Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi has issued a statement following the Miami Grand Prix, questioning track safety and Fernando Alonso’s post-race penalty.
Alpine’s weekend at the all-new Miami International Autodrome took a turn for the worse in final practice when Esteban Ocon crashed heavily at Turn 14, recording a 51G impact and ruling him out of qualifying with a cracked chassis.
Ocon recovered well in the race to come home in eighth position, with teammate Fernando Alonso backing him up in ninth, only to lose his points finish after being found guilty of leaving the track and gaining an advantage.
Alpine think track safety was lacking in Miami
Rossi has taken issue with these two factors, starting by questioning the safety of the track at Turn 14, where a concrete wall was in place instead of cushioned Tecpro barriers.
Several drivers complained to the FIA about the section of the track, where Carlos Sainz also crashed on Friday, but no changes were made.
“The Miami Grand Prix weekend did not disappoint and it was great to experience a new event with such a vibrant atmosphere,” said Rossi in a statement released on Alpine’s social media channels.
“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 finish line inside the top 10 after a compromised qualifying for varying 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.”
Alpine find Alonso’s second penalty “difficult to accept”
Rossi then questioned the second of Alonso’s two five-second time penalties, which dropped him from ninth to 11th in the results.
Alonso had already been penalised for a clash with AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, and then fell foul of track limits – but Rossi was unhappy with the FIA’s handling of the situation.
“A disappointing post-race penalty for Fernando for leaving the track and gaining an advantage means our six points at the chequered flag turned into four points and it has cost us a deserved double points finish,” he added.
“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’re very confident Fernando would
have kept his ninth place.
“We’ll go again next weekend in Spain where we’re determined to piece together a much slicker and, a more fair, race weekend, and demonstrate the real potential of our package.”