Ferrari say stewards’ decision on Verstappen was “wrong” but they will not protest it

2019 Austrian Grand Prix

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Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto says the team does not agree with the stewards’ decision to clear Max Verstappen over his collision with Charles Leclerc, but they will not protest it.

Speaking after the stewards confirmed Verstappen’s victory, Binotto said: “We still believe that this is a wrong decision. That’s our own opinion.”

The stewards ruled neither driver was to blame for the collision. “We believe that Charles [left] entire space, he had no fault,” said Binotto. “A collision has happened and he has been forced off the track.

“So we believe these are clear rules, which we may appreciate or not, and these are exactly the same rules which have been applied in past races.”

Ferrari has been on the wrong side of two stewards’ decisions in the past three races which determined the winner of each. Binotto questioned why Verstappen had been cleared when Sebastian Vettel was penalised and lost a potential victory in Canada for forcing Lewis Hamilton to take evasive action when he rejoined the track in front of the Mercedes driver.

“Certainly we believe that interpretation have been different in these two cases, why I think again we are unhappy with what has been the decision today,” said Binotto.

“I think the rules for us are clear. A collision has been created and he has been pushed off the track.”

However Binotto said the team does not intend to request a review of the decision, as it did following Vettel’s penalty.

“We respect fully the decision of the stewards,” he said. “They are the judge and we need to respect that.

“More than that I think that as a Ferrari fan, and I’m an ultimate Ferrari fan, I think it’s time for F1 to turn a page and look ahead and I think these are accidents that may happen in a race. As we often said we should leave the drivers free to battle so we may not be happy with the decision, we are not supporting the decision but we understand the fact that we need to move forward and overall I think that’s good for the sport and good to F1.

“So bravo to Verstappen, victory of him and I think he did a fantastic race today, as I think Charles [did] as well. Charles drove very well, and there will be new opportunities.”

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Dieter Rencken
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19 comments on “Ferrari say stewards’ decision on Verstappen was “wrong” but they will not protest it”

  1. You’re going to put Karun Chandok out of a job, Binotto!

    1. No @phylyp,
      Karun was too early with his analysis; cannot be considered new evidence ;)

  2. Good to read this. No sore loser.
    Feel bad for Charles, would have been nice, but Max’ pace was incredible.
    It looked as if the others were just following a script where their roles have been clearly set – keep the pace at a level so that Max can catch & pass you just to have a frantic celebration of the Dutch fans at the end of the race.

    As a Ferrari fan I am not happy with the result, but at least this was a race where it was not decided after turn 1.

    1. Think this confirms I’m not a ferrari fan, I’m happy with the result cause it was a great race and finally the team that always wins wasn’t competitive, having said this leclerc deserved the win but so did verstappen, great race pace from red bull, leclerc will have other chances indeed, he’s a strong driver and ferrari despite all the failures showed flashes of speed this season, bahrain, baku, canada, austria.

      1. Yet, Ferrari had the best car this weekend and they severely dropped the ball. AGAIN!

        With Vettel they mess up his Q3 with a mechanical problem. Then they mess up Vettel’s pitstop by not having the tires ready and then Vettel messes up by pitting with 20 laps to go for fresh softs but actually failing to get the fastest lap point.

        With Leclerc, starting on the softs meant he had 10 lap older hard’s then Verstappen at the end of the race. Had Ferrari started on the medium’s, Charles would have been in a much better position to maintain a gap to Max and not be in a wheel-to-wheel situation with him in the first place.

  3. @milansson
    Nice that a line has been drawn and they can move on.
    Also, I’d hate Leclerc’s maiden win to come in the steward’s office without the chance to properly celebrate on the podium. His first win is not far away and it will be all the sweeter.

  4. A classy move by Ferrari.

    1. Blaize Falconberger (@)
      30th June 2019, 21:40

      Can’t work out of this comment comes with sarcasm or not, but I would add that if the decision was indeed wrong they should protest it… the fact they are not suggests that they know it was right and they are simply bitter in defeat.

      1. This was not a clear cut incident to decide for stewards, therefore Ferrari deserved applause for not making things uglier.

        1. Was not clear cut indeed, I think in recent times stuff like this one was NOT penalized, so it’s consistent, but in very recent times stewards seemed to be even more about penalties than usual, so before reading the result I’d have thought 55% chance 5 sec penalty, 45% no penalty, wouldn’t have bet on either, too close.

  5. Binotto is incorrect in comparing the two cases, because Vettel was penalized for rejoining the track unsafely. Verstappen was not rejoining.

    1. Everyone doing that is. It’s bizarre the amount of people who think they are remotely comparable.

  6. On a side note: I think that all podium defining decisions should be taken BEFORE the podium ceremony.
    Just call the guys (and Karuk with his video screen) in before they go to the podium, and make your decision.
    The spell checking can be done when the national anthems run.

    In very complicated cases they can decide that they need more time, but in most cases this is not required.

    1. Agreed, but with television contracts and such they have to wrap up ceremonies within a certain timeframe, which is also understandable imho.

      Imho, the FIA should just clarify that from now on the stewards will only intervene in rare cases where there is a clearcut misdemeanor by one driver against another driver or an unfair advantage (cutting the track). This means the Vettel-Canada incident would have been ‘a racing incident’ just like yesterdays incident. But the Hamilton-Rosberg situation in Austria 2016 would have still been a penalty just like the off-track Verstappen pass on Raikkonen in Austin 2017 for example.

      This would lead to much less off-track-policing to begin with and clearer rulings if something does happen. At first, it’s going to generate a lot of moaning by fans and drivers alike (Grosjean most likely), but it is for the greater good of F1 and ultimately for racing in general.

  7. Castrated Donkeys need to get their head out rear side. Canadian GP crowding and yesterdays overtake are 2 different things. Its really hard to like this team who will blame everyone else and not accept their shortcomings.

  8. I liked arrivabene as a team principal, at first I hated binotto but doesn’t seem that bad either, I actually can see how the situation seems unfair to ferrari, I mean, they should’ve won bahrain and had a problem few laps to the end, they had the pace to win or compete in baku with leclerc, mistake, however there it was a bit self-induced by ferrari’s tyre strategy, they won canada but got a penalty, here they lost and again there was a potential penalty but the non ferrari driver who won was not penalized.

    As far as I’m concerned, mechanical problems in the lead are annoying, baku was an unnecessary risk for leclerc in q2 and I didn’t like it even before the accident, cause vettel had a very bad lap, leclerc’s was fine, and as for the other 2, let the drivers race, so no penalty on either imo, would’ve meant 7-1-1 wins for the 3 top teams.

    1. Even more with reliability but that’s not something stewards control.

  9. Binotto’s statemant was filled with atleast some integrity. In Canada they were against changing race results after the race. Same yesterday.

    Binotto also told for Sky that he believed that the move was against the rules, because Max did not leave Charles space on the outside and rules need to be amended so racing can take place. I commend him for that statement.

    Clearly there was not much by Ferrari to win, so at least they got some respect.

    1. Binotto told Brundle (Sky F1) on the post-race analysis broadcast that he agrees incidents like these are just hard racing and that the rules should change so they would not be penalized in the future. He then said that we are racing under the current rules, however, and therefore the current rules must be applied.

      Personally, I think that even under the current rules this was not a penalty anyway, but I do agree with Binotto that A. as long as the current rules are in effect we should apply them, and B. the rules should change and become more leniant.

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