FIA summons Ferrari to penalty hearing in France
The FIA has summoned Ferrari to a hearing in Paul Ricard as it works through the penalty review process initiated after the Canadian Grand Prix.
Sebastian Vettel was penalised with a five second time penalty for an unsafe rejoin while leading in Canada, ultimately dropping him to second behind Lewis Hamilton at the chequered flag.
However, the team is now set to front the stewards who were present in Montreal where they’ll be asked to present new evidence.
“I think we bring some information that maybe the stewards didn’t have at the time, and we’ll see what happens,” explained Vettel.
It will be the first time he’ll have the opportunity to put across his own testimony, since the penalty in Canada was handed out mid-race.
The summons issued by the FIA states that Ferrari’s request was lodged in accordance with Article 14 of the FIA International Sporting Code, which states that Ferrari must offer ‘a significant and relevant new element’ that was unavailable at the time of the penalty being handed down.
It it then solely up to the stewards to decide if that criteria has been met for the process to continue.
Asked whether he was confident of success, Vettel was non-committal.
“I don’t know, but I still have the same view as I had two weeks ago, so we will see what happens,” he said.
There is no further right to appeal should stewards decide there is no ‘significant or relevant new element’, as outlaid in Article 14.3 of the International Sporting Code.
While Ferrari is gambling that the penalty in Canada could be overturned, there is a risk that it could be increased.
In 1994 Eddie Irvine had a one race ban increased to three after losing an appeal following a crash that also involved Jos Verstappen and Martin Brundle during the Brazilian Grand Prix.