Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi remains aggrieved about the second of two time penalties Fernando Alonso received that cost him points at the Miami Grand Prix.
Alonso had an eventful race in the Miami International Autodrome’s debut, starting superbly with a four-place gain off the grid including the scalp of Lewis Hamilton with whom he banged wheels.
But the Spaniard’s afternoon fell apart towards the end, firstly when he incurred a five-second time penalty for colliding with Pierre Gasly whom he was trying to overtake – an incident for which the Spaniard apologised.
He was still on course to finish in the points, along with his team-mate Esteban Ocon who had come through from the very back of the grid to eighth having been forced to miss qualifying following a heavy crash in FP3 that badly damaged his car – due to hitting a concrete barrier rather than Tecpro.
However, after crossing the line in P9, Alonso was demoted to 11th due to another five-second penalty, that time for going off track and gaining an advantage.
The specifics were that the 40-year-old had cut across the Turn 14 chicane, giving him a bigger gap over Mick Schumacher which meant the Haas driver missed out on DRS that time around.
In his summary of the Miami weekend on Twitter, Rossi felt Alpine had been denied the opportunity to launch a proper defence of Alonso’s action which they felt could have exonerated the double former World Champion.
This one is certainly difficult to accept since Fernando handed back the time during the lap and we were not able to present the evidence to clarify the particular situation before the penalty was issued.
— BWT Alpine F1 Team (@AlpineF1Team) May 11, 2022
“The Miami Grand Prix weekend did not disappoint and it was great to experience a new event with such a vibrant atmosphere,” tweeted Rossi.
“It was equally pleasing to put on a race to match the anticipation and from a team perspective it was satisfying to have both of our cars crossing the finishing line in the top 10 after a compromised qualifying for various reasons.
“These scenarios ultimately shaped our weekend. Esteban unfortunately missed qualifying, although with sufficient safety measures in place it is likely the car would have been okay, while Fernando caught traffic on a fast lap.
“Furthermore, a disappointing post-race penalty for Fernando leaving the track and gaining an advantage means our six points at the chequered flag turned into four points and cost us a deserved double points finish.
“This one is certainly difficult to accept since Fernando handed back the time during the lap and we were not able to present the evidence to clarify the particular situation before the penalty was issued. With the opportunity to explain, we are very confident Fernando would have kept his ninth place.
“We will go again next weekend in Spain, where we are determined to piece together a much slicker and a more fair race weekend and demonstrate the real potential of our package.”
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