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F1 | US GP | Alonso dropped to P15 following Haas’ post-protest success, Alpine to appeal it

Alonso dropped to from P7 to P15 following a successful protest by Haas.

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F1 | US GP | Alonso dropped to P15 following Haas’ post-protest success, Alpine to appeal it
Fuente imagen: formula1.com

At the Circuit of the Americas, Fernando Alonso was involved in a dramatic accident with Lance Stroll. The Canadian made a late change of trajectory on the back straight as the Spaniard attempted a move on him. Both crashed on the barriers with the Spaniard getting airborne after making contact with the rear of Stroll’s Aston Martin before miraculously continuing on.

Alonso returned to the pits slowly after the incident but was able to continue after Alpine fitted a new front wing and fresh tyres.

Because of the accident, however, Alonso’s right-hand mirror was not safely attached to his car. It shook violently before detaching itself, as the two-time champion charged through the field to take P7 at the flag.

After the race Haas has lodged a protest against both Alonso’s car and that of Sergio Perez – which suffered front wing endplate damage early on in the race.

The Stewards imposed a 30-second post-race penalty (a 10-second mid-race stop-go penalty was no longer feasible), dropping him out of the points, from P7 to P15.

This means that Sebastian Vettel moves up to P7, ahead of Kevin Magnussen who goes up to eighth, and Tsunoda taking ninth. Alonso’s Alpine team-mate, Esteban Ocon, moves into the points in P10.

Alpine will be appealing the decision. 

Haas representatives argued that Alonso’s A522 was unsafe due to the loose and then missing right-hand mirror, something that was agreed with by the stewards and the FIA’s technical staff.

FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer said that “a flapping mirror was dangerous and it could come loose and hit another driver causing injury,” making it unsafe. His view was supported by FIA technical chief Nikolas Tombazis.

Moreover, Haas representatives asserted that their cars had been given the black and orange flag on three occasions this year for situations involving their car being in an unsafe condition.

Alpine’s tried to defend themselves by bringing examples from Suzuka in 2019, where two cars drove with loose mirrors and claimed those could be considered precedents, and said it was entirely Alpine’s responsibility to ensure the car was being run in a safe manner.

The stewards said in their final decision report that they were “deeply concerned that Car 14 was not given the black and orange flag, or at least a radio call to rectify the situation, despite the two calls to Race Control by the Haas team.”

The US-based team Haas also lodged a protest against Sergio Perez’s Red Bull car. Nevertheless, in this case, the stewards opted not to take action, meaning the Mexican keeps fourth place.

Haas argued that Perez’s car was unsafe due to the loose front wing endplate, but it emerged Red Bull had contacted Bauer with a picture of the front wing after the incident, and Bauer was satisfied that it was safe to keep running. This was echoed by Tombazis during the hearing.

Haas lodged the protests after taking issue with the stewards’ decision to throw a black and orange flag against its cars for loose front wing endplates on three occasions this season.

Haas' Kevin Magnussen said the lack of a black and orange flag for Perez’s loose front wing endplate following contact with Valtteri Bottas on the opening lap was “bullshit” given the previous action against Haas this year.

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