OCTOBER 30, 2022

Grosjean slams joke FIA controversies

Former F1 driver Romain Grosjean says the kerfuffle surrounding Fernando Alonso's US GP penalty is a "joke".

Fernando Alonso, United States GP 2022
© Alpine

Former F1 driver Romain Grosjean says the kerfuffle surrounding Fernando Alonso's US GP penalty is a "joke".

Most insiders agree that the FIA, race stewards and race directors have not covered themselves with glory this season when it comes to decision making.

Alpine protested Fernando Alonso's high-profile penalty in Austin, after Haas complained that he should indeed be penalised for scoring points with only one mirror intact.

Alonso said the hearing, heard on Thursday in Mexico, was a "very important day for our sport".

"I don't care about seventh as I'm not fighting for the world championship," he said. "But if this (penalty) goes ahead, I think we will open a box that we don't want to open."

In that Thursday hearing, the FIA initially declared that Alpine's protest was inadmissible - before doing a U-turn and agreeing with the Renault-owned team that Haas missed the protest deadline by mere minutes.

Haas boss Gunther Steiner blames the FIA race director for that.

"We are disappointed that in this sport, high-ranking officials say one thing but do not follow their own instructions," he said.

"The race director gave us wrong information," Steiner alleged in Monaco.

"I hope that everything will be resolved because the audience is unhappy that drivers are treated differently."

Formula 1 journalists have been forced to cover in detail the often farcical and complex minutiae of FIA decision-making, with former Haas driver Grosjean calling the latest episode involving Alonso "a joke".

"By wanting to do too well, I think the FIA is unnecessarily complicating its task and finding itself more and more in untenable situations," the Indycar driver told France's L'Equipe.

"First there was the Suzuka crane, where instead of just saying 'We made a mistake', they invented a whole ultra-complex procedure that will not make decisions smoother.

"They've also been pushing this business about the jewellery, when the only unburned skin on my left hand was precisely preserved by my wedding ring. So it was just another pointless fight," Grosjean added.