Alonso blasts FIA's 'random rules' after Raikkonen call

An unhappy Fernando Alonso took exception with a call made by the stewards in Sunday's US Grand Prix,... The post Alonso blasts FIA's 'random rules' after Raikkonen call appeared first on F1i.com.

Alonso blasts FIA's 'random rules' after Raikkonen call

An unhappy Fernando Alonso took exception with a call made by the stewards in Sunday's US Grand Prix, insisting Kimi Raikkonen should have been ordered to give back a position the Finn had gained by running off the track at Turn 1.

Alonso and Raikkonen were battling for position on lap 16 when the pair entered COTA's Turn 1 side-by-side, with the Alpine driver on the outside.

Alonso's momentum ran the Alfa charger wide on the exit, but Raikkonen nevertheless got a run on the Spaniard and passed him.

In a race where several drivers were ordered to give back a position gained after putting all four wheels off the track, Raikkonen was not ordered to do so, a decision that baffled Alonso.

"The rules are a little bit random," quipped the visibly frustrated Alpine driver. "It is the way it is unfortunately. The fans here in America, they saw a show that they didn't deserve".

Alonso later elaborated on his beef with the FIA's call, accusing the stewards of being inconsistent.

"I don't know if you saw the whole race, but there was the same incident I think on lap one with Lando [Norris], in Turn 12. He braked on the inside, overtook Sainz, Sainz went off track, retook the position and [he had to give the place back].

"And then in the last part of the race, when I overtook Giovinazzi for the second time, I braked on the inside at Turn 12. And again, I forced him off track. He regained the position off track and that time he had to give me back the position.

"So, in a way, you always force a guy to go off track when you brake on the inside: you commit to an overtaking. And they [the driver on the outside] need to decide if they back off, or keep the full throttle off the track outside the circuit.

"It is what Sainz did. Giovinazzi did, I did. And we have to give back the position for sure, because you are running full throttle off track. But Kimi didn't. So that's why I felt that it was not consistent.

"I lost like 10 seconds by doing all these things, and obviously the point possibilities were gone."

Although frustrated, Alonso eventually played down the FIA's "strange" call as it had no bearing on a race from which he retired due to a rear wing failure.

"I mean I'm not too mad about this because it is only a one point place;" he added. "And then we have the failure of the rear wing anyway, so it didn't change our race, arguably. So this is not a problem."

After Sunday's race, FIA race director Michael Masi acknowledged that the stewards' call on the Alonso-Raikkonen spat had been "marginal".

"I can understand his frustration," Masi said. "I’ve not heard his frustration, but I can understand it.

"The call with regards to him and Kimi at Turn 1 was certainly marginal. And something we’ll have a discussion with the next drivers meeting with all the drivers about it.

"I think there were two parts to the story, obviously the overtake and looking at the forcing off track. And then the subsequent element of the overtake.

"It’s something we’ll discuss as a group at the next meeting."

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Hamilton admits Red Bull 'had the upper hand' in Austin

Lewis Hamilton admitted that Max Verstappen and Red Bull had simply been too good to beat in this... The post Hamilton admits Red Bull 'had the upper hand' in Austin appeared first on F1i.com.

Hamilton admits Red Bull 'had the upper hand' in Austin

Lewis Hamilton admitted that Max Verstappen and Red Bull had simply been too good to beat in this weekend's United States grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas.

Although COTA has been a Mercedes stronghold during the modern hybrid engine era, this time it was Red Bull who had all the cards even though Hamilton succeeded in taking the lead of the race at the start.

Verstappen retook the top spot by pitting early on lap 11, and again on lap 29. Hamilton stayed out longer hoping that the fresh rubber would have him late race advantage, but he fell short of catching and passing his rival in the final laps.

“It was such a tough race," Hamilton told the media in parc ferme after the chequered flag. “Congratulations to Max, he did a great job today.

“I got a good start, gave it absolutely everything,” he continued. “But at the end of the day, they just had the upper hand this weekend.

"They were just quicker than us this weekend, for whatever reason, I can't pinpoint.

“We gave it everything we had and they were just quicker than us,” he told Sky Sports F1 later. “It looked like they had better rear end, less sliding.

"I gave it everything, but unfortunately could not convert it at the end," he lamented. “I felt for a second we might be able to win the race, but we have to wait for the next one.”

Hamilton said that his momentum was broken once he hit the dirty air spilling off the back end of the Red Bull, with high temperatures and overheating tyres also a factor.

"But we couldn’t really ask for more," he insisted. "A big, big thank you to my team for great pitstops, great hard work throughout the weekend.”

Despite the disappointment of finishing second and falling 12 points behind Verstappen in the drivers championship, Hamilton's spirits were boosted by an outstanding capacity crowd this weekend.

"What an amazing crowd, to perform in front of you guys is such an honour," he told the fans as they surged onto the track after the finish, the first 'track invasion' since the pandemic.

"This is definitely our acceptance into the US, what a place to be," he added. "It's a real honour to be out here, I hope we get more races out here.

"I hope that this will continue to grow because you can tell just how great the fans are out here, so I hope we get to come out more."

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