Fernando Alonso said the stewards’ enforcement of Formula 1’s track limits rules was “random” during the United States Grand Prix.Kimi Raikkonen, who ran wide at turn one and was allowed to keep the position.
Later in the race Alonso was told to hand a place to Antonio Giovinazzi after running wide. In a further incident the Alfa Romeo driver was instructed to do the same after he went off
“It was normal battles but the rules are a little bit random,” said Alonso after the race.
A conversation between his team and FIA F1 race director Michael Masi discussing the Raikkonen incident was played during the broadcast of the race. However Alonso, who has criticised the stewards’ decisions previously this year, said he isn’t interested in discussing it futher.
“It’s the way it is,” he said. “Unfortunately for the fans in America they saw a show that they didn’t deserve.”
Alonso’s track limits incidents in Austin
Raikkonen passed Alonso on the outside of turn one on lap 16. The pair made contact and Raikkonen ran onto the run-off. Alonso immediately complained his rival had gained an advantage off the circuit.
“Raikkonen overtook me outside turn one, I need the position quickly,” he reported. Several laps passed without a response, following which he repeated “I need the position quickly, what are they doing?”
“They’re looking into it,” said his race engineer Karel Loos. “There’s nothing to look at,” Alonso answered.
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The stewards ruled in Raikkonen’s favour, to Alonso’s displeasure. “Okay mate apparently that is allowed,” said Loos. “No further action. We need to get him on-track.”
“Okay let’s fucking do so on the track,” Alonso replied. “Fucking rules. It’s clear.”
A few laps later Alonso found himself in a battle for position with the other Alfa Romeo of Antonio Giovinazzi. He lunged down the inside of his rival at turn 12, ran well wide, and kept the position after rejoining the track. Giovinazzi complained about Alonso’s move on the radio.
With the Alpine driver clearly believing the lack of a penalty for Raikkonen demonstrated he should be allowed to keep the position, the team’s sporting director Alan Permane raised the matter with FIA F1 race director Michael Masi, who made it clear he did not agree.
|Permane||So Michael can I just confirm we can overtake off the track if we’re going around the outside of another car, yeah?|
|Masi||No you can’t overtake off the track.|
|Permane||Well that’s what Raikkonen’s just done.|
|Permane||So it’s okay.|
|Masi||No, it’s not okay.|
|Permane||But it’s okay for Raikkonen?|
|Masi||No it’s not okay for anyone.|
Soon afterwards Alonso was advised to hand back the position he had gained. “We’ve been requested to give the place back to Giovinazzi or we will get a five-second penalty,” said Loos.
Alonso pressed on to begin with, seemingly trying to build up enough of a lead over his rival that the penalty would not cost him a position when he pitted.
“At the moment we’re 2.4 seconds ahead of Giovinazzi,” Loos told him later. “We need five before the stop.”
“Fernando we would like to give it back, please,” Loos then added. “Okay,” Alonso replied, and the position was relinquished.
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He eventually re-passed Giovinazzi, but not without further track limits controversy. Again Alonso passed his rival at turn 12, but this time Giovinazzi ran wide and stayed ahead.
“I guess he needs to give me back?” said Alonso on his radio. “For the same thing. He was outside the same corner.”
“He was outside turn 12,” Alonso pressed. This time Giovinazzi was told to give up the place. “He’s been told to give it,” confirmed Loos.
2021 United States Grand Prix
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65 comments on ““Random” rules let F1’s American fans down says Alonso after track limits row”
24th October 2021, 22:31
It’s the wrong former world champion that’s retiring.
24th October 2021, 22:36
Indeed, it should be both of them…
24th October 2021, 22:50
@psynrg That’s a bit harsh on Vettel don’t you think?
24th October 2021, 23:33
No, both Kimi and Seb had been spinning more than once in crucial moments. Both should retire actually.
24th October 2021, 23:38
25th October 2021, 0:03
@huhhii @psynrg I don’t think Kimi or Alonso did anything wrong. Frankly both race the right way and unfortunately they are in the minority.
I think people look at Alonso as someone who only looks for himself and then they don’t stop to think whether or not he has a point, especially if another beloved f1 driver is involved.
I 100% agree with Alonso’s comments, the rules are not consistent. If kimi’s move is fair so is Alonso’s on Gio and so is Antonio’s on Alonso.
It is simple, if you are going to rely on the outside of the track to race then all is fair, if you are going to stick to track limits then you should not overtake or keep a position by going off track, pretty simple.
Kimi was not going to pass Alonso had he stuck to track limits neither was Alonso on his lunge at Giovinazzi and Gio was not going to keep track position by respecting the white lines.
