Fernando Alonso reclaims P7 from US GP after Alpine appeal

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Fernando Alonso has reclaimed his seventh-place finish from the US Grand Prix after a long evening of stewarding in Mexico on Thursday.

The two-time world champion completed what was a heroic recovery into the points in Austin after a high-speed collision with Lance Stroll that briefly saw his front wheels go airborne.

However, after the race, Haas protested both Alonso and Sergio Perez's cars for being unsafe due to loose parts which later fell off while on track.

This follows three instances this year that Kevin Magnussen has been forced to pit for repairs due to a damaged front wing endplate.

Magnussen HunGP

While the Perez case was dismissed, the Spaniard was hit with a 30-second time penalty demoting him outside of the points.

Alpine later protested if Haas' own protest was legitimate as it was made 24 minutes after the half-hour post-race deadline, but that was rejected on Thursday because a team cannot challenge a stewards' decision.

Then, Alpine submitted a right to review based on the same grounds after it emerged Haas had been told by Race Control that they had an hour to lodge their protest, not the permitted 30 minutes.

However, sporting director Alan Permane argued that such "leeway" should only be shown if it is "impossible" to protest within the 30-minute timeframe, which Haas accepted was not the case.

As a result, the stewards ruled in favour of the French team and nullified Alonso's penalty reinstating him to seventh place.

The matter is just the latest in a string of negative stories involving the FIA and the quality of its decision-making.

And speaking ahead of the initial protest hearing, Alonso made it clear not reversing his penalty would have set a bad precedent.

“We brought this basically because it [the Haas protest] was out of time, and the FIA was not showing me the black and orange flag so they felt that the car was safe to keep driving," he explained.

“The car went to parc fermé, passed all the scrutineering, green light in parc fermé, and then the protests arrived too late.

“So between all, I think there is no doubt that this [the penalty] 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 50, 60, 70 percent of the cars will have to retire when they have an aerodynamic device that is not properly fixed because it’s going to be unsafe.

“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 as I said, this is a very important day for our sport.

“I don’t care about seventh, you know? I’m not fighting for the World Championship. But if this goes ahead, I think we don’t want to open that box.”

Alonso Sulayem

After initial criticism earlier in the year, Alonso though did praise the FIA for their handling of matters in recent weeks.

"The FIA has been very transparent to us this year," he added.

“I think the new leadership also with Mohammed [ben Sulayem, FIA president] are doing things a little bit different than in the past.

“So I have full trust in what they will decide. I think there are a couple of things that are very clear that were made wrong from their side.

“So as I said, I’m very confident that that will be P7 again in Austin. If I’m not P7 at the end, I’m sure they will explain why and we will see it clearly. So you know, I am very, very relaxed about that.”