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Full FIA stewards’ verdict on Sainz’s Australian GP penalty



Ferrari asked the FIA ​​to review the right to the five-second penalty, which saw Sainz drop from fourth to 12th as the safety car finished in Melbourne.

Sainz was reprimanded by stewards for flagging Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin for a spin at Turn 1 of the final start restart, although the two-time F1 world champion eventually recovered to third.

Ferrari and Sainz argued that slow beading allowed his tires to cool excessively and that the low sun due to the delayed nature of the race was the cause of the incident.

But the FIA ​​upheld its original decision on the grounds that all drivers faced the same situation and that Ferrari’s appeal failed to highlight any “significant and relevant new information” required to constitute the car, which was not available to the parties seeking the review. “The timing of the decision. “

In full:

The stewards of the 2023 Australian Grand Prix have received a letter from FIA director of single-seater racing Nikolas Tombazis with details of rival Ferrari’s 2023 competition under Article 14 of the FIA ​​International Sports Code. A petition filed on 6 April 2023 (the “Petition”) seeks a review of Decision No. 46 taken by the Governing Council within the framework of the 2023 Australian Grand Prix and requests that the Governing Council:

“Consider such requests and determine whether there are significant and relevant new elements relevant to the decision/incident (Code 14.3)”.

After extensive consideration of the matter, including examination of the petition’s attachments and available telemetry, the Administrator convened and heard from representatives of the team, namely Laurent Mekies, Fred Vasseur, and Carlos Sainz (File No. 58), and determined that the following content:


There were no significant and relevant new elements that were not available to the parties seeking review at the time the relevant decision was made. Therefore, the petition was dismissed.

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari

Photography: Ferrari


We took the decision during the race that the SAI had violated Article 2 d) of Chapter IV of Appendix L of the FIA ​​International Sporting Regulations leading to a collision with the ALO (Document No. 46). We hold SAI to be solely responsible for the collision.

We took into account the fact that this collision occurred at the first corner of the first lap of the restart, when, as is customary, the race stewards at the time usually take a more forgiving approach to accidents. However, we felt that although this amounted to a first-lap accident, we thought SAI had sufficient time to take steps to avoid a collision, but failed to do so. Therefore, we impose a penalty of 5 seconds.

The petition alleges that there are new important and relevant elements that were not available at the time we made our decision (and presumably we would not have made our decision had we benefited from them).

Rely on three elements:

a) Telemetry data of the SAI car after the second restart (Appendix 4).
b) SAI’s witness statement (Annex 5); and
c) Witness statements from other drivers (Appendix 6 and 7), equivalent to post-race interview transcripts provided by ALO (Appendix 6) and other drivers (Appendix 7).

Competitors say there is precedent for such matters being viewed as new important and relevant elements. It points to the stewards’ decision to deal with the Sahara Force India F1 team’s petition seeking a right to review as a precedent for the proposal that a driver’s oral testimony and related telemetry could constitute an important and relevant new element.

The actual circumstances of the decision of the directors under review in this matter are quite different from those here.

The incident with the Sahara Force India F1 team involved a post-race hearing into the incident (in other words, it was unclear to race directors who was responsible for the collision in question). The contestant’s driver was unable to attend the hearing because he had been taken to hospital following the incident. The hearing took place without the entrant being able to speak to his driver to obtain a version. This came after the hearing, with the driver’s version offering a different take on the facts presented to the stewards.

The distinguishing feature here is that our decisions are made in-game. We don’t think we need to hear from SAI or any other driver to decide he was solely responsible for the collision. When the cause of the collision is clear and a time penalty needs to be issued as soon as possible, it is a decision that we and other arbitration panels generally make and encourage.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23

Photography: Lionel Ng / motorsport pictures

In addition, however, we also found that:

1. Telemetry: Telemetry data (Annex 4) is not, by itself, an important and relevant new element required to determine who was responsible for the collision. Administrators have access to vast amounts of telemetry data. We also have access to such data. The telemetry data presented in the petition was ambiguous at best and did not, in our opinion, exonerate SAI, but actually confirmed our decision that he was solely responsible for the collision. He said he braked harder but couldn’t stop the car because the tires were too cold. He further pointed out that slow bead weaving resulted in cold tyres.

