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FIA rejects Williams bid to overturn Baku stewards decisions

NEWS STORY
08/05/2018

A bid by Williams to have the grid penalty handed out to Sergey Sirotkin following his first lap clash with Sergio Perez in Azerbaijan has been rejected by the FIA.

A teleconference involving race director Charlie Whiting and the four Baku stewards - Garry Connelly, Tom Kristensen, Dennis Dean and Anar Shukurov - was presented with evidence by Williams legal counsel this morning and subsequently a ten-point explanation of their reasoning was issued.

Other than the Sirotkin penalty, Williams had queried a number of decisions made by the stewards in Baku, including the failure to act when Fernando Alonso drove back to the pits with two punctures following his first lap clash.

Deeming that "there is no new significant and relevant element present which justifies a review of any of the five incidents referred to in the request", the stewards explained that in their opinion which saw Sirotkin handed the penalty for 'rear-ending' Perez was "not similar to other first lap incidents where cars were side-by-side".

They added that the fact their decision was not given until close to the end of the race was immaterial as this was still "well before the time for any protest or appeal had expired".

Regarding the two other first lap incidents which Williams had queried because no further action was taken - that of Sirotkin, Fernando Alonso and Nico Hulkenberg, and another featuring Esteban Ocon and Kimi Raikkonen - the stewards said that applying different penalties or taking no further action over other incidents "cannot be regarded as a new element", as is required for a review.

In terms of the 10s penalty and 2 licence points handed to Kevin Magnussen for his clash with Pierre Gasly, the stewards pointed out that there have been 87 recorded incidents of alleged 'causing a collision' since the start of 2016, with 55 resulting in no further action, 14 in 10-second penalties and 9 in three-place grid drops for the next race.

This, according to the stewards, meant the penalties meted out to Sirotkin, Magnussen and Marcus Ericsson were "entirely consistent with previous practice", as were the incidents that resulted in no further action.

According to the stewards, their 'no further action' decisions were communicated before the publication of the results, which allowed Williams "ample opportunities and time" to lodge their appeal where possible but the Grove outfit failed to do so. The team also "chose not to exercise" its right to protest the lack of a decision over the three-way clash involving Sirotkin on the opening lap.

In terms of Alonso's heading back to the pits with two right-hand punctures, Charlie Whiting cited the presence of the safety car and the fact that the Spaniard "took care to avoid the racing line, avoid following traffic and minimised risk".

The stewards further pointed out that both on the pit-wall and at its mission control, Williams would have been aware of Alonso's slow return to the pits and that therefore it "cannot be argued that this is a "new element".

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by nonickname, 08/05/2018 15:55

"Hi Pete,
when a team takes it self out I think they have already paid all the penalties that they need to pay."

Rating: Positive (4)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Pete, 08/05/2018 15:33

"Sirotkin gently rear ends Perez and gets penalised with grid demotion and points on his licence with Perez able to continue and gain a podium finish.

Ricciardo ploughs into the back of Verstappen eliminating both cares without penalty.

Consistency from the stewards? I think not!"

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