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FIA faces fresh criticism after Alonso penalty

FIA faces fresh criticism after Alonso penalty

FIA faces fresh criticism after Alonso penalty

FIA faces fresh criticism after Alonso penalty

Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi has criticised the FIA race stewards for handing Fernando Alonso a "disappointing" penalty at the Miami Grand Prix without affording the team to present a case in defence.

Alonso finished eighth on-track at the Miami International Autodrome but was demoted behind his team-mate Esteban Ocon after being given a five-second penalty for causing a collision with Pierre Gasly - a punishment Alonso insisted was correct.

Yet the two-time champion was handed a second five-second penalty post-race to take him outside the points, this time for leaving the track and gaining a lasting advantage.

Alpine's fortunes had been a rollercoaster all weekend given Ocon's heavy crash in final practice had cost the team a chassis and the chance to qualify.

“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 provided by Alpine.

"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 ten 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.

"Furthermore, 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."

Explaining Alonso's innocence was not allowed to be defended, Rossi 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.”

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