
Haas brought the protest as they had to comply with the same flag on three previous occasions this year. They failed to submit their protest within 30 minutes of the provisional race classification being published, which the stewards acknowledged in their original verdict, stating it was “lodged 24 minutes out of time.”
However the International Sporting Code states stewards may grant exceptions to this rule “in circumstances where the stewards consider that compliance with the thirty-minute deadline would be impossible.” In their original verdict the stewards started “compliance with the deadline was not possible in this case and that the protest was admissible.”
Alpine sought to challenge that decision in their protest today. However the stewards rejected their attempt on several grounds. These included the fact Alpine’s protest was submitted too late – one hour and eight minutes after the decision on Haas’s original protest.
The stewards also noted that decisions of the stewards and summons to hearings cannot be protested. “The appropriate course of action for Alpine, if it disagreed with the decision of the stewards, would have been to appeal to the FIA International Court of Appeal, and to do that it would have to have given notice of intention to appeal to the stewards within one hour of the decision, as prescribed in the FIA International Sporting Code and the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Rules,” they noted.
“Alternatively,” they added, “should a significant and new element be discovered (by Alpine), it could petition the Stewards under Article 14 of the Code, for a review. That option remains available for 14 days after the end of the Competition.” As it is still within that window, Alpine has now taken advantage of this opportunity.
Earlier on Thursday Alonso said he was “very confident” the penalty would be overturned and warned F1 would face “huge problems” if it wasn’t.
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