Alonso once again critical of stewarding in Formula 1

Date published: October 25 2021 - Michelle Foster

Fernando Alonso racing against Kimi Raikkonen. Austin October 2021

Fernando Alonso has criticised F1’s “random” rules after both he and Antonio Giovinazzi had to give up positions during their fight at the Circuit of the Americas.

Alonso raced against both Alfa Romeos at Sunday’s United States Grand Prix, first engaging with Kimi Raikkonen where Alpine felt the Finn overtook the Spaniard off the track at Turn 1 after he was pushed wide when the two touched.

The stewards had no issue with it with Alonso’s race engineer, Karel Loos, telling the driver that “apparently that is allowed.

Alonso replied: “Okay let’s ****ing do so on the track. ****ing rules. It’s clear.”

Several laps later Alonso took on the other Alfa Romeo of Antonio Giovinazzi, although this time it was the Spaniard who gained an advantage at Turn 12 as he ran wide to keep his position when he rejoined.

He was told to give the position to Giovinazzi or face a five-second penalty.

Having done so a few laps later, Alonso then went on the attack and this time it was Giovinazzi who ran off the track. He too was told to give the position to Alonso.

The Alpine driver wasn’t impressed with how it all played out.

“The rules are a little bit random,” he said after the race. “It’s the way it is, unfortunately, for the fans here in America and everything.

“They saw today a show that they didn’t deserve.”

He added: “Obviously it is their decision so we have to accept it.

“I don’t know if you saw the whole race, but there was the same incident I think on lap one with Lando [Norris], in Turn 12. He braked on the inside, overtook Sainz, Sainz went off track, retook the position and [he had to give the place back].

“And then in the last part of the race, when I overtook Giovinazzi for the second time, I braked on the inside at Turn 12. And again, I forced him off track. He regained the position off track and that time he had to give me back the position.

“So, in a way, you always force a guy to go off track when you brake on the inside: you commit to overtaking. And they [the driver on the outside] need to decide if they back off, or keep the full throttle off the track outside the circuit.

“It is what Sainz did. Giovinazzi did, I did. And we have to give back the position for sure, because you are running full throttle off track. But Kimi didn’t. So that’s why I felt that it was not consistent.

“I lost like 10 seconds by doing all these things, and obviously the point possibilities were gone. But I mean I’m not too mad about this because it is only a one point place. And then we have the failure of the rear wing anyway, so it didn’t change our race, arguably. So this is not a problem.”

 

Despite his efforts on the day, Alonso didn’t reach the chequered flag, retiring due to a broken rear wing.

“We broke the rear wing,” he said. “At one point I nearly crashed at the penultimate corner, luckily it happened here rather than in the first sector.

“So, I looked at the rear wing and it was bent rearward, so maybe the bumps or whatever – it was very demanding for the car today.”