Whilst some might argue, these scenarios are different in a multitude of ways, these scenarios are in essence the exact same situation.
If it is this simple why was this a problem? I’m going to guess because of lap 1 t1. By punishing Kimi then you start questioning why was the start of the race penalty free. I think this might have subconsciously affected the decision, then when the same thing happened elsewhere on the track, the stewards saw it for what it is. It is either this or for some unfathomable reason the stewards believe that passing off track is different to passing off track.
25th October 2021, 7:10
Well, the only reason why all that happened was that Alonso missjudge the braking distance and the gap between his car and Raikkonen’s while Kimi was getting into the corner. There was simple no way that Fernando would have made that corner even if he was Alone in the track, he would just go straight into that run off area. So hadn’t Alonso done that, Kimi wouldn’t have to defend his position (whilst keeping all four wheels inside that white line on the green asphalt. Fernando made a mistake and paid for it.
25th October 2021, 5:04
@huhhii In fairness, Alonso never crashed into the back of his teammate midway through a straight due to a lack of concentration. I think the right champion is retiring just fine.
25th October 2021, 15:04
Not into his teammate but on the other drivers (2016 & 2013).
26th October 2021, 16:50
@mashiat iIn fariness, Kimi never crashed into another deliberately, or got a massive benefit from his team mate’s crashing, or disrupted his team mate’s pit stop. And this all happened when Alonso was at his “peak”.
Yup mate, it’s the slower, stupider, and the less talented that stays. Unfortunaly.
26th October 2021, 17:50
You have no answer about the 2014 season when they were team-mates for Ferrari: Alonso 161-55 Räikkönen in the standings – How could the “slower, stupider, and the less talented” have beaten your idol so soundly? It’s more than time for you to make an excuse for it at least, not just ignore. Why only the lows of his career have either vanished from your memory or been distorted to fit your views?
And I’m not against Kimi who is a legend and a funny character, loved for his authenticity. I’m against delusional fans who worship a driver like a god (something that Kimi himself would say “Bwoah” about) and bash his on-track rivals like Fernando, when in reality those two have a lot of respect for each other. So it’s useless.
27th October 2021, 18:08
@rodewulf 2014 Ferrari was fully built according to Fernando’s feedback and desire so of course it didn’t suit Kimi. Had they stayed team mates Kimi would’ve easily beaten Alonso in 2015 with more equal machinery.
And I really don’t care what Kimi thinks of Alonso. He also respects Michael Schumacher who I see as one of the slowest drivers to ever win a WDC, way worse than Alonso. I idolize Kimi but I make up my own mind.
27th October 2021, 20:05
Like he beat Vettel in his next years at Ferrari? Admit it, Kimi entered a phase of decadence after his amazing peak of the mid-2000s, when he fought Michael, Fernando and Lewis in the highest level. He’s extremely talented but it can’t be denied. As predictable those are just lame excuses, which no one ever needed to make up for Alonso because he always managed to adapt to whenever was thrown at him, like in this current season he took little time to go back to his top form.
As an insolated fact it’s good actually, not following what your favourite driver says just because he said it. Such a pity that it goes to an absurd direction though.
3rd November 2021, 22:20
@rodewulf You should probably stick with the cartoons as you can’t grasp the complexity of F1.
26th October 2021, 17:57
@huhhii Slower? OK mate. By your logic Giovinazzi must be the 2nd coming of Senna.
26th October 2021, 18:11
@mashiat He is very talented but not yet there. However Gio is still closer to Senna than Alonso has been, is, or will be.
24th October 2021, 22:36
Whiny Alonso is back, couldn’t even finish one season before reverting to his constant moaning about how unfair the entire world of F1 is to him.
24th October 2021, 23:27
I also note that he has started doing what he did at McLaren too.
If he isn’t in the points at the end of the race he retires with some mechanical excuse so he can keep his “every race he finished, he finished in the points” stats up.
24th October 2021, 23:42
Belgium P11 (should have crashed out this non-race to keep the record accoring to you)
Turkey P16 (just last race)
Is one retirement in his last 16 races not enough to disprove your stupid point?
Now Alonso haters have come back en masse and for more than a while he’s been clever, outspoken and polemical as he always had been. His comeback couldn’t feel more real.
25th October 2021, 4:53
Whinyando was on vacation. Now he’s fully back.
24th October 2021, 22:36
His driving today was pretty erratic,he was pushing out wide every car he raced.
