F1: Ferrari lose out on Carlos Sainz Australian GP penalty review

Ferrari and Carlos Sainz have seen the FIA dismiss their appeal over a penalty that the Spaniard received at the chaotic ending of the Australian GP.

Following the second red flag restart, Sainz hit Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso, causing him to spin. Fortunately, Alonso did not end up losing any places as incidents during this restart prompted another stoppage.

This third red flag reset the race order back to before lap 57, leaving Alonso still in third. Despite this, the stewards awarded Carlos Sainz a five-second penalty for the collision with his compatriot. Then, as a result of the race finishing under the safety car, Sainz dropped out of the points entirely thanks to his penalty.

Ferrari felt aggrieved by this punishment and thus petitioned for a right of review last week. Unfortunately for Carlos Sainz and the Scuderia, his Australian GP penalty looks set to stick.

FIA upholds Carlos Sainz Australian GP penalty

The sport’s governing body decided following a hearing on Tuesday morning.

They said (via Formula 1.com): “There is no significant and relevant new element which was unavailable to the parties seeking the review at the time of the decision concerned. The petition is therefore dismissed.

“We considered the fact that this collision took place at the first corner on the first lap of the restart,” explained the FIA. “When, by convention, the stewards would typically take a more lenient view of incidents. However, we decided that notwithstanding that it was the equivalent of a first lap incident, there was sufficient gap for Sainz to take steps to avoid the collision, and failed to do so.

“We, therefore, imposed a five-second penalty.”

Ferrari’s argument against the penalising included telemetry from Sainz’s car. In addition, witness testaments from the two Spaniards involved in the incident were provided to boost their case. But these were ultimately unsuccessful as well.

So, Carlos Sainz will stay in his provisional Australian GP result of P12. The outcome of this appeal adds to the miserable start to 2023 for Ferrari.

Ferrari’s slow start in 2023

The Scuderia entered the season with optimism that they could compete with Red Bull once more. Unfortunately, their reliability issues from 2022 also carried over to this season.

Charles Leclerc has suffered two DNFs in the first three rounds. At the season opener in Bahrain, a technical failure saw him retire from the race whilst running in a podium spot. This issue had the knock-on effect of a grid penalty in Saudi Arabia, where Leclerc finished seventh.

Leclerc’s race at round three in Melbourne then lasted just a few turns. The Monegasque ace had a first-lap collision with Lance Stroll that retired him three corners into the Grand Prix.

His teammate has not enjoyed his campaign much either. Carlos Sainz has finished all three races so far but has not yet seen the podium. He finished fourth in Bahrain before a troublesome time in Jeddah saw Sainz come in P6.

And last time out was not successful, with this now-enforced penalty consigning Sainz to a finish outside the points.

Ferrari will desperately hope for an upturn in fortunes at the next round in Azerbaijan. Here, they will want to banish their demons from last year, when both cars suffered a retirement.

Featured image credit: Getty