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Williams questions Baku stewards decisions

NEWS STORY
08/05/2018

Williams has officially questioned a number of decisions by the race stewards during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Along with questioning the decision to impose a grid penalty at this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix, along with 2 penalty points, on Sergey Sirotkin following his first lap clash with Sergio Perez, the Grove outfit is querying the 10s penalty handed to Kevin Magnussen for his clash with Pierre Gasly, the fact there was no punishment following Esteban Ocon's clash with Kimi Raikkonen and the manner in which Fernando Alonso returned to the pits with both right-hand tyres punctured following his first lap clash with Sirotkin and Nico Hulkenberg.

The FIA noted that; "the team has also requested the Stewards review an incident involving cars 17, 27 (Hulkenberg) and 35 (Sirotkin) in Turn 2 of Lap 1 of the race and the actions of the driver of car 14 in returning to the pits. (The Stewards note that the reference to car 17 above is most likely incorrect and it should be car 14, namely Fernando Alonso)."

On a day of high drama, which saw his teammate Lance Stroll score Williams first points of the season, Sirotkin had the dubious honour of being the first retiree in a race of high attrition.

Summoned by the stewards at race end, the Russian rookie was judged wholly to blame for the first lap clash which saw him run into the back of Sergio Perez, the Mexican going on to claim a podium finish.

"The driver of car 35 (Sirotkin) drove into the back of car 11 (Perez)," they declared, "the driver of car 35 was wholly to blame for the collision."

As a result the Russian was handed a 3-place grid penalty at the next event (Spain) and 2 penalty points awarded.

Responding to Williams, the FIA told the team: "You are requested to appear before the Stewards to provide evidence in relation to the request. There shall be a preliminary hearing to determine if a "new element" as defined in Article 14.3 of the Code exists.

"This will be followed by another hearing to conduct the review(s), if any new element is determined by the stewards, to exist. It should be noted that the second hearing will occur only if such new element is determined in accordance with the Code, to exist."

The review would involve a teleconference involving the original Azerbaijan Grand Prix stewards, which would start at 10.00 (BST) today (Tuesday). If the FIA agrees during the preliminary hearing that there is new evidence, a second hearing would be held an hour later.

Other than the mistake noted above, citing Alonso as driving car 17, it's worth noting that in their original statement following their investigation into Sirotkin's clash with Perez, the stewards deemed that "the driver of car 9 was wholly to blame for the collision" - No. 9 being Marcus Ericsson who wasn't even involved - before subsequently correcting the error.

All of which indicates some obvious degree of confusion on the stewards part.

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