Prema protest result of F2 sprint race after Hauger’s pit lane penalty

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The Prema Formula 2 team has submitted a protest over the results of today’s sprint race in Jeddah following Dennis Hauger’s penalty.

Hauger, who led the race from pole position, was penalised after entering a closed pit lane during a Safety Car period. Prema pointed out they had been instructed to do so by the race director.

The Red Bull junior driver started from pole and was able to keep position off the line, defending from Calan Williams. The race was neutralised on lap two, following a crash for Amaury Cordeel and proceeded behind the Safety Car until the end of lap six.

Racing restarted at the beginning of lap seven, with Hauger again keeping the lead. However, another Safety Car period was almost instantly called after Jack Doohan and Logan Sargeant crashed.

Drivers were immediately instructed to drive through the pit lane in order to catch up to the Safety Car on the following lap. However by the time leader Hauger came around to the pits, race control appeared to have recognised the hazard and the LED flag panels began to display the cross symbol, indicating that the pit lane was closed.

Having not been informed of this by his team, Hauger drove around Doohan and Sargeant’s cars to enter the pit lane – which no other car behind him did – putting him down to 12th place by the time he re-emerged.

By lap 14 of the heavily disrupted race, and still behind safety car, Hauger was informed that he would be given a 10-second stop-go penalty for entering the pit lane when it was closed. He had two discussions with the pit wall about the penalty, before coming in to serve it when racing restarted on lap 13.

11PremaWe have a 10 second stop-and-go penalty for entering the pit lane when it was closed, so we’ll just have to serve it when the pit lane is open.
11HaugerAre you joking, man?
11PremaI’m not, I’m sorry
11HaugerWas the pit lane closed or was it open?
11PremaThey put [out] a message to go through the pit lane and after they could have made the pit lane closed. We confirmed after two messages with the race director, two times, that you were going through the pit lane and he said yes. So we followed his instructions.
12HaugerI just don’t understand, if you get the confirmation to go into the pit, why are we getting a fucking penalty?
12HaugerFuck the race directors

Hauger finished the race last, after serving his penalty, 30 seconds behind the rest of the field.

The FIA has called a hearing with Hauger and his team, due to a protest lodged against the results of the sprint race by Prema. The official document reads “having received a protest from the competitor regarding the provisional classification of the sprint race (race one), a hearing is convened to discuss the protest.”

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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3 comments on “Prema protest result of F2 sprint race after Hauger’s pit lane penalty”

  1. someone or something
    26th March 2022, 16:16

    Unfortunately, this protest doesn’t have a leg to stand on.
    That notwithstanding, Race Control was in full amateur hour mode. Communication could hardly get any worse, and I feel for poor Dennis Hauger, who was more or less on his own when he had to deal with a salvo of contradictory orders.

  2. Sadly I agree that I can’t see the protest sticking. But if I was Prema i’d do it anyway as the 10 second stop-go penalty was completely uncalled for. Yes, you shouldn’t enter the pitlane when the board says closed, but equally with the information he was getting he went with the voice in his ears, which in theory is the most informed and I think most would go with. The pitlane is arguably the safer of the two options.

    Much like Hamilton at the Hungary restart last year but the other way round, his heart probably sank when he saw behind him everyone else do the opposite.

  3. A light on a panel saying closed vs instructions from race control. I know which I would follow. Sadly I would also have a penalty. Dawned if you do, dawned if you don’t. Had he not pit, he’d probably have been penalised for failing to follow the race directors instructions!

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