At least he didn’t get away with it like in the 2016 race when he crashed Massa and overtook Sainz the same way he tried to do with Giovinazzi today
25th October 2021, 0:35
Well, Alonso is not the best racer of his generation through 100% racecraft perfection, but rather due to risk management on his moves during a race. He started from the back of the grid and was on the verge of points, so if there was a moment for him to be cheeky and even a little reckless, that was the time. The higher risks/rewards choice outweighted the lack of gains he was heading towards. Had he found himself running confortably in a nice points position, for sure his approach to those situations would be very different, as we had seen he doing so many times this season.
26th October 2021, 12:36
@rodewulf That’s actually a great point regarding Alonso’s approach. He knew that Alpine didn’t have the pace around COTA so he took some extra risks in his wheel 2 wheel combat.
24th October 2021, 22:37
Alonso ramming into Kimi and then claiming he should have the position back was laughable. In my opinion the stewards ruled these incidents perfectly.
F1 frog (@f1frog)
24th October 2021, 23:10
Totally agree. The stewards got every decision right, and Alan Permane’s petty moaning to Michael Masi was the worst moment of the race.
25th October 2021, 4:55
Permane has a stick you know where for Kimi, even when driving for them.
25th October 2021, 4:57
Kimi was great!
Rammed out yet kept at it.
25th October 2021, 7:46
@hotbottoms Gaining a lasting advantage from an off-track excursion is unacceptable regardless of why driver x left a track. Not that Kimi necessarily gained any from his brief off-track excursion.
25th October 2021, 8:04
Yeah, @hotbottoms this account
forgets to mention that Alonso did the work to make sure his rival had to go off track. Both lost a significant amount of floor bodywork in the process.
As you say @jerejj, Kimi did not gain an advantage, rather Alonso TRIED to gain an advantage by not giving room, and ultimately did not succeed.
25th October 2021, 9:32
You should know the rules, Alonso was in front, so he owns the line. He didn’t deliberately push Kimi off the track. What should Kimi do? Hit the brake. It’s simple. Alonso had no obligation to give Kimi Space.
24th October 2021, 22:37
The stewarding was fine today. Overtaking after leaving the track because you have been pushed wide in an attempt to prevent you from completing the move is allowed. Completely ignoring where the track begins or ends to overtake someone is not.
25th October 2021, 5:01
Yep. Alonso trying to put off Kimi who was having none of it.
25th October 2021, 8:06
Yup, was actually a nice comparison of what IS allowed (not completely giving in after you are barged off track by an opponent trying to prevent you from overtaking) and what is just a driver not even bothering to stay on track and use the runoff to gain speed (both Alonso and Giovanazzi a bit later in the race) @paeschli
24th October 2021, 22:37
I liked the corner cut at Sochi, but there was not much to enjoy today…
24th October 2021, 22:39
Trying to be cheeky is all fun and games, but playing this up as a campaign against him is just not very endearing.
24th October 2021, 22:58
I think the stewarding in all these decisions were fine, but there is still too much ‘stewarding discretion’. The often used line “and gaining an advantage” is applied at will.
24th October 2021, 23:01
Last race battle between hamilton and perez, perez should had been penalized for taking the pit entrance after hamilton pushed him off according to alonso.
25th October 2021, 0:07
@luca not according to alonso but according to the stewards, they ordered 2 drivers to give back a position for something they did not care about 2 weeks ago.
25th October 2021, 1:09
That is actually right. The rule is that the car on the inside has the line and the car on the outside stays there at his peril. No one seems to like this rule but that’s how it is. It is btw why verstappen got partial blame in silverstone and why he got penalized in monza. Perez should have been penalized.
25th October 2021, 5:28
Perez got penalized for pushing leclerc, norris did not for doing the same to perez a few races back. Yay for the rules!!!
24th October 2021, 23:08
This guy has been an embarrassment for like a decade now.
25th October 2021, 5:06
He can give it (like in Hungary) but then he can’t take it.
He’s always been like that.
24th October 2021, 23:10
I was really hoping the stewards would award Alonso a 5 second penalty for deliberately causing the collision with Raikonnen :)
24th October 2021, 23:43
I think the article slightly misrepresents both Raikonnen and Giovinazzi, both of whom were pushed off track, rather than simply running wide, especially so in the case of Raikonnen.
Alan Permane’s rant was just embarrassing, even if he may not have realised it would be broadcast.
24th October 2021, 23:45
This radio message is in contention for radio of the year along with Toto’s email message in Silverstone. The tone of Permane just made this even funnier.
25th October 2021, 5:09
Remember 2013 with Kimi when he was still driving for them?
That dude has always been cringey.
John H (@john-h)
25th October 2021, 8:48
Yep. It was like being at primary school. Masi was trying hard to keep his patience, kudos to him.
