Fernando Alonso accuses Formula One chiefs of ‘incompetence’

Two-time Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso has slammed the FIA and accused this season's race directors as 'incompetent' following a penalty issued in Miami.

The Alpine driver was given a five-second time penalty at the end of the race for gaining an advantage off the track, which dropped him out of the top-ten and cost him a points finish.

Alonso has been left furious with the incident and has not held back with his comments, which are only a small part of F1's ongoing frustration with the FIA. Alonso told the BBC: "We believe it was very unfair and incompetence from the stewards. They were not very professional. I missed one corner and gave back the time. They saw the pink colour [for fastest] on the next sector and took it without asking for proof.

"We arrived back with the proofs and they were packing up, not even in the room. We showed them in the data and they found themselves with the hands tied because they had already issued the penalty. It was very bad. It is something that should not happen in F1 with the professionalism and the standards F1 has right now."

Niels Wittich has been F1's race director in the majority of races this season but shares his role with Eduardo Freitas, who will be in charge for the Barcelona Grand Prix, and Alonso criticised Wittich for not responding for requests from driver's to install an impact-absorbing barrier on the corner where Carlos Sainz crashed in Miami.

"We saw a couple of things already that showed we still need to improve a lot. You need to have some knowledge about racing before being a race director or trying to monitor a race and I don't think that knowledge is in place at the moment.

"There is a a new race director here. Freitas has a lot more experienced at world endurance championship and the top level and that will already improve things. Even the accident we had in Miami with Carlos and Esteban, we pushed to have some barriers there and nobody did anything. When you don't have that knowledge of racing, it is difficult to talk."

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The FIA's position was that the corner was not a priority for a barrier as it was not a safety concern, a position they still stand by, but both Sainz and Esteban Ocon expressed opposing beliefs following their crashes.

A hard line has also been adopted for the restriction of jewellery in the cockpit, which has seen resistance from Lewis Hamilton, while Sebastian Vettel also took a swipe at restrictions from the FIA that driver's couldn't wear their own underpants as they're not fireproof by wandering around the paddock with boxers over his race suit.

The BBC has reported that F1 is exploring whether they need the FIA to be involved in the sport and are looking at ways in which they could be removed from their position.

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