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United States Grand Prix result unchanged as FIA rejects Haas’ call for review

Formula 1

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Haas have failed in their attempt to have the FIA review the results of the United States Grand Prix.

The team petitioned the governing body of Formula 1 to reconsider the result of last month’s race using a ‘Right of Review’ request.

However after considering the team’s request, the stewards decided Haas had not supplied any new evidence which met the standard required for a review to take place. The hearing, which was held via videoconference, began yesterday and was adjourned until today in order to give the stewards time to independently consider Haas’ submissions.

Representatives of Red Bull, Aston Martin and Williams were summoned to attend the hearing. Ferrari and McLaren also sent representatives.

Haas drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen finished 11th and 14th respectively in the race, which took place at the Circuit of the Americas. The team claimed the stewards did not to take into account track limits infringements by rival drivers and therefore failed to issue penalties which would have promoted one or both of their drivers into points-scoring places.

Haas challenged two documents issued by the stewards during the United States Grand Prix: The final classification of the race and a decision not to impose a further penalty on Alexander Albon for track limits infringements. In the latter document the stewards acknowledged they did not have sufficient evidence to judge all possible track limits violations, particularly at turn six on the Austin track.

In their effort to have that decision reviewed, and to potentially trigger further penalties for other drivers who finished in the points positions, Haas supplied onboard videos from the cars of Albon, Logan Sargeant, Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez. It also provided footage from cars following Albon.

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However the stewards ruled this none of this material was relevant or new, as it had been available during the race (contrary, they said, to a claim made by Haas). The footage of Albon’s car seen from rivals’ cars was deemed to be significant, however the stewards noted that as similar footage was not consistently available for all other cars, it could not be taken into consideration.

Footage from Bottas’ car showed Albon cutting turn six
“The evidence available to the stewards (both then and now) was not sufficient to accurately and consistently (meaning for every car in every lap) penalise any [track limit] breaches occurring at the apex of turn six,” the stewards ruled.

“Track limit infringements are almost universally enforced based on principal video evidence from a fixed CCTV camera of adequate resolution positioned to clearly see a car’s position in relation to the track limit boundary. The CCTV camera for turn six did not meet that standard as it did not cover the apex of the corner.

“Because onboard cameras are only useful for verifying a breach when viewing a car in front of the camera car and not the camera car itself, the stewards believed they could not accurately and consistently conclude whether a breach occurred for every car on every lap. Anecdotal usage of trailing car video, which may or may not be available for any given car’s potential breach at any given time does not meet that accurate and consistent evidence standard.

“Therefore, the latitude provided to the stewards in the [International Sporting] Code was used to take no further action based on the lack of accurate and consistent evidence for all cars, in the interest of sporting fairness as stipulated in Articles 1.1.1 and 1.2.1 of the Code and delegated to the stewards in article 11.9.1 of the Code.”

The stewards also ruled Haas could not request a review of the final classification in order to challenge the positions of drivers who had not been subjected to penalty decisions during the race, such as Perez, Stroll and Sargeant. That point was made by the representatives of those drivers’ teams in their defence.

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“The petition for review asks for document 66 (Final Classification) to be reviewed. Haas submitted that the purpose of this petition was to ask the stewards to take action on alleged track limit infringements by cars two [Sargeant], 11 [Perez] and 18 [Stroll] for which no ruling was given by the stewards during the race.

“The stewards reaffirm that a petition to review the Final Classification must concern the classification itself. It is not possible to exercise the Right of Review on the Final Classification to question decisions taken prior to it. This also applies to incidents for which no ruling was made during an event.”

Although Aston Martin had successfully challenged the application of track limits by the stewards at a previous race, they did so by immediately protesting the provisional classification, instead of using the Right of Review.

“The appropriate remedy to raise alleged infringements of the regulations by other competitors during a competition is a protest as was done, for example, by Aston Martin at the 2023 Austrian Grand Prix,” the stewards continued. “The Right of Review is intended to enable competitors to seek a review
for formal decision taken by the stewards in the light of any significant and relevant new
evidence that was not available to the party seeking the review at the time of the decision.”

Haas also put forward comments it said were made by the FIA race director and FIA single seater sporting direction in a team manager’s meeting at the Mexican Grand Prix, following the Austin race. The stewards ruled this evidence was not significant.

“The submissions allegedly made by the FIA race director and the FIA single seater sporting director had no relevance for assessing whether the criteria of article 14.1.1 of the Code had been met for either of the decisions petitioned to be reviewed.”

Team may submit a request for review up to two weeks after the conclusion of a race. The deadline passed on the day after Haas submitted its request for a review.

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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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30 comments on “United States Grand Prix result unchanged as FIA rejects Haas’ call for review”

  1. “No new evidence.”

    – The FIA, after every single hearing.

    1. While admitting there was.

      This system is hilariously bad.

      1. Billy Rae Flop
        10th November 2023, 2:41

        Exactly. Laughable.

        Yeah hey we don’t accept this appeal because there’s no new evidence but we did find some. Just don’t worry about that.

