Ferrari’s attempt to make FIA review Vettel Mexican GP decision fails

Sebastian Vettel walks in the pits during previews for the Formula One Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on Nov. 10, 2016 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
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Ferrari’s attempt to have Sebastian Vettel’s Mexican GP penalty reviewed by the FIA has failed because the team failed to demonstrate that “new elements” of evidence had been introduced.

Decisions can only be looked at again by the Stewards who were acting on that race weekend, and only if new elements are introduced.

A teleconference took place Friday with the Mexican GP stewards, who were spread around several countries. Ferrari was represented by Jock Clear, and RBR by Christian Horner and team manager Jonathan Wheatley.

The Ferrari “new elements” in essence involved GPS data and the claim that race director Charlie Whiting could have told Max Verstappen to hand his place back – which in effect meant the team was suggesting that Vettel’s actions in his battle with Daniel Ricciardo were justified by that not happening.

However, the FIA decided that there was no “new element” and thus the matter would not progress further.

An FIA statement read: “Scuderia Ferrari argued in its written submission that the ‘new element,’ in accordance with Article 14.1, existed. In its verbal submissions it also argued that there were two ‘new elements.’

“Specifically the Scuderia argued that the Race Director, pursuant to Article 27.4 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations, had the ‘power’ to instruct the driver of Car 33, Max Verstappen, to give back the alleged advantage he had gained when leaving the track on a previous lap to that of the incident involving Car 5 and Car 3 driven by Daniel Riccardo.

“Scuderia Ferrari also argued that the GPS data it presented was a ‘new element.’ The Stewards heard extensive verbal submission and argument for all parties. In relation to the matter of the Race Director having the ‘power’ to instruct the driver of Car 33 to give back the alleged advantage, we note firstly that the relevant article gives the Race Director ‘absolute authority’ to allow the driver to give back a position. It does not imply an obligation to do so. The fact that the Race Director did not exercise his discretion is not relevant to the decision taken in Document 38.

“In relation to the GPS data, we note that this data is available to teams during the race. It is also available to, and referred to by, the stewards, in the Stewards Room during the race.

“When asked if the GPS data in any way contradicted the telemetry and other evidence that the Stewards concluded showed that the driver of Car 5 had steered whilst under braking at Turn 4, Mr. Clear conceded that it did not.

“Article 14.2 of the International Sporting Code gives the Stewards the sole discretion to determine if a new element exists. Having received all the written and verbal submissions and carefully considered them, the Stewards decide there is no new element.”