MONTEMELLO, Spain – Two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso on Friday denounced the FIA at his home Grand Prix, accusing race stewards of incompetence and saying there was a lack of professionalism for the role of director.
The Spaniard was outraged at the Miami Grand Prix two weeks ago when he was penalized late in the race for running for points. At the Spanish Grand Prix on Friday, Alonso claimed that his alpine team had submitted evidence to overturn his punishment, but the stewards had already made their decision and had been working for days.
“We believe it was very unfair and it was just incompetence from the stewards – they were not very professional,” Alonso said. “We arrived after the race with all the evidence … and they were just packing up. They weren’t even in the room. We showed them all the data, they said, ‘Give us five minutes,’ and then they found themselves handcuffed, probably because they had already been fined and they didn’t know how to get back from that document.
“It’s something that shouldn’t be in Formula One, with professionalism, and Formula One is there now.”
Alonso was sentenced twice in Miami, but Alpine protested the late punishment for leaving the track and gaining a position. The team insisted he had returned the time he had acquired and that he had the data to substantiate his claim.
Alonso’s criticism comes amid tensions between the FIA-led race management, F1’s governing body and the teams that emerged from last season’s final in Abu Dhabi. Max Verstappen controversially won the championship in a series of events hosted by then-race director Michael Masier.
Auntie cautiously abstained from protocol and ruled that Verstappen would win a race that would allow Lewis Hamilton to win the championship, which Hamilton dominated until Messi’s decision. The FIA has reviewed an offseason of the sequence and Massey has been removed from the role before this season.
Massey has been replaced by Nils Wititch and Eduardo Freitas, as well as a new remote system that provides extra in-race assistance to the stewards.
Alonso said “definitely not” when asked if racial control had improved with the changes. He also noticed Wititch, who has been the race director at every event this season. Freitas is making his debut as an F1 race director in Barcelona this weekend.
“You need to have some knowledge of racing before you can become a race director or try to monitor a race,” Alonso said. “And I don’t think knowledge is in place right now. I know there is a new race director here. I think Fritz has a lot more experience with the WEC and other departments at the top level. And I think it will improve. “
Alonso was later seen pad on the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit sitting down to talk with FIA President Mohamed Ben Sulaiem, who was elected the week after last year’s Abu Dhabi race.
During the first practice session for the Spanish GP on Friday, Alonso again ran the stewards terribly in Montmelo. Race officials reprimanded the Spaniard for slowing down on the racing line, forcing Hamilton to take evasive action.
Wititch has experience as a race director in DTM, Formula 2 and Formula 3. He played a supporting role in the F1 race before his promotion this season. Freitas has been the race director of the World Endurance Championships and GT and Turing Car Racing.
Drivers have been at loggerheads with Wititch for more than a month after the race director banned wearing jewelry and non-underwear while in the car. The seven-time champion said Hamilton has been given a two-run break to compete with the hole, which can only be removed by surgery, and he protested the ban in Miami as much as he could fit on the track after jewelry; Sebastian Vettel, meanwhile, wore a pair of underwear over his firesuit as he walked through the paddock in his own protest.