Alfa Romeo wins right to review over Raikkonen penalty
By Mat Coch
Sunday 2nd May, 2021 - 10:36pm
Alfa Romeo has been granted a review of the incident which saw Kimi Raikkonen receive a 30-second time penalty during the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
The Swiss-based squad met with stewards in Portugal on Saturday to discuss the matter, with a subsequent hearing taking place before the Portuguese Grand Prix on Sunday morning.
The outcome of that has not yet been confirmed.
During the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Raikkonen spun behind the Safety Car just prior to the rolling restart, the race having been stopped to clean up following George Russell and Valtteri Bottas crashing out.
Ambiguity surrounds whether or not the Finn should have resumed his place in the Safety Car line, with stewards ruling that as he did not do so, he should have returned to the pit lane and joined the race only once the last car had passed pit exit.
Alfa Romeo argues that Raikkonen couldn’t have resumed his place in line as, by the time he caught the field, the Safety Car had turned its lights off.
A lengthy explanation was given for stewards’ decision to award the review, acknowledging that “a significant new element” had been presented “which was unavailable to the parties seeking the review at the time of the decision concerned.”
It cited three reasons for agreeing to the review, including the confusion and contradictions surrounding a Safety Car restart and a Rolling Restart behind the Safety Car.
In its submission, Alfa Romeo also cited a case from the International Court of Appeal, which it claims suggests that where ambiguity and confusion in a regulation exists, the ruling should favour the competitor.
Furthermore, it claimed there was no precedence for this situation.
“In the original decision, the Stewards referred to the regulation as ‘consistent amongst several championships, has been in the Formula One Sporting Regulations for several years and has been consistently applied’,” the stewards’ confirmed in the right to review confirmation.
“While the fact that the regulations between Formula One, Formula 2 and Formula 3 are the same was mentioned in the original hearing, it was not discussed.
“What was not known to the Competitor at the time of the original hearing, and was raised in this hearing, was that was that by the term ‘consistently applied’, in the decision, the Stewards were referring to Formula 2 and Formula 3 cases, which in the absence of a Formula One case, the Stewards used as a data point.
“In addition, subsequent to the decision and as part of this present hearing, the Stewards have discovered that the specific cases that they referred to were not following a Red Flag.”
Should the decision be overturned, Raikkonen would likely be restored to ninth place in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, causing a minor reworking of the drivers’ and constructors’ championship standings.