Ferrari seeking ‘clarification’ with protest

Ferrari has protested both Red Bull’s following the Monaco GP

Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto has explained his team is seeking clarification with its protest of the two Red Bulls following the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix.

Sergio Perez won the race with Max Verstappen third for the Milton Keynes squad, though there are question marks as to whether they crossed the pit exit line mid-race.

Perez was noted by officials on the timing screens while replays showed Verstappen appearing to put a wheel on the yellow line.

The way drivers join the track from the pit exit is covered under two separate but related points in the race director’s event notes, and the FIA International Sporting Code respectively.

However, there is some ambiguity with the wording between the two points being slightly different, opening room for interpretation.

In the race director notes, it states that, “In accordance with Chapter 4 (Section 5) of Appendix L to the ISC drivers must keep to the right of the solid yellow line at the pit exit when leaving the pits and stay to the right of this line until it finishes after Turn 1.”

However, the cited ISC Article states that “Except in cases of force majeure (accepted as such by the Stewards), any tyre of a car exiting the pit lane must not cross any line painted on the track at the pit exit for the purpose of separating cars leaving the pit lane from those on the track.”

“We made the protests because we believe it was right to seek for clarification,” Binotto said of the protests submitted by his team.

“So the intention, the protest, is not really protesting Red Bull in itself, but seeking clarification on a matter which for us is so obvious and clear.

“We believe that both Red Bulls were on the line, on the yellow line exiting the pit lane.

“In the past, it was always been penalised with a five-second penalty.

“More than that, if you read the race director notes, it’s clearly written and that has been clearly writing I think after Turkey 2020 to avoid any misunderstanding, that you need to stay on the right of the yellow line.

“Just to avoid confusion on the working: crossing, being on the line, you need to stay right of the yellow line, and for us it was not the case.”

Perez won the race by 1.154s over Sainz, who in turn was only 0.3s clear of Verstappen in third. Fourth-placed Leclerc was 2.9s away from the race lead.

A five-second time penalty for the race winner would therefore drop him to fourth, though that would presumably be third if the same was meted out to Verstappen.

As a consequence, Sainz would be promoted to the race win over Leclerc.

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