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Haas' protest of Alonso's car upheld as Spaniard drops to 15th

NEWS STORY
24/10/2022

Haas' protest of Sergio Perez' Red Bull has been dismissed, however its protest of Fernando Alonso's Alpine has been upheld, with the Spaniard dropping from 7th to 15th.

In the case of the Red Bull, following the publication of the provisional result of the US Grand Prix, Haas lodged a protest against the car of Perez, alleging that during the race the car was unsafe due to its front end plate moving then falling off, and that this was in breach of the regulations.

The stewards first convened a hearing with Haas to determine the admissibility, or otherwise, of the protest. Present at that hearing were Gunther Steiner and Ayao Komatsu Director of Engineering.

It was noted that the Protest was lodged 31 minutes out of time however the stewards, exercising their power under Article 13.3.5 of the International Sporting Code, determined that the compliance with the deadline was not possible in this case and that the protest was admissible.

Present at the hearing were;

On behalf of Haas; Gunther Steiner, Ayao Komatsu and Peter Crolla.

On behalf of Red Bull; Jonathan Wheatley and Paul Monaghan.

On behalf of the FIA; Nikolas Tombazis, Jo Bauer and Niels Wittich.

The Haas representatives asserted that the car was unsafe and noted that their car(s) had been given the black and orange flag on three occasions this year for similar situations.

Mr Bauer explained that after the end plate had fallen off, Red Bull had contacted him and sent him detailed photos of the front wing. Mr Bauer determined that the car was not in an unsafe condition. Mr Tombazis agreed that the car was not unsafe.

Having considered the evidence provided, the stewards determined that the protest was dismissed and the protest fee forfeited.

Haas had also protested Alonso's Alpine, alleging that during the race the car was unsafe due to its right hand mirror moving then falling off, and that this was in breach of the regulations.

Present at this hearing were;

On behalf of Haas; Gunther Steiner and Ayao Komatsu.

On behalf of BWT Alpine; Alan Permane.

On behalf of the FIA; Nikolas Tombazis, Jo Bauer and Niels Wittich.

The Haas representatives once again asserted that the car was unsafe and noted that their car(s) had been given the black and orange flag on three occasions this year for situations involving their car being in an unsafe condition.

Mr Steiner explained that Mr Peter Crolla had contacted Race Control to report the issue with Alonso's car on 2 occasions during the race and was told that the matter was being looked into.

Mr Permane submitted that the mirror came off through no fault of their driver or team and was due to the collision caused by Lance Stroll. He also submitted that at only one time during the race after the mirror fell off, was there a car behind Alonso and that the race engineer was warning the driver of the gap to that car. Further, that there was a precedence in Suzuka in 2019 where the cars of Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc were allowed to continue with mirror problems.

The evidence showed that the Alpine was driven firstly with the mirror flapping for a significant number of laps, then with no mirror after it fell off.

Mr Bauer submitted that a flapping mirror was dangerous and it could come loose and hit another driver causing injury. Therefore this was unsafe. Mr Bauer further stated that a car needs to have two mirrors and that in his opinion, which the stewards accept as expert opinion, the car was unsafe to be driven with a mirror missing. Mr Tombazis agreed that the car was not safe in that condition.

The stewards were deeply concerned that the Alpine 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.

Notwithstanding the above, Article 3.2 of the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations is clear - a car must be in a safe condition throughout a race, and in this case, the Alpine was not. This is a responsibility of the Alpine team.

The Stewards did not regard the Suzuka incidents from 2019 as "precedents" and having considered the evidence provided, determined that the protest was upheld and the protest fee returned.

The stewards imposed a 10 second Stop and Go penalty (30 second time penalty applied after the race) to Alonso, however no penalty points were issued as this is a team matter.

This penalty dropped Alonso to 15th, while promoting Vettel to 7th, Magnussen to 8th, Tsunoda to 9th and Esteban Ocon to 10th.

Check out our Sunday gallery from COTA here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by jcr, 24/10/2022 12:13

"More FIA BS,
Both cars possibly, should have been flagged in the race,
But allowing another team to make decisions is wrong.
If the stewards did,nt see a problem, in the race or post race scrutiny, so be it,
Bauer makes a decision that a stationary car with no mirror is dangerous
But it was ok during the race ??
Plus the fact that the protest was submitted after the pemitted time.
So tonight we will watch the highlights, and see if we can find anything else to protest"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by ian_w, 24/10/2022 11:49

"Conspiracy theory: McLaren were quite obviously the "home team" this weekend, as evidenced by the Andretti/Zack Brown laps in vintage cars at several times this weekend and other events. Now Alpine get 1pt instead of 6 and are only 6 ahead of McLaren. Discuss."

Rating: Negative (-4)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by Wokingchap, 24/10/2022 11:44

"Is it only me that thinks the end plate missing from Perez's car was dangerous? Possibly more than
Alonzo's missing mirror."

Rating: Negative (-1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

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