Canadian Grand Prix – Ferrari has confirmed that they will be appealing the decision of the stewards in Montreal to award Sebastian Vettel the time penalty that demoted him to P2.
Vettel, who led almost the entirety of Sunday’s race in Montreal, crossed the line in first place to ‘win’ the Canadian Grand Prix. However, he was demoted to P2 upon crossing the line due to being given a five second time penalty in the latter stages of the race. This was due to him making an error on Lap 48 that saw him skate across the grass at Turn 4 and rejoin the track before regaining control.
Lewis Hamilton had attempted to pass the Ferrari around the outside as Vettel gathered it all back up, but found his way blocked as Vettel got underway again.
The stewards said that they found Vettel to have rejoined the circuit in an unsafe manner, and that he had forced Hamilton off the track.
After the race, an angry Sebastian Vettel disappeared upon return to the pitlane and seemingly had to be cajoled into attending the podium ceremony after a quick disappearance into the Ferrari hospitality unit. Before arriving there, he took the time to swap the numbers in front of the parked cars, placing the Number 1 board where his car should have been parked.
Team boss Mattia Binotto has confirmed the team intend to appeal the decision by the stewards to give him a five second time penalty: “At the moment, we, as a team, are naturally disappointed, but most of all our thoughts are with Sebastian and the spectators. As for Seb, I don’t think he could have done things differently, which is why we have decided to appeal the Stewards’ decision.”
This means that Ferrari has four days in which to bring a ‘significant’ or ‘relevant’ new piece of evidence before the stewards. An example of this could be that, on a street circuit layout, Hamilton could not have been ‘forced off the track’ when no such limit exists, despite what the penalty document says.
The stewards then decide whether such evidence is admissible as being new and relevant.
Binotto went on to say that, however the appeal goes, Ferrari leave Canada with their head held high: “We leave Canada knowing that today, as indeed over the whole weekend, we proved we were competitive and that fact has been a confidence booster for the whole team.”