Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal, 2019

Vettel’s Canadian GP penalty hearing set for Friday

2019 Canadian Grand Prix

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The penalty which cost Sebastian Vettel victory in the Canadian Grand Prix will be reviewed by the stewards tomorrow (Friday).

Ferrari submitted a request for the decision to be reviewed. Vettel was given a five-second penalty, and two penalty points on his licence, for rejoining the track in an unsafe fashion after going off at turn three on lap 48. The review does not allow his penalty to be overturned.

According to the FIA International Sporting Code, a decision can only be reviewed if “a significant and relevant new element is discovered which was unavailable to the parties seeking the review at the time of the competition concerned.” Only the stewards can determine whether any significant new information has been presented.

The stewards took their original decision after reviewing video evidence of the incident. Ferrari team representatives have been invited to present their new evidence in a hearing which will begin at 2:15pm local time on Friday, three-quarters of an hour before the scheduled start of second practice.

Last year Williams requested a review of multiple incidents which occured during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, but the stewards ruled unanimously the team had failed to present any “new significant and relevant element”.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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25 comments on “Vettel’s Canadian GP penalty hearing set for Friday”

  1. I expect I have missed the answer to this elsewhere @keithcollantine – but can this review change the result from the last race (if it finds the penalty incorrect), of is it just an opportunity to clarify the interpretation of the rules.

    1. As stated in the article no it can not change the outcome.

      1. Thanks – I said I missed it somewhere :)

        1. Probably took you more time to type the question than to read up to sentence 4

      2. That is also my belief and I fail to see the point of a review, what will it change ???

  2. The only data I could imagine Ferrari having that the stewards don’t would be simulations of different courses of action Vettel could have taken showing what would have occurred if Vettel didn’t do what he did probably showing the car losing control.

    If you look back to Hamilton in Spain 2016 losing it on the grass it’s easy to imagine a complete loss of control with him doing anything other than keeping his foot in it.

    What Ferrari expect as an outcome I can’t imagine though if the verdict can’t be overturned, I can only really think that Ferrari are flexing their political power.

    1. Last ditch effort by Limping donkeys to show that they are still the “Boss”.

    2. I don’t really see Spain 2016 as comparable – steering angles, speed and proximity of another car. Vettel choose to go pretty much straight on over the grass after realising he wouldn’t make the corner. That’s very different to swerving into the grass to avoid hitting another car running up to the edge of the track.

    3. What about statements given by different drivers (including LH who stated he would do exactly the same as SV)? Statements can be evidence. Evidence doesn’t solely have to be data.

  3. Hope the request is thrown out because of its stupidity.
    The lack of new evidence will also do,but I hope for the former

    1. @dallein
      I think this is just an attempt by Ferrari to open a can worms. Post this review, if they find out that the penalty was harsh, then Ferrari will have achieved a moral victory.
      And they may have some additional/credible info to support their arguments. The penalty is not going to be revoked but if there is a flaw in the way the stewards approached the issue or if there was a case of oversight, then we could see some changes being made to the rule in question. This would be a huge black mark for FIA and also affect the reputation of the sport.

      1. Stewards have made mistakes before and the FIA did not act, this is nothing new and quite honestly a moral victory is worthless, surely if they thought they had a case the would have appealed instead of going down this road.

    2. So stupid the only reason people are still talking about it is because it lead to another merc win. I hate how Vettel never takes responsibility for his own mistakes, its either the cars fault or now the stewards. How much more will it take for ferrari to realize they need a better number 1 driver, Alonso is twice the driver of Vettel and he would probably drive for half the price

    3. What baffled me the most was that the Stewards of the Race made a decision to give a penalty pretty quickly, while instead the just could have stated it would be investigated after the race. Yes: the winner of the race would be uncertain, but by doing this the way it’s been handled and if the result of the review is that the penalty was incorrect, we have LH winning a race, that he didn’t finish in 1st place and in hindsight shouldn’t have won at all.

      Yes: that’s a lot of should have, could have, would have…

  4. Just let it go already.

    1. Just let people not letting it go go already

      It’s a talking point, it really doesn’t create much adversity people being interested enough to talk about it

  5. The matter will also be brought up in a future WMSC meeting & there will be a push to open up the regulations to allow for harder racing where the stewards will have more leeway to judge things racing incidents not worth a penalty.

    There is apparently a feeling in the paddock as well as within FOM/Liberty & the FIA that F1 shot itself in the foot with the penalty. The feeling is pretty much universal that the penalty was wrong but that the stewards felt they had to give it due to the wording of the regulation they applied & the lack of wriggle room they had in terms of options.

    There is also a belief from some that the regulation they used was applied incorrectly as it’s purpose was not for scenario’s like what happened in Canada but more for situations such as if somebody had run off at the hairpin & driven straight back onto the circuit without looking similar to the Paul Tracy/Alex Tagliani incident in champcar some years ago.

    1. @gt-racer, I have heard/read all those arguments, but I do not quite find them compelling, given that the only thing stopping it being a crash was that Hamilton avoided it. How would that have been better? By giving the other Ferrari the win after a rather anonymous race?

    2. Something else I heard over the weekend was that the stewards didn’t want to give Vettel a penalty but that the regulation was written in such a way that they felt they had to. Also the reason it took them so long to announce it was because they were looking through the regulations & everything else they had to see if they had any other options open to them.

      1. @gt-racer Yes the stewards explained the penalty. With the precedents like Verstappen getting a penalty in Suzuka 2018 and the evidence showing that Vettel deliberately moved further right blocking Hamilton (after regaining control), made it impossible for them to do anything else but hand out a penalty.

        Even though they knew the Ferrari hooligans would go nuts.

  6. I really hope they stay with the decision they made.

    Whether the penalty should have been given or not – it would be WAY worse to have result of a Grandprix be changed 2 weeks later.

  7. I think Ferrari is pushing to not overturn the decision but to either put the wheel in motion to change the rules for the future or get the stewards to be a bit more lenient on the interpretation of the rules in the following races.

  8. Can’t wait to find out who wins the Canadian GP, 2 days before the French one.

    1. The hearing doesn’t change the winner, max you will see is that the license points will be removed.

      1. Ah, OK thanks Boudi. I suppose a moral victory is a start. It’s better than what Ferrari are usually getting these days.

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