      2. While some footage where new the most they already saw/had but the couldn’t do anything with it. They need a outside camera showing the car over the line and onboard aren’t good enough for that as you can’t see the other side having contact somehow.

        But they need more camera’s and checkers if those camera are setup correctly.

  2. RandomMallard
    9th November 2023, 15:42

    The footage of Albon’s car seen from rivals’ car was deemed to be significant, however the stewards noted that as similar footage was not consistently available for all other cars, it could not be taken into consideration.

    “Well, we have CCTV of you murdering someone, but because we don’t have CCTV of every murder every committed, we can’t charge you. You’re free to go” – FIA Police Department (probably)

    (If I’m reading this right?)

    1. RandomMallard
      9th November 2023, 15:44

      That should say “ever committed”, not “every”. Proof reading not my strong point today it seems.

      1. someone or something
        9th November 2023, 16:04

        Murder, I reckon, is different from track limit violations in more than one way.
        Let me just single out this one aspect: Investigating every single murder, no matter how anecdotal the evidence, is not (primarily) a question of fairness. In the absence of infite ressources, it makes sense to allow for some track violations to go unpunished, as long as there is no systematic bias that favours certain competitors over others. The results may be imperfect, but not inherently unfair.
        Since murders are, to my knowledge, not something that can easily happen as a consequence of slightly overdoing what you’re supposed to do in a competitive sport, there is no sport that risks becoming unfair by investigating murders the way it’s usually done.

        1. In the absence of infite ressources, it makes sense to allow for some track violations to go unpunished, as long as there is no systematic bias that favours certain competitors over others. The results may be imperfect, but not inherently unfair.

          That doesn’t work. Drivers go off track on purpose because it is faster. Sometimes the effects of that can only be seen later on in the race. Add up all those tenths, and it might just mean taking a position after a stop. Over time, even random enforcement becomes unfair.

          So either they enforce the rules, or they don’t. There’s no in between. These four men have now admitted they cannot do the job they were appointed to do. They blame the rules for being are too hard to enforce, but even when a competitor points out where the rules have been broken, they still refuse to do anything about it. In reality, the rules are fine and these men are not fit for their jobs.

          Their limitations and subsequent bad results are only partly their fault, because they apparently can’t do any better, yet the FIA keeps appointing the same people time and again. They know full well what kind of job they can expect them to do, and they’re fine with it. The regulator appointing people who openly say they will not enforce the rules to ‘enforce the rules’ (wink wink) is just classic FIA.

          They’re lucky that watching the cars is fun in an of itself, because as a sporting body they’re very bad.

          1. someone or something
            9th November 2023, 18:54

            That doesn’t work. Drivers go off track on purpose because it is faster.

            No. That’s the simplistic approach that has given us farcical situations such as the Austrian or US GP, and I curse the day someone up there caved in to that logic.

          2. Coventry Climax
            10th November 2023, 1:36

            While I don’t agree with the reasoning that allows for random investigation, I also can’t agree with

            In reality, the rules are fine and these men are not fit for their jobs.

            Whether the rules are fine is debateable in itself, but let’s assume they are. The stewards may simply encounter too much work for them to do. That doesn’t make them unfit for their jobs, it makes them understaffed.
            There’s multiple solutions to that: Have more stewards and divide their tasks, change the rules such that it leads to less work, automate part of the work the stewards have to do, freeing up time for them to address more real and/or severe issues.
            I’m in favor of automation, but whatever they choose, the way they’re handling it now ‘opposite of blows’.

    2. Suffering Williams Fan
      9th November 2023, 15:57

      Well, in fairness, even in courts of law some evidence is deemed inadmissible. I think it’s not an entirely unfair point that you want availability of footage to be consistent across all drivers, otherwise some drivers will get penalised more simply because there’s more footage available to catch the transgressions, not because they have actually transgressed more often (which is pretty much what happened with the plank wear situation, and a lot of people (quite reasonably) argued that being disqualified simply because someone happened to be looking was a bit off).

      1. It’s an entirely unfair point, given that in scenarios such as plank wear or fuel sample, the FIA has absolutely no problem penalizing or disqualifying only some drivers without checking the others. And they couldn’t care less about that discrimination and blame it on pathetic reasons such as “well we don’t have time to check every car now, dinner is getting cold”.

        Here there is undeniable, concrete evidence (video footage in this case) to see that a transgression has taken place, multiple times, as concrete and undeniable as weight checking, plank wear, rear wing gaps or plank wear. But they have the audacity to argue that the evidence is irrelevant.

        The FIA and their stewards are a bunch of dishonest and pathetic hypocrites. They can do no wrong, because admitting that they were wrong undermines their authority. Exactly like authoritarian regimes, they must be always right. Even when their error is blatantly obvious and insulting.

        1. I completely agree.

          In the cases where only an onboard from the car potentially exceeding limits is available, I’m going to give the stewards the benefit of the doubt and assume they couldn’t reliably use geometry and other available data to determine that the car left the track. I’m doubtful, but I’ll leave it there.

