–by Mark Cipolloni–
Ferrari’s attempt to overturn the penalty that dropped Carlos Sainz from fourth to 12th in the Australian Grand Prix has been rejected. FIA decided there was “no significant and relevant new element” to be considered.
After a hearing that took place on Tuesday morning, the FIA stated: “There is no significant and relevant new element which was unavailable to the parties seeking the review at the time of the decision concerned. The Petition is therefore dismissed.”
The FIA reasoned: “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 FIA added that it was: “unnecessary for us to hear from SAI (Sainz) or hear from any other driver to decide that he was wholly to blame for the collision.”
Furthermore, the FIA decided that the supplied telemetry “corroborated” their decision; Sainz’s written witness statement was “not a new element”; and other drivers’ statements about the lack of grip and cold tires were also deemed “not new significant and relevant elements to decide about the incident.”
Ferrari’s frustration about SAI not having his say is understandable, but worth considering that a verdict in the team’s favor could have potentially opened the door for every stewards’ decision on driving incidents to be challenged after the fact.