There are two short points. First, even if true, the presence of telemetry showing his braking points is not a significant new element for the purposes of Article 14.

Secondly, the conditions of the track and tires are something that every competitor needs to consider and adapt to. He took the risk as a driver of losing control of the car when he tried to brake late in the GAS race. In this case, that risk materialized, a collision ensued, and penalties ensued.

2. The SAI’s written witness statement (the document itself) is not a new significant relevant element needed to determine who was responsible for the collision. First, if we think it requires a statement from SAI for us to analyze the incident, we will call him after the game. We did not see the need to hear from him to determine this fact.

Essentially, his witness statement speaks to how poor the grip is (we’ve already dealt with why that’s not a good enough excuse above) and the sunshine in his eyes. But logically, the sun’s position would affect other drivers as well. Avoiding a collision penalty is not a valid excuse. Witness statements are therefore not a new element.

3. The other driver’s statement was not a new significant and relevant element needed to determine the incident (none of the statements contained a new significant and relevant version of the collision). These statements are the transcripts of the drivers’ post-race statements to the media. These were brought up to substantiate their position that grip levels were low and the tires were cold.

Likewise, while these statements were made after our decision and therefore could not have been present when our decision was made, nothing in these comments is material or relevant to our considerations. This also does not meet the requirements of article 14.

Therefore, we dismiss the petition.

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New Mercedes F1 deal could be signed “tomorrow”




Hamilton’s current deal with Mercedes expires at the end of the season, fueling traditional speculation that the 38-year-old is rejoining the team that helped him win six of his seven world titles , will still withdraw from the series.

It even sparked wild speculation about a possible move to Ferrari, which was quickly refuted by all parties.

Both Hamilton and Wolff have often said they could hammer out a new deal without too much difficulty, and after Sunday’s Spanish GP, Hamilton gave his firmest hint yet that a renewal was imminent.

Asked in his post-race press conference if a new deal was in the works, Hamilton laughed and said: “Well, I haven’t signed anything yet, but I think we’ll meet Toto tomorrow. So hopefully, We can accomplish some things.”

Hamilton’s words were echoed by Wolff when he was asked by Sky Sports F1 when Hamilton’s new deal would be reached.

“I think we just need to find time to sit down and have a cup of coffee. It will take half an hour,” he said.

Hamilton believes his Mercedes contract situation has had no impact on his performances, but admits it will be easier for him and the team to focus on challenging Red Bull in 2024 once the deal is over.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG, second, interview with Nico Rosberg after race

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG, second, interview with Nico Rosberg after race

Photography: Mark Sutton/ motorsport pictures

“Well, you can see today: my grades, my performances are not affected by that,” Hamilton explained.

“I think it’s always in the back of your mind, so once that’s done, you can focus more on the future.

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“But as I said, I’m trying to work as hard as I can with this team. I see so much power in a team and I think they’re still very hungry.

“Today’s podium was truly special; the excitement of seeing all the people I’ve worked with in such a short time.

“When we go back now, there will be energy in the office. But these people don’t take two seconds to enjoy themselves and be happy.

“Then they’ll go back to the books and try to figure out how we can win the next game. That’s what I love about them.”

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Horner sees big gap between Verstappen and Perez: 'Hopefully less pressure now'




While Max Verstappen took the lead from start to finish at the Spanish Grand Prix almost as a matter of course, Sunday was more taxing for Sergio Perez. Christian Horner praised the Mexican for his fourth-place finish and hopes he can take the pressure off a bit now.

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Proud Horner after Verstappen victory: 'He dealt with it beautifully'




Christian Horner’s face beams with pride after the Spanish GP. Not without reason: Max Verstappen won in very dominant fashion. The Red Bull team boss realizes life is pretty good for his team at the moment.

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