Schumacher’s F2 win faces protest threat from rival teams

Formula 2

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Mick Schumacher’s Formula 2 victory in Sochi yesterday is in jeopardy after rival teams gave notice of their intention to appeal a stewards’ decision concerning the race.

Schumacher’s Prema team were fined €10,000 after the stewards ruled team principal Rene Rosin “committed an act prejudicial to the competition” by gesturing to the Prema pit crew when Schumacher and team mate Robert Shwartzman came into the pits during the feature race.

Rosin was originally investigated for breaking F2’s rules which limit the number of team personnel who may participate in the race. Formula 2 teams are limited to a maximum of 12 “team personnel who are associated in any way with the operation of the cars” during events.

According to the stewards, Rosin was not included on the list of the team’s operational personnel which was submitted ahead of the event. However he was observed gesturing to the team’s pit crew to warn them that Schumacher, not Shwartzman, would be the first of their drivers to pit.

After studying video of the pit stops and speaking to Rosin and team manager Guillaume Capietto, the stewards ruled Rosin’s actions “had no impact on the operation of the team, the cars, or the pit stop and, therefore, did not breach the operational personnel limitations.”

The stewards noted Rosin did not use his radio to communicate with the pit crew. “The stewards also consider it highly unlikely, given the ambient noise levels in a racing pit lane, that the mechanics in pit lane, with headsets on, could understand anything the team principal was saying without radio communications.”

“It is clear to the stewards that the change in tyre strategy – replacing car 21’s [Shwartzman’s] tyres with car 20’s [Schumacher’s] – had already been initiated by the team manager by radio and the pit stop personnel were already in the process of changing the tyres before the team principal started gesturing towards the pit lane.”

Although the stewards therefore ruled Rosin had not broken the operational personnel limits, they noted his “actions could be misconstrued under the circumstances, by someone without access to the appropriate camera angles and footage, as giving the appearance of operational direction”. They therefore fined the team €10,000.

Rival teams, believed to include ART, Carlin, DAMS, and Virtuosi, have submitted notice of their intention to appeal the decision. Formula 2 confirmed the results of Saturday’s race remain “subject to appeals lodged with ICA [International Court of Appeal].”

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    Keith Collantine
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  • 3 comments on “Schumacher’s F2 win faces protest threat from rival teams”

    1. Technically, I think ART, Carlin, Virtuosi and DAMS are clutching at straws, I don’t think there’s any precedent for this and there’s nothing to suggest it made much of a difference in the race order. A hefty fine by itself is all right, Schumacher’s win shouldn’t be taken away for something as flimsy as this.

      In actuality? It’s laughable if the teams think it’s gonna make the race director and stewards depart from their gentle bias towards Schumacher. Especially after the speed at which they exonerated him for the incident with Shwartzman at Silverstone, and the fact that he was exonerated again for the clash with Aitken and Zhou at Mugello, despite being the only one to get away with it with his car intact.

    2. That’s some real petty protesting, but I understand why you’d want to get that advantage.

    Comments are closed.