Ferrari have sent a petition to F1’s governing body, the FIA, with the hope of securing a right of review regarding the penalty handed out to Carlos Sainz during the Australian Grand Prix, team boss Frederic Vasseur has revealed.
Sainz tipped Aston Martin rival Fernando Alonso into a spin during a dramatic late restart at Albert Park, which also saw Logan Sargeant run into the back of Nyck de Vries and the Alpines of Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon come to blows.
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While the order was reset to the previous restart ahead of a final lap to the chequered flag behind the Safety Car, news of a five-second time penalty for Sainz came through, prompting a string of frustrated messages from the Spaniard over his radio.
Sainz went on to cross the line in fourth position, but his aforementioned penalty dropped him out of the points and all the way down to 12th – the situation leaving him “too angry to talk” in the immediate aftermath of the race (as you can see in the clip above).
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“We did a petition for a review of the case – we sent it to the FIA,” Vasseur confirmed on Thursday. “As we are discussing with the FIA… I don’t want to discuss any details of this discussion. The only thing is [the] Gasly/Ocon [collision], for sure we had also Sargeant/De Vries [colliding] into Turn 1, and the reaction of the stewards was not the same.”
Pushed on the next steps, he said: “The process is that first they will have a look on our petition to see if they can re-open the case, then we’ll have a second hearing a bit later with the same stewards for the next meeting, about the decision itself.
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“What we can expect is at least to have an open discussion with them, also for the good of the sport to avoid to have these kind of decisions when you have three cases on the same corner and not the same decision.”
As per Article 14 of the FIA’s International Sporting Code, competitors can request a right of review up to 14 days after a ruling from the stewards if “a significant and relevant new element is discovered which was unavailable to the parties seeking the review at the time of the decision concerned”.
Sainz crossed the finish line fourth but dropped to 12th when his penalty was applied
As for when a potential review might take place, Vasseur said: “It could be [at the next race] in Baku or it could be before, but [we] prefer to do it before. You have 14 days to do the petition, the request for review, then it’s up to them to decide.
“They have to do it in a short period, [but] it’s true for once that we have four weeks between the two races [in Australia and Azerbaijan] and it’s a bit more flexible.”
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He signed off: “We have our argumentation, for sure, and I will keep the argumentation for the FIA, as a first step. For sure, we are expecting [a] review of the situation, because it’s a petition for a review. We are not going there to get the same decision.”
Ferrari left the Australian Grand Prix weekend empty-handed, with Sainz’s no-score following a first-lap retirement for team mate Charles Leclerc, who bounced off Lance Stroll’s Aston Martin and into the gravel trap.