Haas USGP right of review ‘makes no sense’ and ‘ridiculous’
By Ian Parkes
Sunday 5th November, 2023 - 9:31am
Haas’ decision to seek a right of review with regard to unpunished track limits violations during the United States Grand Prix has been criticised as making “no sense”, and “ridiculous”.
The exact basis of Haas’ submission has not yet been revealed, although it is widely known that repeat track limits violations did occur through Turn 6 at the Circuit of the Americas.
Although the stewards investigated multiple incidents at that particular corner, even acknowledging in a post-race statement that “there might be some indication for possible track limit infringements in Turn 6”, they were unable to impose any sanctions as they deemed “the evidence at hand” was “not sufficient to accurately and consistently conclude that any breaches occurred”.
Competitors are allowed up to 14 days after an event to seek a right of review, meaning Haas has submitted its application in time, even though it appears they are acting with considerable hindsight.
The basis of any petition to be deemed admissible, and a hearing to convene, is whether the evidence presented is “significant and relevant” and was unavailable to the stewards at the time.
In the past, many teams have sought a right of review believing it had such evidence, only for their submission to be dismissed.
The stewards additionally acknowledged in their post-race statement there was no CCTV footage of Turn 6, an error which is due to be corrected for next year’s event.
It remains to be seen what evidence Haas has unearthed, and if admissible, its case will proceed. In this instance, the stewards from the race in Austin have to gather at the first available opportunity, which it is understood will not be until the end of the coming week at the earliest.
The team is believed to be focusing on the repeated violations of the Turn 6 limits on four drivers in particular – Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll of Aston Martin, and Williams duo Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant – who finished fourth, seventh, ninth and 10th respectively.
Albon and Sargeant were promoted to the points following the disqualifications of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, and Charles Leclerc in his Ferrari.
Should Haas initially convince the stewards the evidence they present is ‘significant and relevant’, and they were then to win a formal appeal and the aforementioned quartet were handed penalties, it could see Nico Hulkenberg promoted into the points after he finished 11th.
Given Haas is currently bottom of the constructors’ championship, any additional points earned would be crucial given the revenues on offer depending on a team’s finishing position.
McLaren team principal Andrea Stella, though, feels Haas is reaching.
Asked about its rival’s right of review, Stella said: “During the race, you are busy with many things.
“The only thing we were paying attention to was the information coming from race direction about lap-time deletion because that’s the official feedback you receive, and that’s what counts.
“You then adapt your driving, you adapt how much you push, and you adapt your racing with the information you have.
“So it makes no sense to revisit, in hindsight, because had you had information (at the time), all competitors could have adapted what they did.
“So this is certainly not something you can act upon, in hindsight, because it does affect what you do live.
“Haas has the right to request that (a review) but I think what we need to work on is just a more robust way of determining track limits, and policing it.
“And once an event is gone, it is finished, and then we move on to the next.”
In post-race comments made by one of his drivers, however, Lando Norris did concede to flouting track limits at Turn 6.
At the time, Norris said: “I knew it was a corner they (the stewards) couldn’t penalise me because they set a precedent at previous tracks of ‘if you can’t visually see it, you’re going to get away with it’.
“You have to know the grey areas and the things you can get away with, and that was one of them. So to everyone that did do it, fair play.”
Sargeant, meanwhile, could only deride Haas’ threat, stating: “To me, it’s a bit ridiculous, to be honest.
“If they’re not monitoring it in the race and capable of telling us that we’re going off there, then that’s not on us.”
Suggested to Sargeant there was no opportunity to react to avoid future infringements, he simply replied: “Exactly!”