Ferrari demand ‘discussion’ with FIA over Carlos Sainz injustice

Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur has confirmed the team will appeal Carlos Sainz's penalty picked up at the Australian GP.

Ferrari are not backing down in their attempts to get a penalty issued to Carlos Sainz at the Australian Grand Prix scrapped, with the punishment meaning he dropped from a fourth-placed finish to P12 and thus out of the points.

A positive Friday turned into a nightmare weekend for Ferrari, who were one of the most unfortunate teams of the day on a chaotic Sunday in Melbourne that saw eight drivers not finish the race.

Charles Leclerc’s race was over just three turns into the first lap, meaning all hopes of salvaging the weekend were pinned to Sainz early on.

But following a race restart towards the end, Sainz was adjudged to have tagged Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin, which sent him spinning and saw him tumble down the order, resulting in him being issued the race-ending penalty.

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Team principal Frederic Vasseur remains unhappy with the punishment Sainz received, however, and said it was the ‘most unfair penalty’ he had seen, before opening up on the next steps.

“We filed a request for a review of the decision. We sent it to the FIA.”

The Spanish driver was visibly upset after the race upon learning of the penalty from an incident which was followed by further incidents and another red flag, ultimately rendering the lap of the race where Sainz and Alonso made contact irrelevant.

Alonso still finished on the podium as the FIA reverted to a classification which stood before Sainz’ contact with his fellow Spaniard, meaning his race ultimately wasn’t affected, but Sainz’ still was.

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Vasseur added: “We hope to at least have an open discussion with the FIA.

“It’s for the good of the sport to avoid having this type of decision where you have three incidents at the same turn and a decision only for one.”

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He then referred to the further chaos involving the two Alpine drivers, which went unpunished: “We had the impression that the incident between Gasly and Ocon was treated a little differently.”

While Ferrari await the outcome of their appeal, they must look forward to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix at the end of April and find a way to string together a positive weekend.

They currently sit fourth in the Constructor Standings on 26 points, but already find themselves 97 points behind leaders Red Bull, and are yet to truly challenge for a race win this season.