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Formula 1

Ferrari challenging Sainz penalty through F1 right of review

by Scott Mitchell-Malm
3 min read

Ferrari has petitioned Formula 1’s governing body the FIA for a review of Carlos Sainz’s penalty in the Australian Grand Prix.

Sainz was given a five-second time penalty in Melbourne for hitting and spinning Fernando Alonso at a chaotic late restart after a red flag.

That restart triggered another red flag with just two laps left and meant the race ended after a single outlap behind the safety car, making Sainz’s five-second penalty extremely punishing as the field was compressed.

He fell from fourth place to 12th, consigning Ferrari to a point-less finish as its other driver Charles Leclerc crashed out on the opening lap.

Sainz was furious with the penalty because it was handed out before the end of the race, which meant he was able to make his case before the stewards.

Carlos Sainz Ferrari F1 Australian GP

Ferrari submitted a petition to make use of the right of review mechanism on Thursday, and team principal Vasseur hopes to have an “open discussion with them”.

Vasseur said: “The biggest frustration was from Carlos, you heard it on the radio, to not have the hearing. Because the case was very special.

“In this case, I think it would have made sense considering that [the competitive portion of] the race was over and it was not affecting the podium.”

Conversely, Alpine team-mates Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon had a hearing after their own crash at the same restart, and the stewards took no action against either driver.

The FIA tends to wait and hear from drivers involved in a collision if they retire from the grand prix because there is no point in handing out an in-race penalty, as it makes no material difference.

However, the stewards did not even formally investigate another accident in that mess, when Logan Sargeant speared into the back of Nyck de Vries and took out both cars.

Nyck de Vries AlphaTauri Logan Sargeant Williams F1 Australian GP

Ferrari has indicated that these inconsistencies are why it is making a right of review petition, as Vasseur said it is “for the good of the sport to avoid having three cases on the same corner and not the same decision”.

To get the review, Ferrari needs to demonstrate that it has new evidence not available to the stewards at the time of the original decision.

If the stewards believe that Ferrari’s case is admissible there will be another hearing convened to review the case.

“As we are discussing with the FIA I don’t want to disclose any details of this discussion,” said Vasseur.

“The only thing is that about Gasly and Ocon, we had Sargeant and De Vries at Turn 1 – the actions of the stewards were not the same.

“But I prefer to avoid making any comments.”

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