Fernando Alonso is furious over the post-race penalty he and Alpine received after he cut a corner at the Miami Grand Prix’ tight chicane close to the end of the race. According to stewards on the track, the driver received an advantage doing this, but Alonso is fighting against this.
Talking at a pre-practice press conference, the Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer revealed that Alonso had “lifted twice, significantly” after cutting the corner. But despite this, he was still given a penalty on top of the five second penalty he received for hitting Pierre Gasly.
Alpine commented on the second penalty, calling it “wholly unjust” and “difficult to accept”, as they call upon the FIA to clarify the rules surrounding handing back an advantage where no positions had changed.
Alonso named the second penalty “unfair”, adding that his anger is focussed on the stewards who had made the decision “without asking [for] any proof”, leaving the “their hands tied”.
“We believe that it was very unfair and it was just incompetence from the stewards,” Alonso said.
“They were not very professional in Miami.
“I missed one corner and then I gave back the time on the lap, but obviously after you miss one corner, there is the sector time just after that corner, so the [purple mini-sector] colour [comes up].
“They took the decision without asking [for] any proof.
“So, we arrived after the race with all the proof and all [the data showing] the time back that we gave and they were just packing up. They were not even in the room.
“We came there, we showed them all the data. So, they said ‘give us five minutes’.
“And then they found themselves with their hands tied, probably because they issue the penalty already and they didn’t know how to get back from that document.
“So, it was very bad and honestly… it’s already the past, but it is something that should not happen in Formula 1, with professionals and the standards that Formula 1 has right now.”
The FIA is yet to comment on this, but I’m sure they’ll be keen to clear this up after the controversy they’ve been involved with since the ending of the 2021 season at Abu Dhabi.
“You need to have some knowledge about racing before being a race director or trying to monitor a race,” Alonso continued. “And I don’t think that knowledge is in place at the moment.
“I know there is a new race director here. I think Freitas has a lot more experience with WEC and with other categories at the top level. And I think that will already improve things.
“But it was not… I mean, even the accident we had in Miami with Carlos [Sainz] and Esteban [Ocon] – we pushed to have some barriers there and some tyres or TecPro, whatever, and no one did anything.
“So, when you don’t have that knowledge of racing, it’s difficult to talk.”
Alonso was also keen to add that he believes drivers’ concerns aren’t being listened to by the F1:
“Safety has been good and probably this year we have the safest cars and circuits and everything – [the] environment is very safe now in Formula 1,” Alonso noted.
“We just need to keep improving that. We are the only ones driving the cars and feeling the crashes and things like that in our bodies, so when we feel something is needed, I think we should be listened [too].
“In Miami and some other examples we didn’t have that because it seems the focus is in another place.”