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F1 News: How Alpine used the Oxford Dictionary to get Alonso's P7 back

Alpine found a way to return Alonso's America P7.

Alpine resorted to using the Oxford Dictionary as evidence to submit for the FIA to overturn the penalty applied to Fernando Alonso at the American GP. 

Haas F1 Team's protest against Fernando Alonso after the American GP was successful, with the FIA awarding the Spaniard 10-second stop-and-go penalty (converted into a 30-second penalty) after the race. 

Alpine immediately announced their appeal against this decision, with the French squad emphasising that Haas submitted their protest to the stewards after the set deadline. 

Haas's representative put forward the following argument to the FIA regarding the team's delayed protest submission:

"Haas would have submitted a handwritten protest to the Stewards within the 30 minutes had it not been told by the FIA official in Race Control that it had an hour to do so."

Magnussen is relegated back to P9 in America after this decision. 

Magnussen is relegated back to P9 in America after this decision. 

The American squad, therefore, defended its position by underlining that the reason for their delayed response was due to the information given to them by the FIA. 

However, Alpine's Alan Permane emphasised that there is no such excuse for failing to produce and submit a protest within the set time. 

The Alpine representative submitted the following:

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"a. There is no 'leeway' available to the stewards to extend the 30-minute deadline... unless it is 'impossible' for a party to lodge the protest within the deadline period. 

"b. "The word 'impossible' sets a 'very high bar' - the Oxford Dictionary defines it as being something that cannot happen or be achieved and that, in this case, there was nothing preventing Haas from lodging the protest in time."

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Such technicalities and nuanced arguments are somewhat exhausting to keep up with several days after a Grand Prix but were crucial in the FIA's eventual decision.

Moving forward, the FIA will need to be more decisive and set out more explicit guidelines for such procedures to avoid the confusion and uncertainty created in these scenarios. 

Below is the FIA's conclusion on the matter:

"The stewards accept the argument of Alpine that the word 'impossible' indeed sets a very high bar and that, in hindsight, that very high bar was not met in this case. 

"Of significant importance is the fact, unknown to the Stewards previously, that Haas could have lodged a handwritten protest within the 30-minute deadline. 

"By definition, this fact alone means that it was not "impossible" to lodge the protest within 30 minutes, and therefore the original protest should not have been admitted. 

"Accordingly, the Stewards determine that the original protest was not admissible and therefore, the decision in document 61 [Alonso's penalty] is rendered null and void. 

"No penalty is to be applied to Car 14, and the Final Classification should be amended and reissued."