Ferrari has lodged a request for motor racing’s governing body, the FIA, to review the controversial penalty that cost Sebastian Vettel victory at the Canadian Grand Prix.
Vettel was issued a five-second time penalty after running wide and rejoining the track in what the stewards felt was an unsafe manner, forcing Lewis Hamilton off the circuit in their battle for the lead. Vettel crossed the line in first place, but Hamilton stayed close enough to Vettel to ensure he moved ahead once the punishment was applied.
The decision was widely condemned by fans and former world champions, with a furious Vettel saying the stewards stole victory from Ferrari.
Ferrari decided not to appeal the penalty within 96 hours of the race, but the FIA’s International Sporting Code allows for any decision to be looked at again if “a significant and relevant new element is discovered which was unavailable to the parties seeking the review at the time of the competition concerned.” The Italian team had until the Sunday of the French Grand Prix to ask for that process to begin, and on Monday confirmed that was the course of action it will pursue.
Ferrari refused to comment on the nature of the new evidence it has put forward. The same four stewards — or FIA-appointed replacements if the Canadian GP stewards are not available — will review that evidence in the coming days to work out if it can be considered admissible. If the evidence is admissible, a secondary hearing will be held in which the stewards will review their original decision in light of the new evidence.
The last review of a similar nature came following last year’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix when Williams appealed a grid penalty given to Sergey Sirotkin for the following race in Spain. In that instance the stewards held a teleconference with team representatives before rejecting the review and issuing a nine-point document explaining why they felt no new evidence had come to light.