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Ferrari Team Principal Fred Vasseur
Ferrari Team Principal Fred Vasseur

Ferrari petitions for review of Sainz’s penalty in Melbourne

Ferrari Team Principal Fred Vasseur confirmed the team will ask for a review of the penalty suffered by driver Carlos Sainz at the end of the Australian GP

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Ferrari Fred Vasseur has confirmed the team has requested its right of review regarding the penalty applied to driver Carlos Sainz at the end of the Australian GP, as the Scuderia believes other similar incidents have been treated differently. 

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz during Australian GP
Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz during the Australian GP. Image credit: Ferrari Press Office

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz was given a five-second penalty for his incident with Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso at the second restart. However, because the race ended under safety car, the penalty made Sainz go from fourth to twelfth on the grid and out of the points. The disappointment even led Sainz to call it ‘the most unfair penalty ever’, as quoted by Motorsport.com.

Now, Ferrari Team Principal Fred Vasseur admitted to Autosport that the team has appealed the penalty: ‘As we are discussing with the FIA, and we sent the report to the FIA, I don’t want to disclose any details of this discussion. The only thing is that about Gasly/Ocon, and for sure we had Sargeant/De Vries at Turn 1, and the reaction of the stewards was not the same. But I want to avoid making any comment.’

Ferrari will have to find new and significant evidence in order for the review to happen: ‘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 or the stewards of the next meeting, about the decision itself.

‘What we can expect is at least to have an open discussion with them, and also for the good of the sport to avoid this kind of decision when you have three cases on the same corner, and not the same decision.’ said Vasseur.

Vasseur: ‘We have our argument for sure’

According to the Ferrari Team Principal, the main issue was that the penalty was immediately imposed without talking with the driver first:

‘The biggest frustration was from Carlos, and you heard it on the radio, to not have a hearing. Because the case was very special, and in this case, I think it would have made sense considering that it was the race was over, it was not affecting the podium, to have a hearing, as Gasly and Ocon had.

‘It’s up to the stewards to what is the right penalty, but for me at least for Carlos, for the team, to reopen the discussion, it’s a first step. The outcome of this will be up to the FIA. We have our argument for sure, but I will keep the argument for the FIA.’

He then went on to add: ‘For sure we are expecting the review of the decision, because it’s a petition for review, and we are not going to get the same decision.’

Vasseur: ‘We had the feeling that we were treated differently

While the decision was protested, Vasseur still cleared Ferrari has no hard feelings towards the stewards: ‘I don’t want to blame someone. On the racing incidents, and I’m doing this job for 33 years now, each time that we had a crash on track I think you have two versions, always, with a different feedback and a different outcome, depending on the drivers.

‘It means that it’s not an easy job. And also that it’s difficult to take a decision when it’s during the race. We are always asking to take decisions during the race.

‘This case was probably a bit particular with the three red flags, with the two starts, and the last start with one lap behind the safety car. It’s where the frustration came from, because we had the feeling that the Ocon/Gasly situation was treated a bit differently.’ concluded Vasseur.

Headline Image: Ferrari Press Office

  1. Ferrari’s F1 cars are a testament to the team’s dedication to perfection. It’s clear that no detail is overlooked in their pursuit of racing greatness.

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