Dhe Formula 1 racing team Alpine, after a remarkable back and forth, finally had success with its protest against the punitive transfer of Fernando Alonso at the US Grand Prix. The two-time world champion remains seventh in the race in Austin, Texas, just like he did immediately after crossing the finish line last Sunday. After Alpine’s protest had been rejected by the stewards late Thursday (local time) in Mexico City, the French team’s appeal went one higher.
Alonso was given a 30-second penalty after a complaint from Mick Schumacher’s Haas team in Austin. He had dropped from seventh place in the points to 15th. After the appeal, Mick Schumacher moved up one place to 14th, his Danish teammate Kevin Magnussen was eighth in the points. Sebastian Vettel should have been happy about seventh place in the Aston Martin.
Now Vettel is classified eighth again instead of seventh, in the drivers’ standings the four-time world champion loses two points. Alpine wins six points, which can be worth millions in the narrow midfield of Formula 1 at the end of the season.
Right outside mirror broken
Formula 1 race manager Niels Wittich had given Mick Schumacher’s Haas team a longer protest period in Austin last Sunday than provided for in the regulations. At Thursday’s reassessment in Mexico City, this was seen as crucial to Alpine’s protesting the Haas admission too late. Haas, in turn, could have met this deadline, the commissioners found. The original protest was therefore classified as “inadmissible”.
Haas had accused Red Bull driver Sergio Perez, who was later acquitted, and Alonso of driving unsafe cars after they were damaged in the race. According to Haas, Alonso had driven for too long with a destroyed right wing mirror. It broke in a spectacular crash with Lance Stroll in the Aston Martin. Alonso drove up at high speed and took off with the front of the car. During the subsequent pit stop, only the front wing had been replaced, and the exterior mirror later broke off.