Ferrari opts against Sebastian Vettel appeal, evaluating right to review

Sebastian Vettel at the Canadian Grand Prix

Ferrari has opted not to appeal the penalty received by Sebastian Vettel at last weekend’s Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix, but is evaluating its right to review.

Vettel led proceedings at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve but went wide through Turn 4 two-thirds of the way through the race, and took to the grass.

Stewards deemed that Vettel re-joined the track in an unsafe manner and forced the pursuing Lewis Hamilton to take evasive action.

A five-second penalty was issued and while Vettel crossed the line in first place he was demoted to second once the sanction was applied, with Hamilton inheriting the win.

On Sunday evening it was confirmed that Ferrari had lodged an intention to appeal Vettel’s penalty.

As per the stewards’ report Ferrari had 96 hours to decide whether to officially appeal the decision, which would require the submission of new evidence.

It was always unlikely that such a route would prove successful, for the FIA’s International Court of Appeal decrees that a time penalty is among those sanctions that cannot be appealed.

On Thursday evening, as the 96-hour deadline expired, a Ferrari spokesperson confirmed to Motorsport Week that it had withdrawn its intention to appeal.

But it was also confirmed that Ferrari is evaluating the right to review.

Such reviews are possible under Article 14 of the FIA’s International Sporting Code.

Article 14.1.1 states that “If, in Competitions forming part of an FIA Championship, cup, trophy, challenge or series, or of an international series, a significant and relevant new element is discovered which was unavailable to the parties seeking the review at the time of the Competition concerned, whether or not the stewards have already given a ruling, these stewards or, failing this, those designated by the FIA, must meet (in person or by other means) on a date agreed amongst themselves, summoning the party or parties concerned to hear any relevant explanations and to judge in the light of the facts and elements brought before them.”

The Article states that the period in which a petition for review can happen is 14 days, meaning that Ferrari has until the Sunday evening of the French Grand Prix to determine its next course of action.

If such new evidence is submitted by Ferrari to the FIA then the sport’s governing body will reconvene its stewards to discuss the matter further.

Article 14.3 of the aforementioned ISC states that the stewards will have the "sole discretion" to determine whether "significant and relevant new evidence exists."