Representatives of the Alpine and Haas teams will take part in a video conference hearing on Thursday ahead of the Mexican Grand Prix to allow the FIA stewards to determine whether Alpine’s protest is admissible. Meanwhile, two-time F1 World Champion Fernando Alonso has spoken out for the first time since receiving a 30-second penalty after the finish of Sunday’s US Grand Prix in Austin.
The Haas team lodged a protest with the FIA on Sunday after the finish of the US Grand Prix, claiming that Fernando Alonso’s car was not legal in its current state as it was damaged after the Spaniard crashed into Lance Stroll’s Aston Martin during the race.
The stewards ruled in favour of the American team by handing Alonso a 10-second stop-and-go penalty, which eventually turned into a 30-second penalty added to his final time.
The penalty means that Fernando Alonso, who finished seventh in the US GP, is now outside the top ten and has not scored any points in the championship on Sunday.
Several hours after the penalty was imposed, the Alpine team defended itself because it believes that the complaint lodged by Haas is not valid because it was submitted after the legal deadline. As such, the French manufacturer’s team has also lodged an official protest and hopes that the penalty imposed on its driver will be cancelled.
Hearing set for Thursday
Representatives of both teams have been invited to participate in a video conference hearing this Thursday in Mexico City on the eve of the Mexican Grand Prix to determine with the stewards whether Alpine’s protest is admissible or not. If Alpine’s protest is deemed to be admissible following this hearing, then both teams will be called separately afterwards.
The Alpine driver was involved in a violent on-track collision with Lance Stroll’s Aston Martin in Austin on Sunday, and although his car went airborne and landed hard, the Spaniard was able to continue his race and finish in sixth place in the points.
However, the Haas team lodged a protest with the FIA after the finish, in part because they felt that Alonso’s car was too badly damaged to continue on track.
The FIA agreed with the Haas team and imposed a ten-second stop-and-go penalty on Alonso, which eventually turned into a 30-second penalty on his final time as the race was already over. This resulted in Alonso dropping out of the top ten in the final results.
A few hours later, the Alpine team officially lodged a protest of its own, with the French manufacturer’s team believing that the protest lodged by Haas was not valid because it was lodged after the legal deadline.
Alpine has lodged an official protest and is hoping that the penalty imposed on its driver will be overturned, as a hearing between the two parties is scheduled for Thursday 27 October in Mexico City on the eve of the Mexican Grand Prix.
Alonso speaks out for the first time
Speaking for the first time since Sunday’s race in Austin, Alonso said Thursday would be an important day for the future of Formula 1.
“Thank you all for the messages yesterday and today. This is one of those rare moments in the sport where I feel like we are all on the same page and share the same opinion on the rules and regulations,” Alonso wrote on his Instagram account.
“So Thursday will be an important day for the sport I love so much and the decision will dictate if we go in the right direction for the future. Thank you all again for your support.”
At the hearing, both parties will be heard by the FIA stewards. A decision will then be made by the stewards as to whether Haas’ claim is valid or not. If it is invalid, both parties will then be summoned separately and a further investigation will be launched by the FIA.