Fernando Alonso’s podium finish at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix has been reinstated following a review from the FIA.
His 100th podium result was stripped several minutes after the podium ceremony in Jeddah concluded.
Alonso served a penalty during the grand prix for being our of position at the race start, however the Stewards judged that it was not done so correctly.
As a result, he was handed a 10-second time penalty that dropped him to fourth place, with George Russell inheriting third.
However, Aston Martin requested a right of review after the punishment and successfully had the penalty overturned.
The Stewards explained that it was “shown minutes of the latest SAC meeting and video evidence of 7 different instances where cars were touched by the jack while serving a similar penalty to the one imposed on Car 14 without being penalized”.
It was proposed by Aston Martin that a previous agreement between FIA and the teams that touching the car doesn’t directly translate to working on it.
The full statement from the Stewards continued: “The clear submission by the Team was that the alleged representation of an agreement between the FIA and the teams that touching the car in any way, including with a jack, would constitute ‘working’ on the car for the purposes of Article 54.4 (c) of the Sporting Regulations, was incorrect and therefore the basis of the Steward’s decision was wrong.
“In the light of the Petition, the Stewards had to decide if there was a ‘significant and relevant new element [that was] discovered which was unavailable to the parties seeking the review at the time of the decision concerned’.
“If there was such an element(s) then the Stewards would need to consider whether the decision needed to be modified in any way.
“Having reviewed the video evidence presented and having heard from the Team representative of Aston Martin and the relevant members from the FIA, the Stewards determined that there did exist significant and relevant new evidence as required under Article 14.1.1 to trigger a review of the decision, in particular the video evidence and the verbal evidence from the Team and from the FIA. It was clear to us that the substratum of the original decision, namely the representation of there being an agreement, was called into question by the new evidence.
“We therefore proceeded to hear the substance of the request for review.
“Having reviewed the new evidence, we concluded that there was no clear agreement, as was suggested to the Stewards previously, that could be relied upon to determine that parties had agreed that a jack touching a car would amount to working on the car, without more.
“In the circumstances, we considered that our original decision to impose a penalty on Car 14 needed to be reversed and we did so accordingly.”
As a result of the reinstatement, Aston Martin has re-captured second place in the Constructors’ Championship.
The FIA further outlined that the relevant topic of the definition of ‘working on the car’ will “be addressed at the next Sporting Advisory Committee taking place on Thursday, 23 March, and a clarification will be issued ahead of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix”.
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