Formula 2 driver Sean Gelael sat out both races at Silverstone after moving within two penalty points of a one-race ban due to an incident in practice.
The original decision against Gelael was taken at 13:55 on Friday, less than two hours after he tangled with Deletraz during the Friday practice session. The revised decision was handed down at 11:55 the following day, three-and-a-half hours before the first race was due to start. It would have dropped Gelael from 18th to 20th and last on the grid.
Formula 2 CEO Bruno Michel expressed sympathy for Gelael over the handling of the matter.
“It’s never the promoter’s place to give an opinion on the steward’s decisions,” Michel told the official Formula 2 website. “However, I can only regret the way Sean’s penalty was revised at the last minute just ahead of the feature race.
“I can fully understand Sean’s frustration and reaction. I can only hope that he will return to the grid to finish the season as he and his family have been an important part of this category for the past four years.”
The collision was the latest in a series of incidents for Gelael this year. He collided with team mate Mick Schumacher on the opening lap of the feature race in France and was excluded from qualifying in Azerbaijan for knocking over two marshals who were helping him restart his car.
Gelael has reached a total of 10 penalty points on his licence, leaving him just two away from being banned from the next event. Last weekend’s race saw Mahaveer Raghunathan return from the one-race ban he incurred at Paul Ricard.
Prema did not respond to a request for comment from RaceFans. The championship will not support F1 at the German Grand Prix, meaning the series will resume at the Hungaroring next month.
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8 comments on “Gelael was close to ban before F2 walk-out”
16th July 2019, 8:10
This was a weird one. Did Gelael actually refuse to race simply because he didn’t like the penalty?
Euro Brun (@eurobrun)
16th July 2019, 8:35
@kaiie Basically yes. From elsewhere:
“The four years in F2 a lot of things have happened, especially this year, that are out of my control and extreme, for example, what happened in Monaco. It’s not consistent. I think it’s a matter of principle.
If it was seen as a protest, I would not disagree. But for me it’s a lot of things, you can’t be so inconsistent in making decisions. When they told me the decision I was shocked and had no words to say.
It wasn’t just a protest, it was really where I draw the line in terms of how the things are handled in the championship and by the stewards.
They gave me a reprimand and two penalty points. My thought was, ‘You can’t blame someone who is not wrong’.
We tried to appeal, and we found in the rulebook that if you give a reprimand you can’t also give penalty points.”
I don’t understand the penalty. I think this was really weird from the stewards. He should never gave been reprimanded in the first place in my opinion. Delatraz was on a warm up lap and closed the door on him mid corner, so why blame was given only to Gelael I can’t get my head around.
I’m curious to know when he next loses some of his 10 points. If he is still on 10 in Germany and gets two more, that’s him out of Hungary. Although it does seem that his entire remaining season is in doubt from other comments he made about “reconsidering his future”.
16th July 2019, 10:17
@kaiie, to be fair to Gelael, when you look at the sporting regulations, it does look like he has a valid point about the stewards getting it wrong.
The Sporting Regulations for Formula 2 state “With the exception of a reprimand or fine, when a penalty is applied under the International Sporting Code or Article 38.3 the stewards may impose penalty points on a driver.” If you read the original decision document that the stewards issued, they state that they have issued a “Written reprimand and 2 points to be added to the driver’s record”.
Gelael’s complaint does therefore seem to have justification – if the stewards issued a reprimand, the regulations indicate that they are not supposed to add on penalty points on top of that.
16th July 2019, 8:29
Are F2 penalty points available for anyone in public or just for media?
In F1 they are easy to spot from FIA website like with Vettel last weekend: “2 penalty points imposed, total of 6 in the 12 month period” but I don’t see similar info in F2 (or F3)
16th July 2019, 9:40
@bleu, they state the total number of points that a driver is on when they impose the penalty points, but I don’t know if there is any site that actively tracks what the points totals of the drivers are over the course of a season.
Euro Brun (@eurobrun)
16th July 2019, 8:37
Random though, but as penalty points last for 12 months, and as F2 uses the same system as F1, should F2 points roll over if you get promoted to F1? Maybe not, but should they roll over from F3 to F2 as they’re both junior battle grounds very much more interlinked.
16th July 2019, 8:41
@eurobrun – personally, I think it should roll over/be carried forward by the driver, as it is an assessment of a driver’s driving history. A very far-fetched analogy would be wiping someone’s criminal history clean because he/she moved counties/states.
Euro Brun (@eurobrun)
16th July 2019, 11:04
Yeah, I agree.
As with everything else there are probably ways that someone on the F3->F2->F1 path could be disadvantaged versus an “outsider” (ie: Super Formula / Indy Car / etc moving into F2 or direct to F1), but I think the concept makes sense.
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