The US GP definitely wasn't Fernando Alonso's race, nor Alpine's, as the French team interrupted their points-scoring streak after fifteen races in a row, the longest active among the grid, with a double DNF.
After qualifying in P14, the Spanish driver began his race in P19 due to an engine switch, moved his way in the field up to eleventh place. However, he was left displeased by two overtaking episodes, both related to Alfa Romeo drivers, which happened at the beginning of the race. On Lap 16, Kimi Raikkonen slightly hit and passed him by going wide at Turn 1 without any punishment.
During Lap 22, Alonso overtook Antonio Giovinazzi at Turn 12, but was later forced to return him the position, with Alpine immediately confronting Micheal Masi via radio, as they believed the two episodes were rather similar and both should have been left unpunished.
A third episode happened in the same spot shortly after when Antonio Giovinazzi went wide at Turn 12 to try and get closer to the points by overtaking Alonso, but, just like before, had to let the Spaniard by to avoid a more severe time penalty.
In the post-race interviews, Alonso was still upset about the punishment, and commented:
"The rules are a little bit random. It’s the way it is. Unfortunately, you know, for the fans here in America and everything, they saw today a show that they didn’t deserve."
"There were some incidents that perhaps we need to look at. Two of them were penalised and one was not," he added.
But this wasn't the last of his bad luck. The two-time World Champion was forced to retire his car later on Lap 49, due to wing damage that almost made him spin out of track:
“We broke the rear wing, so yes, at one point I nearly crashed in the penultimate corner. Luckily that did happen there and not in the first sector."
Alonso went on to explain that, while the reasons for the issues were unknown at the time, he believes the "bumpy" surface of COTA might have worsened the situation:
“I looked in the mirror and the rear wing was bent rearwards, so, maybe the bumps or whatever, it was very demanding for the car today. We need to analyse it because at the moment we’re not sure why it happened.”
However, there's something good to make out of the pointless weekend, as the Alpines showed a pace good enough to challenge their direct competitors:
"It was an unfortunate end to today and overall a challenging weekend for us. Our race was quite good considering we started from the back of the grid. We were heading towards a possible top ten finish after a few back and forth battles with the Alfa Romeos & Aston Martins," he concluded, highlighting the almost ten positions recovered in less than fifty laps.
Buenas batallas y camino de los puntos aún saliendo desde atrás. Mucho mejor ritmo hoy que en las prácticas! Mexico , vamos a por ti 😍— Fernando Alonso (@alo_oficial) October 24, 2021
Good battles today and on the fight for points starting from behind. Much better pace today than in practice! Mexico, we are going for you 😍 pic.twitter.com/FdVhcixSXM