Penalties to Luca Ghiotto and Jordan King in the FIA Formula 2 Feature race in Budapest for infringing Safety Car rules have been dropped.
After the race was completed, both Ghiotto and King were handed five second time penalties for not complying with the delta time set on their ECU during the safety car. Their penalties demoted the two drivers down in sixth and seventh in the classification.
However, in a post-race hearing from the race stewards with the two drivers, the stewards found footage on board from the MP Motorsport car, seeing four cars closely packed in a high speed area of the circuit prior to the incident. Ralph Boschung retired from the race with an engine-related failure, pouring oil onto the circuit.
The stewards after seeing the footage and noted the situation that they were in, understanding that if they’ve slowed down near the scene of the incident a crash could of possibly occurred, the stewards reversed their decisions in the interest of fairness.
“It was alleged that both drivers committed an infringement during the start of the Safety Car procedure and did not comply with the minimum time set by the ECU,” said in a statement by Formula 2.
“It had been determined during the race that both cars had driven more than a second below the minimum ECU delta time in marshalling sectors 7 and 8. Both were handed five-second time penalties, which left Ghiotto in 6th and King in 7th.
“However, in a post-race hearing, the stewards discussed the incident in detail with the two drivers and examined footage from the MP Motorsport car. They found the situation to be relatively unique, as four cars had been running in a tight pack in a high-speed area prior to the incident. There was oil on the track from the incident that brought out the safety car.
“The stewards found that it would have been quite difficult, if not almost impossible, to slow down quickly enough without potentially causing a major incident. As such, in the interest of fairness, the stewards found the normal five-second penalty to be inappropriate and have removed it.“
The removal of the penalty means the UNI-Virtuosi Racing driver of Ghiotto is handed back his fourth place finish, whilst King is promoted to sixth place. DAMS‘ Sérgio Sette Câmara is now placed in fifth and Nobuharu Matsushita for Carlin ended in seventh. Mick Schumacher remains in eighth and will start on reverse grid pole for the Sprint race.