Following an appeal and request for a Right of Review from Ferrari regarding the five-second penalty handed down to Carlos Sainz Jr. at the end of the Australian Grand Prix, FIA announced on Tuesday that they were denying the appeal, and Sainz’s penalty will stand. As previously noted, the penalty dropped Sainz out of the points, leaving Ferrari with nothing to show for their efforts in Melbourne after Charles Leclerc retired on the opening lap.
In a statement released on social media, Sainz noted that while the incident is in the past, he still believes that the penalty is “too disproportionate” and that he remains “disappointed” by the decision:
In their appeal, the team provided telemetry data from Sainz’s car, as well as a statement from the driver and other post-race comments from other drivers regarding the conditions at the end of the race. In their determination, FIA maintained that none of the information would have changed their initial determination that Sainz was “wholly” responsible for a collision with Fernando Alonso following a late-race standing start.
That collision knocked Alonso nito the gravel, and set off a chain of events that also saw Alpine’s Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon collide and knock each other out of the race.
Following the decision Tuesday from FIA, Ferrari issued a statement that the team is in contact with FIA, F1, and the other teams regarding how penalties are determined, the ”with the aim of further improving the policing of our sport:”
As noted in Sainz’s statement, he believes this is necessary, declaring that “we need to be clearer for the sake of our sport.”
Many — myself included — believed that Ferrari and Sainz had a decent case at having their appeal fully heard, given how the FIA handled the collision between Ocon and Gasly at the end of the race. Race officials heard from both drivers and determined that the collision was a “first lap” racing incident.
Perhaps that is why my days of practicing law came to a close …