Ferrari’s bid to overturn Carlos Sainz’s penalty at the Australian Grand Prix has been sternly dismissed by the FIA after the new evidence produced by the team was deemed inefficient.
This comes off the back of a media storm in which pundits, drivers, and fans argued whether the penalty was fair or even valid.
The stewards found that Ferrari presented “no significant and relevant new element which was unavailable to the parties seeking the review at the time of the decision concerned. The petition is therefore dismissed.”
They added that “SAI’s written witness statement is not a new significant and relevant element required to decide who was at fault for the collision.
“First, had we thought that this required a statement from SAI for us to analyse the event, we would have summoned him after the race. We did not consider it necessary then to hear from him to decide that fact.”
In addition to Sainz’s statement, the team presented telemetry from the second restart along with transcripts of interviews from other drivers, but none were deemed relevant. The team cited a case involving Force India from 2014 as precedent for offering Sainz’s witness statement alongside the telemetry data.
Sainz’s statement argued that cool tyre temperatures from the slow formation lap combined with the low sun impairing his visibility contributed to the crash.
The FIA held that all drivers were faced with the same circumstances.
Ferrari’s own statement read, “We acknowledge the FIA decision not to grant us a right of review in relation to the penalty imposed on Carlos Sainz at the 2023 Australian Grand Prix.
“We are naturally disappointed, and felt that we had provided sufficient significant new elements for the FIA to re-examine the decision especially in the context of the particular conditions and multiple incidents that occurred during the final restart.
“We are however respectful of the process and of the FIA decision. We are now looking forward to entering broader discussions with the FIA, F1 and all the teams, with the aim of further improving the policing of our sport, in order to ensure the highest level of fairness and consistency that our sport deserves.”
Sainz himself released a statement across social media in which he highlighted his disappointment and belief the the “penalty is too disproportionate.” interestingly, he calls out the apparent inconsistency of the FIA in their decision making.
“We have to continue working together to improve certain things for the future,” wrote Sainz. “The consistency and decision making process has been a hot topic for many seasons now and we need to be clearer for the sake of our own sport.”