Vasseur questions FIA’s consistency in penalty decisions
Fred Vasseur, the head of the Ferrari team, has expressed his disappointment with the FIA’s decision to penalize Carlos Sainz with only 5 seconds, while Fernando Alonso was given a penalty of 30 laps for the same incident during the 2023 Australian Grand Prix.
Fred Vasseur, the team principal of Ferrari, expressed his frustration with the FIA for not allowing his driver Carlos Sainz to speak to the stewards before his penalty for the 2023 Melbourne GP was imposed.
Vasseur criticized the FIA’s decision to penalize Alonso with 30 laps and Sainz with only 5 seconds, and suggested that if they had taken the time to listen to Carlos, the penalty could have been avoided.
Vasseur believes that the stewards in Melbourne should have heard from Sainz before penalizing his driver for the collision with Fernando Alonso on Sunday. The Frenchman pointed out that the stewards had overturned a decision that had gone against Alonso in the previous Grand Prix.
“Despite facing an unlucky pit stop just before the red flag, Carlos made an impressive comeback. However, the penalty at the end made it particularly difficult. The situation is understandably emotional, considering the close proximity to the podium, being in 4th place while others had a free pit stop. Nonetheless, Carlos did an outstanding job.”
“Now, I think you could argue for hours about the penalty, whether it’s severe or not. Of course, depending on your position, your team, and so on, the analysis will be different.”
“But what’s a shame for me is that since it didn’t impact Fernando’s podium, the stewards could have listened to the drivers and looked at the data. And I think that’s a bit of a shame. The week before, we changed the rule twice in 10 minutes regarding Alonso’s pit stop, and we could have done the same thing in Melbourne, at least to discuss it.”
Vasseur confirmed that Ferrari would not appeal the decision, but wondered why it was made so quickly.
“I’m not a big fan of appeals. It’s an on-track incident, but with an on-track incident, you always have two cars involved and two ways to see the incident. They could have taken 5 minutes to listen to Carlos, again it wouldn’t have changed the podium.”
“It’s worth noting that the stewards took 30 laps to decide if Alonso was in his starting position in Jeddah, but it only took them a mere five seconds to make a decision in the current incident.”
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