Following the Haas team’s protest, the FIA has acknowledged an error that Fernando Alonso should have been given a black and orange flag during the Formula 1 race in Austin and is therefore penalised by 30 seconds after the race, relegating him to P15. In addition, the FIA rejected the Haas team’s complaint against Sergio Perez, who remains fourth.
The Haas team lodged a protest earlier in the evening against Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso as they felt that the drivers had been on track in unsafe conditions.
In the race, Fernando Alonso suffered significant damage in a high-speed collision with Lance Stroll, but was able to return to the pits and then resume racing. However, the Alpine’s mirror was loose and fell off as Alonso overtook Kevin Magnussen for what was sixth place at that point in the race.
FIA only bothers to investigate after the race
Sergio Perez damaged his front wing on the first lap when he collided with Valtteri Bottas but was able to continue his race. In similar conditions in Canada, Hungary and Singapore, Kevin Magnussen was given a black and orange flag requiring him to stop and repair the damage.
The FIA has agreed to investigate these complaints and has heard from all concerned. While the complaint against Perez was rejected, the one against Alonso was upheld and a 10 second stop & go penalty, converted into a 30 second time penalty, was issued.
As a result, Fernando Alonso lost seventh place and fell out of the top ten.
Alpine protest, FIA stands firm
The FIA’s decision states that the Haas team “had contacted race direction to report the problem with [Alonso’s] car 14 on two occasions during the race and were told that the matter was under review.”
“[Alan] Permane [Alpine team representative] claimed that the mirror came off through no fault of his driver or team and that it was due to the collision caused by the driver of car 18 [Lance Stroll],
“He also claimed that at only one point in the race after the mirror fell off was there a car behind car 14 and that the race engineer had warned the driver of the gap to that car,
“Furthermore, there was a precedent at Suzuka in 2019 where the cars of Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc were allowed to continue with mirror issues,
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 23, 2022
“The evidence shows that car 14 was first driven with the mirror loose for a significant number of laps, and then without the mirror after the mirror fell off,
“[Jo] Bauer [for the FIA] said that a loose mirror was dangerous and could come off and hit another driver, causing injury. So it was dangerous,
“Mr Bauer further stated that a car must have two mirrors and that in his opinion, which the Stewards accept as expert opinion, the car was not safe to drive with a missing mirror,
“The Stewards are deeply concerned that car 14 did not receive the black and orange flag, or at least a radio call to rectify the situation, despite two calls from the Haas team to race direction.”
“Notwithstanding the above, Article 3.2 of the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations is clear – a car must be on track in optimum safety conditions throughout a race, and in this case, car 14 was not. This is a responsibility of the Alpine team.”
As a result, Sebastian Vettel moves up to seventh, ahead of Kevin Magnussen, Yuki Tsunoda and Esteban Ocon who inherits the only point for Alpine.