The Haas Formula 1 team has lodged a protest over the Australian Grand Prix result as it seeks its first-ever podium result.
A red flag, the second deployed in the race, was flown late on when Kevin Magnussen hit the wall and spread debris across the track between Turns 2 and 3.
A standing restart was called but chaos ensued with multiple collisions occurring at the first corner, including between compatriots Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz.
Another red flag, the third of the day, was shown and the cars returned to the pit lane, with Nico Hulkenberg positioned in fourth as a result of the crashes.
However, the FIA declared that the race would restart for a final lap behind the Safety Car, with the order being taken from the prior standing start.
This dropped Hulkenberg back down to eighth – but this became seventh at the chequered flag when Sainz was issued with a five-second time penalty for his part to play in the Alonso incident.
But had the order been taken from the positions after the restart carnage, it would’ve promoted Hulkenberg into third and delivered his and Haas’ maiden podium.
“It was wild and a bit messy at times,” Hulkenberg said. “We’ll have to look through everything that happened as there were a lot of things happening.
“I had a super start the third time around on Softs and came through to P4, so it’s a shame there were a few incidents and then the race was red flagged.”
Sainz expressed displeasure with being penalised, stating over team radio that he should be allowed to speak to the stewards first.
The Spaniard said it was the “most unfair penalty I’ve ever seen” as it dropped him from fourth place to 11th, denying Ferrari any points in Melbourne as team-mate Charles Leclerc retired on the opening lap.