The FIA has confirmed that it will review its rules in the wake of the controversial scenario that unfolded in Saudi Arabia regarding the last spot on the podium.
Fernando Alonso crossed the line in third place but was immediately flagged by the stewards for allegedly failing to serve an in-race penalty correctly.
Alonso was found to be out of his grid position for the start of the race, which resulted in a five-second time penalty that he served at his one and only pit stop of the grand prix.
During the pit stop, the mechanic at the rear of the car who operates the jack touched the car, which the Stewards claimed broke the rules.
As a result, Alonso was issued a 10-second time penalty that dropped him to fourth place, with Mercedes’ George Russell inheriting the final spot on the podium.
But Aston Martin successfully overturned the ruling, as it showed the stewards “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 penalised”.
However, the Stewards outlined that it was previously agreed at a Sporting Advisory Committee meeting that “no part of the car could be touched while a penalty was being served as this would constitute working on the car.”
But with previous examples of no penalties being issued for identical actions by mechanics being presented, the Stewards had little choice but to hand Aston Martin the podium result back.
The team has taken back-to-back top-three finishes to start the 2023 campaign having made a sizeable jump over the winter break.
The incident in Saudi Arabia sparked outrage due to the confusion, and the FIA has stated that it is reviewing its rules ahead of the Australian Grand Prix in two weeks’ time.
“The subsequent decision of the stewards to hear and grant the Right of Review by the competitor was the result of new evidence regarding the definition of ‘working on the car’, for which there were conflicting precedents, and this has been exposed by this specific circumstance,” said an FIA spokesperson.
“This topic will therefore be addressed at the next Sporting Advisory Committee taking place on Thursday, 23rd March, and a clarification will be issued ahead of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix. This open approach to the review and improvement of its processes is part of the FIA’s ongoing mission to regulate the sport in a fair and transparent way.”
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