LE CASTELLET, France — Ferrari believes the new evidence it has provided to the FIA concerning Sebastian Vettel’s controversial Canadian Grand Prix penalty is significant enough to prove it was the wrong decision.
Vettel was penalised five seconds after running wide while leading the race in Montreal and rejoining the track in front of rival Lewis Hamilton. The stewards decided he had returned to the track in an unsafe manner and run Hamilton off the track, resulting in a penalty that ultimately cost him victory and demoted him to second place.
Ferrari and the FIA met on Friday afternoon at the Paul Ricard circuit, the host of this weekend’s French Grand Prix, to determine whether the new evidence warrants a review of the penalty. Technical chief Laurent Mekies visited the stewards for 35 minutes on Friday afternoon.
Mekies spoke to the media shortly before the hearing, saying: “The first thing we’d like to underline is we very much respect the work of the stewards.
“We know it’s a very difficult job. It’s a complex world, complex races, and therefore we are fully supportive of what they are trying to achieve. Now, in the aftermath of the grand prix, we have access to a number of new evidence.
“We looked at [the evidence] and for this reason and we have requested the FIA’s right of review because we believe that this evidence is quite overwhelming when it comes to establishing that Sebastian did not breach any regulation.”
Mekies would not elaborate on details, saying it would not be appropriate to do so until the team had presented it to the stewards.
The stewards will have sole discretion over whether the evidence presented by Ferrari is indeed new and something which was not considered before the initial decision. If the evidence is considered admissible, a secondary hearing will be held in which the stewards’ decision will be reviewed in light of the new evidence.