Formula 1

FIA Reject Ferrari’s Right of Review Request over Sainz’s Australian Grand Prix Penalty

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Credit: Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

The FIA have rejected the right of review request from Scuderia Ferrari surrounding the penalty handed to Carlos Sainz Jr. during the Australian Grand Prix despite the Italian team believing they had a case to have the penalty overturned.

Sainz was handed a five-second time penalty for colliding with Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team’s Fernando Alonso on the chaotic lap fifty-seven restart at Albert Park, which began a chain reaction behind him.  The race was red-flagged due to crashed cars and a lot of debris covering the track and the order taken back to the restart, but stewards opted to penalise Sainz.

The race resumed for one lap to the chequered flag with Sainz running in fourth, but the time penalty relegated him to twelfth and outside of the points-paying positions.

Ferrari believed they had a case to have the penalty overturned and presented their case on Tuesday, only for the FIA to throw out the request, feeling there was no significant new information given to them by the Maranello-based team. 

“There is no significant and relevant new element which was unavailable to the parties seeking the review at the time of the decision concerned,” read the FIA statement.  “The Petition is therefore dismissed.

“Our decision that SAI was in breach of Appendix L, Chapter IV, Article 2 d) of the FIA International Sporting Code for causing the collision with ALO was made in-race (Document no. 46). We decided that SAI was wholly to blame for the collision.

“We considered the fact that this collision took place at the first corner on the first lap of the restart, when, by convention, the Stewards would typically take a more lenient view of incidents. However, we decided that notwithstanding that it was the equivalent of a first lap incident, we considered that there was sufficient gap for SAI to take steps to avoid the collision and failed to do so. We therefore imposed a 5 second time penalty.

“The Petition contends that there are new significant and relevant elements, which were unavailable at the time of our decision being made (and presumably, had we had the benefit of these elements, we would not have made our decision).As a result, the result of the Australian Grand Prix is now finalised, with Sainz classified twelfth after being deemed wholly at fault for the crash with Alonso.”

Ferrari to work with FIA to Improve Policing in Formula 1

Ferrari reluctantly accepted the decision and will be working with the FIA and the nine other teams on the grid to look into improving the way the sport is policed.

The team believed they had sufficient and significant new information to give the stewards surrounding the crash with Alonso, but they have respected the decision not to grant the right of review despite this.

“We acknowledge the FIA decision not to grant us a right of review in relation to the penalty imposed on Carlos Sainz at the 2023 Australian Grand Prix,” read a statement from Ferrari.

“We are naturally disappointed and felt that we had provided sufficient significant new elements for the FIA to re-examine the decision especially in the context of the particular conditions and multiple incidents that occurred during the final restart.

“We are however respectful of the process and of the FIA decision.  We are now looking to entering broader discussions with the FIA, F1 and all the Teams, with the aim of further improving the policing of our sport, in order to ensure the highest level of fairness and consistency that our sport deserves.”

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