Scuderia Ferrari has submitted a request to the FIA stewards to review the penalty given to Sebastian Vettel in the closing stages of the Mexican Grand Prix two weeks ago.
Vettel was penalized for appearing to drive in a dangerous and erratic manner by moving under braking in defending fourth place from Daniel Ricciardo.
Vettel crossed the line fourth before being classified third after a penalty for Max Verstappen, but was ultimately demoted to fifth after the stewards deemed him to have breached the regulations.
In a statement issued on Thursday ahead of this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix, Ferrari confirmed that it would be taking the action.
“Scuderia Ferrari has submitted a request to the Stewards of the 2016 Mexican Grand Prix to review their decision to penalize Sebastian Vettel for breach of Article 27.5 of the 2016 F1 Sporting Regulations as a consequence of his driving behavior in Turn 4 of lap 70,” it reads.
“This has been the first application of Article 27.5 of the 2016 F1 Sporting Regulations as interpreted on the basis of the Race Director’s notes on ‘defensive maneuvers’ and effective from the 2016 US Grand Prix.
“Scuderia Ferrari considers that a number of new elements have come to light after the decision was rendered that make the decision reviewable under Article 14.1 of the International Sporting Code.
“Scuderia Ferrari is aware that championship rankings will not change, regardless of the outcome. But in light of its importance as a precedent for the future, and in order to provide clarity in the application of the rules in future events, Scuderia Ferrari believes that the decision should be reconsidered by the Stewards.”
FIA race director Charlie Whiting was present in Thursday’s FIA press conference to discuss the penalties handed out in Mexico, including Vettel’s.
“I think you can see very clearly that both cars are on the left of the track,” Whiting said of Vettel and Ricciardo, referring to footage being shown during the press conference.
“Sebastian moves to the right and then, in the braking zone, moves to his left and then you can see quite clearly that Daniel had to take evasive action.
“I think you can see very clearly that, had Daniel’s right front hit Sebastian’s left rear it would have been a significantly different scenario. That’s, I think, what the stewards really looked at was that it was a potentially dangerous situation. It’s close, and I think that’s what the stewards looked at.”
Vettel responded to Whiting’s comments by saying he still did not agree with the decision taken.
“Well, obviously I don’t agree with the decision that was made,” Vettel said.
“I think I moved over once to defend my position, after that yeah, I think I gave Daniel enough room on the inside; I kept the car straight for more than the majority of the braking, so I think the reason why, from my point of view, why Daniel locked up so bad is because there was no grip on the inside.
“There were people locking up on other corners when they were offline, so I think it actually looks a bit worse than it was.
“I don’t think it was actually dangerous for Daniel at that point but OK, I have to deal with the decision.”