Alonso will not finally retain the seventh position he reached this Sunday at the Circuit of the Americas after the FIA stewards gave rise to a protest filed by Haas after the race.
The Spanish driver had damage to his front wing in his heavy crash with Lance Stroll on Sunday, and Alpine replaced it as the Spaniard pitted before continuing in the race.
However, Alonso’s car’s right rear-view mirror was visibly loose after the crash and he eventually lost it as he passed Haas’s Kevin Magnussen while making his recovery in the competition.
Haas filed protests against Sergio Pérez’s car for the endplate that came off the Mexican and against Alonso’s for the situation with his mirror, since he considered that they committed an infraction by driving unsafely on the track.
The reason for Haas’s protest is that on three occasions this year its cars have had to pit after receiving a black and orange flag due to damage to their endplates, despite the team insisting the situation was safe for run.
Finally, five hours after the end of the United States Grand Prix, the FIA stewards announced that Pérez did not deserve a sanction, but Alonso’s situation was different, to whom was added the time of a stop & go of ten seconds equivalent to 30 seconds, with which he went from seventh to 15th in the classification.
For the decision on Pérez, the stewards indicated: “Mr. Jo Bauer (FIA technical delegate) explained that, after the fall of the endplate, Red Bull contacted him and sent him detailed photos of the front wing. Mr. Bauer determined that the car was not in an unsafe condition. Mr. Nikolas Tombazis (FIA single-seater chief) agreed that the car was not unsafe.”
As for Alonso’s situation, Bauer told the hearing that “a mirror that is shaking is dangerous and could come loose and hit another driver causing injury”, making him unsafe. His opinion was supported by Tombazis and the stewards made the decision to penalize the Spaniard.
The stewards also indicated in their resolution that they were “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 to Race Direction. by the Haas team.
They also rejected Alpine’s argument that the Suzuka examples in 2019 where two cars ran with their mirrors loose could be considered precedent, saying it was entirely Alpine’s responsibility to ensure the car was racing in a safe manner. .
Sebastian Vettel inherited seventh position, followed by Magnussen, Yuki Tsunoda and Esteban Ocon, who moved up to last scoring position thanks to his garage mate’s penalty.