Williams technical chief Pat Symonds says Fernando Alonso should not have got away with his contentious late-race overtake on Felipe Massa in the United States Grand Prix.
Alonso barged past former teammate Massa for sixth place with five laps left at Turn 16 and, whereas the Brazilian picked up a puncture in the collision and was forced to pit, Alonso emerged unscathed and went on to then pass Carlos Sainz to claim a fifth-place finish.
The incident was looked into by the FIA after the race, the stewards ultimately deciding against issuing a penalty.
Massa himself had stated prior that he believed Alonso was to blame for the collision, and his sentiment was echoed by tech chief Symonds, who was not in agreement with the stewards' decision of no further action.
"The FIA determined it’s a racing incident, which I don’t agree with," Symonds said.
"You only talk about the incident rather than the consequence of it. So the consequence is not - shouldn’t be - part of the judgement. The driver and team managers state their opinions as to what they feel and it’s up to the stewards then to decide. They’ve decided it’s a racing incident.
"I think that Alonso braked so late. Even when he hit Felipe, he still left the track. So having used Felipe as a brake, he still left the track.
"And then he did the same thing with Sainz a couple of laps later. He didn’t hit Sainz, but he was so far off the track, I thought he was going to Mexico.”
Alonso and Massa were running in formation behind Sainz in the closing stages, the Toro Rosso driver going for a long stint on softs and holding up the two medium-shod cars behind him.
Symonds insisted that Massa was going to bide his time in passing Sainz as he waited for the Spaniard's soft tyres to drop off - only for the Alonso contact to remove Massa from the battle.
"We were just sitting there. We had a bit of a go at Sainz. It wasn’t easy.
"But we could see his tyres would just come down and down and down. So we actually turned the engine back, we said 'let’s wait, we’ll get him at the end'. And then, of course, we weren’t there at the end."
US GP outcome "very, very disappointing"
While the COTA race marked only the second time in the past seven grands prix that Williams outscored its direct rival Force India, Symonds conceded he was not happy with the outcome of the event.
After both Williams driver Valtteri Bottas and Force India's Nico Hulkenberg were out of the picture through opening-lap contact, the Grove-based team looked in with a chance to gain big points on Force India when Hulkenberg's teammate Sergio Perez was spun by Daniil Kvyat.
However, Perez recovered to finish eighth, just one spot behind Massa, meaning Williams only clawed back two points and remains eight adrift of Force India.
Asked to assess the race, Symonds said bluntly: "Very, very disappointing.
"I mean the Virtual Safety Car and Sainz’s sort of free pitstop effectively ruined our weekend, with Felipe, because had it not have been for that, we were clearly ahead. We would have never got backed into Alonso.
"And then Valtteri. No fault of his own, no fault of Hulkenberg’s either.
"[We had] two cars that were definitely stronger than Force India this weekend, didn’t get what we should have got from it."
Additional reporting by Erwin Jaeggi