Vettel penalty saga continues as Ferrari appeals latest FIA decision

Sebastian Vettel seen surrounded by crew members at the pits area during the Formula One Mexico Grand Prix practice session at the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit in Mexico City on Oct. 29, 2016. (Photo: Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images)
ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images

Ferrari’s attempt to challenge Sebastian Vettel’s Mexican GP penalty rumbles on despite the FIA rejecting the team’s request to review the case.

Ferrari has now submitted notification of its intent to appeal that latest decision. As is usual in such cases, Ferrari is in effect buying time while it considers its options, and it could still withdraw that appeal.

The Italian team had asked the FIA to review the Vettel decision “in order to provide clarity in the application of the rules in future events.” Past decisions can only be looked if “new elements” of evidence have emerged.

The four Mexican GP Stewards met by teleconference on Friday afternoon Brazilian time, with Jock Clear representing Ferrari, and Christian Horner and Jonathan Wheatley on hand for Red Bull Racing, whose drivers benefited from the Vettel penalty.

The team offered GPS data, which the FIA said it had already considered, and also claimed that race director Charlie Whiting should have told Max Verstappen to hand back his place after the earlier incident. As such Ferrari appeared to be using the fact that he didn’t to help justify Vettel’s defensive more on Daniel Ricciardo.

The Stewards decreed that Whiting is not obliged to tell teams that drivers should hand back an advantage, and it was decided that Ferrari had not provided sufficient evidence to re-open the case.

An FIA statement said: “Having received all the written and verbal submissions and carefully considered them, the Stewards decide there is no new element.”