Frederic Vasseur revealed to the press that Ferrari has submitted a right of review to the governing body, the FIA, over Sainz’s 5-second time penalty in Australia.
In the second restart of a chaotic race at Albert Park, Sainz tipped fellow Spanish Driver and two-time world champion Fernando Alonso into a spin. The restart also saw the two Alpine drivers demolish one-another in a cataclysmic event for the French outfit.
While the order was reset following a red flag and a safety car finish, frustration set in for Sainz as news of a 5 second time penalty came into the Ferrari garage. Ever since, Sainz has been “too angry to talk” as he says the “unfair” penalty dropped him from a brilliant points finish in P4 all the way down to P12 outside of any points.
“We did a petition for a review of the case – we sent it to the FIA,” Vasseur remarked 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.”
As journalists pressed Vasseur further, he said this about further steps in the case: “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.”
“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”.
According to Article 14 of the FIA’s Sporting Regulations, teams can request a review of a decision by the stewards to weeks after a ruling.“A significant and relevant new element is discovered which was unavailable to the parties seeking the review at the time of the decision concerned”.
Vasseur was also asked when the review may take place: “It could be 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”
The frustration in the Ferrari garage must be palpable as the Maranello-based outfit leave the weekend empty-handed following the Sainz penalty and teammate Charles Leclerc’s DNF following an engine failure. So far, this is Ferrari’s worst start to a season in the Turbo-Hybrid-V6 era; however a reversal of the ruling by the stewards could see them put back into the running against rivals Mercedes, Red Bull, and Aston Martin.
Compared to last season, this season is a nightmare for Ferrari as they are starting to see that Red Bull’s car concept has far more development potential. Their “clamshell” side pod has shown promise in high-speed corners but lacks downforce in low and mid-speed corners. There are even whispers that they are going to develop a B-spec car with a different concept in the upcoming break. The team needs to get right otherwise their championships hopes are going to slowly dwindle into the distance.