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No further action over Alonso

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10/07/2022

The Red Bull Ring stewards have deemed that no further action is required after it was alleged that Fernando Alonso's car had been released from a pit stop in an unsafe condition.

The Spaniard stopped during the VSC period on lap 57 while running sixth. The left-front wheel subsequently came loose by a small margin and the stewards investigated to see if the car had been "released in an unsafe condition", a potential breach of Article 34.14 of the Sporting Regulations.

The stewards reviewed multiple angles of video of the pit stop, including pit lane CCTV, CCTV from over the pit stop location and in-car footage and found nothing in the video to indicate that the pit stop was anything other than a normal pit stop, including that the wheel concerned appeared to fully engage and become fully tight.

The Alpine team manager reported that the mechanic fitting the wheel reported that everything felt normal, and indeed his body language on the video appeared completely normal.

Nothing appeared to be wrong until just before turn 3, where the wheel slightly disengaged from the car, by a very small amount.

Shortly after Turn 3, Alonso stated on the radio that he would need to pit again, and when asked by his team, simply reported that he needed to pit again.

In the subsequent hearing, Alonso stated that he cannot see the rim of the wheel and that all he felt was a small vibration. This is consistent with the video, in that the movement of the tyre was hardly distinguishable.

After entering the pit lane, the Spaniard stated "check left front".

In the hearing he stated that it felt worse when he turned to the right than when he turned to the left, but that there was still nothing obvious from his vantage point.

After the race, the left front wheel with the tyre and the axel were inspected by the technical delegate and the head of single seater technical affairs. They reported to the stewards that the damage to the wheel and axel is consistent with a parts failure in all likelihood subsequent to the exit of the car from the pits.

Based on the footage of the car from the moment the wheel was fitted, until the failure became apparent, the stewards concluded that the wheel was fully fitted, and that subsequent to the failure, all the retention systems worked as designed.

The stewards therefore concluded that the car was not released in an unsafe condition and that no further action should be taken.

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