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Ferrari consider fresh challenge after Sebastian Vettel’s Mexican GP penalty appeal rejected

Ferrari consider fresh challenge after Sebastian Vettel’s Mexican GP penalty appeal rejected
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The FIA has rejected Ferrari’s appeal against Sebastian Vettel’s time penalty in the Mexican Grand Prix.

However, Ferrari have reserved their right to launch a fresh appeal and notified the FIA of their intention. They have until Tuesday to formalise any challenge.

Mexican GP stewards, who reconvened in a teleconference on Friday, decided there was “no new element” in the case despite submissions from Ferrari claiming there was.

Vettel was handed a 10-second time penalty and dropped from third to fifth in the Mexican GP results on October 30 after being found to have illegally moved under braking to defend against Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.

He became the first driver to be punished under the new regulation clamping down on drivers making such defensive moves – dubbed the ‘Verstappen rule’.

Citing unspecified ‘new evidence’ on their arrival at the Brazilian GP, Ferrari asked the FIA to review the incident and the governing body arranged a conference call between the three Mexico stewards, the Italian team and Red Bull on Thursday afternoon.

The FIA revealed Ferrari’s argument rested on two points.

Firstly, that race director Charlie Whiting had the “power” to order Verstappen to give a place to Vettel the Dutchman had held on to by running off the track at the first corner in the incident that preceded the Ferrari driver’s battle with Ricciardo.

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And, secondly, that GPS data it presented represented a “new element” in the case.

However, Mexican GP stewards ruled that neither aspect counted as new evidence.

“In relation to the matter of the Race Director having the “power” to instruct the driver of Car 33 to give back the alleged advantage, we note firstly that the relevant article gives the Race Director “absolute authority” to allow the driver to give back a position,” read the FIA’s verdict statement.

“It does not imply an obligation to do so. The fact that the Race Director did not exercise his discretion is not relevant to the decision taken in Document 38.

“In relation to the GPS data, we note that this data is available to teams during the race. It is also available to, and referred to by, the stewards, in the Stewards Room during the race.”

The FIA added that Jock Clear, Ferrari’s representative in the teleconference, conceded the GPS data did not contradict the stewards’ original verdict.

Ferrari had earlier told Sportsclubsociety F1 that the team had requested a review of the incident in order to set a precedent for what kind of defensive moves were permissable under the revised regulations.

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