          In this case, though, there is clear evidence. Saying “yes, we can clearly see he went off the track, but we’re going to ignore it because we couldn’t see any others” is ridiculous. I’m absolutely appalled that the stewards reacted this way.

    3. I understand the replies above, but can also see that you take an extreme example to make a point.

      I find it difficult to accept that FIA disregards some clear evidence of a rule infraction, reasoning that they didn’t constantly check that corner with CCTV or otherwise, and at the same time were happy to only test four cars on plank wear (with a much heavier penalty when braking the rules).
      Also if FIA announces that they will monitor all track limits then it’s their responsibility to have cameras there to record all infractions.
      Or will they then claim that if a bird obscures a camera for one second during the race, all other infractions recorded by that camera are no longer admissible.

      And why not go for the loop and detector (one in the middle of each axle) option, which allow for instant notification and possible ‘penalisation’.
      Alternatively they can install two back viewing cameras on the wing flaps and uninterrupted observe possible infractions from each car.

      1. Agreed. In the modern day and age, a technological solution would be trivial, at least compared to most of the other technical hurdles in F1. More cameras on the car, timing loops, pressure sensors… Heck, it wouldn’t even be too difficult to have automatic penalties applied for leaving the track, like reduced power for a set time.

    4. RandomMallard
      9th November 2023, 17:15

      Admittedly, in hindsight perhaps using murder was not the best example. Sorry on my part here.

      1. Coventry Climax
        10th November 2023, 1:46

        I would’nt worry about it. It was perfectly clear to me -and many others, I’m sure- that it was just an example, and not an invitation to go discuss murder, murderers and their prosecution.
        Frequently, simple examples do a great job of getting a concept across. But there will always be people that jump on the example, instead of on the concept.

  3. Totally expected but totally laughable. Yes all this video was available during the race but evidently the stewards didn’t look at any of it or more penalties would have been given.

    1. Brought to you by the same governing body which has been *totally refreshed and reinvigorated* after 2021.

    2. I think this is a flaw in the review system. For a review to be admissible the FIA requires the evidence to have been “unavailable at the time of the decision.” If it was available to the decision-makers but they just didn’t use it, then that’s simply tough luck.

      I get that the FIA wants to minimise the scope of the review system in order to reduce the circumstances in which results are changed after the fact (which no one likes), but there should be some way for competitors to challenge the stewards’ decision-making process, not only to introduce fresh evidence after the fact.

      1. The flaw is, in my opinion, in a complete different part of the review system. That being that the review is being done by the same people that made the original judgement.

        A review should always be done by a different group of people, to make sure you get an impartial judgement. As long as reviews are done by the same people that initially made the call, their pride is always going to be in the way of sound judgement.

        1. Yes, both this and the “new element needed” are flaws imo.

  4. Its a racing incident, no penalty.

  5. F1 should call up MotoGP about track limits. Although it took them half a season to work it out it’s been flawless since.

    Practice or Qualifying; outside the track, the lap is deleted.

    Sprint Race; outside the track 3 times, Long Lap penalty

    Race; outside the track 5 times, Long Lap penalty.

    There’s also sensors on the track that detect a rider going off. In places where there cannot be sensors, they have cameras. The evidence of a rider going off also must be water-tight, indisputable, if its in the ‘camera only’ zone. No ‘maybe’ or guessing by the stewards, if it’s too close to call, it’s NOT an infraction.

    F1 could easily do this. And maybe a Long Lap penalty would be impossible, but a 5second penalty or 1 place drop or whatever is determined by FIA or the teams would work.

    Such a basic problem with easy, proven solutions.

    1. Coventry Climax
      10th November 2023, 1:54

      I don’t care about the severity of penalties, I care about the inconsistency of who gets them.
      Otherwise, I quite agree, and it basically means they should automate the detection.
      Also: Long lap is perfectly possible: It’s called a drive-through. But again, the severity is not the issue for me.

      1. correct it must be clear if a driver is over the line. But the only thing they can do is remove the white lines of the end of the track and place grass or sand there just 2-3m wide and all problems are gone…… cheap and it works all the time. (as the old days :) )

  6. however the stewards noted that as similar footage was not consistently available for all other cars, it could not be taken into consideration.

    What on earth sort of regulatory framework is this?
    “We have footage of a crime, but because we don’t have footage of every crime ever committed we can not take any action against this crime as it would be unfair(?) to the other victims of crime” is that really what they’re going with?

    At this point I can’t help but think that the FIA has an agenda against the lower teams which are constantly having decisions go against them.

    It is actually unfair.

    1. Nah, I doubt they have an agenda against minor teams, just think about austin: that dq without checking the rest was unfair to 2 of the biggest teams, and since they didn’t want to penalise unfairly here they should’ve checked all planks, at least of the points-scorers in that case.

  7. Why should you get anything for coming 14th, ya bunch of gridfillas? It’s not school sports day, this is Formula 1.

  8. Remember when track limits weren’t a thing except in some exceptional circumstances and we never heard about “enforcing track limits?” Pepperidge Farm remembers.

    Seriously though, what a great example of creating a problem out of thin air.

Comments are closed.