Fernando Alonso’s phenomenal comeback in America was quickly surrounded by controversy following Haas F1 Team’s successful protest post-race.
The American team claimed that Alonso’s A522 machine was illegal due to one of the car’s mirrors becoming loose from the car at the halfway stage of the race.
Alonso’s damage was incurred from his mid-race incident with Lance Stroll, where the Canadian made a last-minute adjustment that sent the Double World Champion into a frightening incident.
Prior to the FIA’s decision to overturn the penalty and reinstate his P7, Alonso emphasised the significance of the decision for the sport – as quoted by the BBC:
“There are a couple of things that are very clear that were made from, and I am very confident I will be P7 [again].
“We protest basically because it was out of time. The FIA did not show me the black-and-range flag [during the race], so they thought [the car] was safe.
“The car went to parc ferme and passed [the FIA inspection], and then the protest arrived too late, so all in there is no doubt this is not the right decision.
“If it is the right decision [to award the penalty], 50-60% of people will have to retire if they have an area device that is not fixed.
“If twenty minutes is not too late, is one hour too late? Is one day too late? When is too late? We don’t want to open that door [for the future].”