Tommy C (@tommy-c)
25th October 2021, 0:51
The whole saga was a little infantile I must say. The Alo-Rai incident was completely incomparable to the the Alo-Gio one. I wonder if Fernando will change his mind after seeing the replays. By the letter of the law, Fernando was arguably guilty of forcing Kimi off the track but these are the sort of battles we don’t want to see penalties for.
25th October 2021, 5:12
Yep. He wants intervention only when it suits him.
26th October 2021, 18:11
He’s not unbiased when the topic is his own race (no driver is) but between not taking a tighter racing line and completing the pass slightly off-track the call was marginal, even the FIA admitted it, so there is ground for discussion. And of course for many here it’s convenient to forget when Fernando did agree with the stewards despite their decision being against himself. What doesn’t fit well the narrative is simply forgotten.
25th October 2021, 1:05
T1 incident was kind of the result of the existing rule that the car inside has the line and the corner. If the other car doesn’t yield the exit has he “hit” the car on the inside? That would seem to be the corollary. Even though it seems odd when the car on the inside is literally shoving the other one off. I think we should revisit this rule/more. Fans don’t understand it. It causes stewarding controversies. It isn’t really good for the racing either. We have drs and weird tires etc to spice things up then we let a car put another off the track to stop a pass.
25th October 2021, 4:47
Still thinks F1 revolves around him.
The fans got an amazing show with or without him.
26th October 2021, 18:23
Doesn’t he have a point? Here we are discussing Alonso’s opinions and the battles he took part in his race, even though he isn’t fighting for the championship, the article about his alledged shenanigans once again is 50+ comments, a similar number to articles about Hamilton/Verstappen and Mercedes/Red Bull duos in the WDC and WCC fights. So yes, Formula 1 still revolves around him too despite his car not being supercompetitive or anything and you’re actually contributing to that being a bit of a whiner about his attitude!
25th October 2021, 7:44
Presumably, Kimi’s positioning didn’t impact his acceleration speed versus staying on track, i.e., he didn’t get ahead slightly later because of that.
John H (@john-h)
25th October 2021, 8:46
Alonso drove him off the track. I didn’t see Hamilton saying Perez overtook him off the track at Turkey.
Shame, I was starting to like Fernando again, now he’s back to his old self. If you drive someone off track, no they can’t keep 4 wheels inside it. Jeez.
25th October 2021, 15:23
I think Mercedes should have made a call to the fuzz about it. It was really two violations—off track keeping position and the pit bollard violation. Maybe wolff is cowed by rbrs complaints about people complaining to the refs.
26th October 2021, 18:28
An irregular move doesn’t make the other one more regular than it would be by the letter of the law. This would open a can of worms (again).
25th October 2021, 8:51
haha Alonso I think he should watch the footage before he criticise the stewards. The bigger problem in my opinion is all the runoff area’s. The track should be more unforgiving when you go off than we wouldn’t have discussions about track limits.
25th October 2021, 9:35
Well, the stewards were right in all the situations mentioned above. Kimi was pushed wide, but he was still behind Alonso when he got on the track. He then passed Alonso at the next corner, doing so on the track. Meanwhile Alonso passed Giovinazzi by running very wide off the track and doing so basically off the track. If he wasn’t so wide, he obviously wasn’t going to pass Giovinazzi, so clearly gained an advantage. Giovinazzi keeping place ahead of Alonso later was a carbon copy of previous incident – Giovinazzi managed to save the position only because he ran wide off the track and deserved to give back the position to Alonso.
25th October 2021, 13:16
He deliberately pushed a car off the track, and wants the other guy punished?
I like Alonso, but this was grating. It was enough after Sochi.
26th October 2021, 13:20
@balue that is the line. Did Ham push Max off right at the start?
Not grating on the slightest. Masi needs to take action, you can’t change the rules mid race.
26th October 2021, 18:43
People got the impression that he pushed Kimi off the track (even deliberately) mostly because of the angle of the corner which simply couldn’t be much tighter than that. They should watch Fernando’s onboard as well as it clearly shows that his racing line was not that unusual beyond a normal defensive approach. Should he have really pushed his old rival Kimi off track, causing him to lose control, that certainly would warrant a penalty for himself. The fact that the FIA later admitted that the call was marginal says it all, so there’s not a conspiracy against or in favour of Fernando going on, just for the record.
27th October 2021, 3:40
@rodewulf I think you replied to the wrong person. I simply cannot fathom how incompetent Masi is, he surprises me every time.
27th October 2021, 6:44
@peartree I replied to give support to your comments on the matter which that I agree with and also I tried to understand what people thought to reach another conclusion, so those don’t include you. Sorry if it wasn’t that clear.
28th October 2021, 14:14
@rodewulf ok got it.
Comments are closed.