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Alonso heaps pressure on stewards after 'simply illegal' Haas protest

Fernando Alonso has called on the stewards to overturn their decision to penalise his seventh-place finish at the US Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonso has called on the stewards to overturn their decision to penalise his seventh place US Grand Prix finish. The Alpine driver's recovery drive to P7 at the Circuit of the Americas was met with a 30-second time penalty, triggered by a post-race protest by the Haas team. Following a mid-race Safety Car period, Alonso was involved in a collision when trying to overtake Aston Martin's Lance Stroll. The incident sent Alonso partially airborne, and the Alpine driver tagged the barrier, which looked to have eliminated him from the race. Despite the impact, he recovered to the pit lane for repairs, re-joined the race and, incredibly, drove to seventh place. However, a post-race protest was launched by the Haas team, who were unhappy that Alonso had been allowed to drive his car in a damaged state. The protest resulted in a 30-second time penalty for Alonso, which dropped him to P15 in the classification.

Following the decision to penalise the Alonso, Alpine have protested this decision on the grounds of it being received too late after the race, despite the stewards permitting the protest. The stewards have agreed to hear Alpine's case on the Thursday before the Mexican Grand Prix. Speaking ahead of the hearing, Alonso told media that he was "very confident" that his seventh-pace result would be reinstated. "We basically protested because it was out of time," Alonso told media, including RacingNews365.com . "There were a couple of things that the FIA was not showing me the black and orange flag [for]. So, they felt that the car was safe to keep driving. "The car went into parc fermé, passed all of the scrutineering, green light on parc fermé, and then the protests arrive too late."

The two-time World Champion doubled down on his displeasure at the late arrival of the protest, and feared it could cause a lack of clarity on the rules for protesting in the future. "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 One. "I think 50, 60, 70% of the cars will have to retire when they have an aerodynamic device that is not properly fixed. "It will also open [problems], if you're 20 minutes too late it's okay to protest, [but] is one month too late? Is one hour too late? Is 10 years too late? When it's too late? "As I said, this is a very important day for our sport. I don't care about seventh [place], I'm not fighting for the world championship, but if this goes ahead, I think ...we don't want to open that box." When asked what he believed the correct course of action would be by the stewards, Alonso responded: "To cancel the protest that has been admitted outside of the deadline. It's simply illegal."

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