Fernando Alonso ‘strongly condemns’ abuse aimed at race steward Silvia Bellot

Michelle Foster
Fernando Alonso on the grid putting in earplugs. Austin October 2022

Fernando Alonso on the grid putting in earplugs. Austin October 2022

Fernando Alonso has spoken out against online abuse aimed at US GP race steward Silvia Bellot, saying “hateful behaviour is unacceptable”.

Bellot was one of four race stewards at the United States Grand Prix, the 36-year-old involved in the decision to penalise Alonso.

Alonso’s Alpine suffered crash damage when he collided with Lance Stroll, clipping the rear of the Aston Martin and taking flight.

He was able to continue but did so with his right side mirror hanging loose before it eventually fell off.

Haas protested after the race, saying the car was unsafe, with FIA technical director Jo Bauer agreeing.

The stewards, Bellot involved, handed the double World Champion a 10-second stop-go penalty which equated to a 30-second penalty. Alonso fell from seventh to 15th.

Alpine protested and then asked for the right to review, which was granted.

They won that as Haas’ protest was lodged 24 minutes past the deadline, making it invalid.

But as Alonso was reinstated to seventh, online trolls vented about Bellot.

Alonso has condemned the behaviour, the Spaniard calling on F1 fans to do the same.

“I strongly condemn the recent online abuse which has been directed at FIA race steward Silvia Bellot,” he wrote.

“This type of hateful behaviour is unacceptable in sport and society.

“It is particularly deplorable that these comments are aimed at one of our sport’s volunteers and officials.

“I will continue to support the FIA and F1 in their efforts to drive out such harm and harassment and I call on others to do the same.”

Alpine have since added their voice to their driver’s.

“We are disappointed to learn of the unacceptable harassment aimed at FIA Race Steward, Silvia Bellot,” the team tweeted.

“There is no room for any form of harassment or abuse in our sport and we condemn this behaviour.”

Earlier this season Formula 1 launched a ‘Drive it Out’ campaign following a growing number of abusive incidents both online and at the race tracks.

F1 said in a statement that the video message ‘recognises that while passion and competition is a very important part of our sport, it can go too far, resulting in fans, journalists, presenters, and drivers receiving abuse both verbally and online.

‘We are all sending a clear message that this isn’t acceptable and must end – and those that continue to spread abuse and offensive comments are not welcome in our sport.’