The FIA have rejected Alpine’s appeal into Haas’ protest of the United States Grand Prix results, but the matter is by no means over.
Following the race at the Circuit of The Americas, a grand prix in which Fernando Alonso was involved in a high-speed collision with Lance Stroll that left his A522 with a loose mirror that eventually fell off; Haas protested.
The American outfit felt Alonso’s car was unsafe and, as they had already received three black and orange flags for an unsafe car, believed he should have been called into the pits.
FIA technical director Jo Bauer agreed the car was unsafe, and the stewards handed the Spaniard a 10-second stop and go penalty that equated to a 30-second time penalty.
He dropped from seventh to 15th with Alpine protesting Haas’ protest as it was lodged 24 minutes after the deadline.
The hearing took place on Thursday in Mexico where Alpine were informed that as per the regulations they cannot protest a stewards ruling.
“According to the FIA International Sporting Code, there is no ability or right for any party to ‘protest’ a decision of the Stewards nor against a summons to a hearing,” the stewards’ statement reads.
It also emerged that Haas had been told they had an hour to protest.
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The stewards, though, did open the door for Alpine to take the matter further as they can appeal through the FIA’s International Court of Appeal.
“To do that it would have to have given notice of intention to appeal to the Stewards within one hour of the Decision, as prescribed in the FIA International Sporting Code and the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Rules,” said the stewards.
“Alternatively, should a significant and new element be discovered (by Alpine), it could petition the Stewards under Article 14 of the Code, for a review.
“That option remains available for 14 days after the end of the Competition.”
Alpine have done just that, lodging a right to review.
Fernando Alonso told the media ahead of Thursday’s hearing that he feels the outcome will have a huge impact on Formula 1.
“The FIA was not showing me the black and orange flag,” said the Spaniard. “So, they felt that the car was safe to keep driving.
“The car went to parc ferme, passed all the scrutineering. Green light on parc ferme, and then the protests arrive too late.
“So, between all, I think there is no doubt that this was not the right decision to take. And if this is the right decision to take, it will open a huge problem for the future in Formula 1.
“I think fifty, sixty, seventy per cent of the cars will have to retire the car when they have an aerodynamic device that is not properly fixed because it’s going to be unsafe, the car.
“It will open also… if 20 minutes too late is okay to protest, is one month too late? Is one hour too late? Is 10 years too late? When is too late?
“So that, I think, we cannot afford. So, as I said, this is a very important day for our sport. I don’t care about seventh, I’m not fighting for the World Championship, but if this goes ahead, I think we will open a very… we don’t want to open that box.”