Stewards dismiss Williams request to review Baku penalties

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Stewards dismiss Williams request to review Baku penalties

Formula 1

Stewards dismiss Williams request to review Baku penalties

The stewards of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix have dismissed a request from Williams to review a number of penalties and incidents in the race, including Fernando Alonso’s driving.

Williams wanted the first-lap collision between Sergey Sirotkin and Sergio Perez reviewed, with its driver having been given a three-place grid penalty for this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix as a result. In arguing that the penalty was unfair, Williams also referenced a first-lap collision between Kimi Raikkonen and Esteban Ocon that saw the Force India retire but resulted in no further action, as well as contact between Kevin Magnussen and Pierre Gasly late in the race that earned Magnussen a 10-second time penalty but did not result in a loss of points.

Williams also requested that Alonso’s driving on the opening lap of the race be reviewed, with the McLaren driver limping back to the pits with a heavily damaged car after contact after Turn 2 with Sirotkin, who retired at Turn 3.

The stewards that were present in Baku agreed to hear the Williams request on Tuesday morning via teleconference, with the initial hearing designed to decide whether a full review would be carried out.

However, they decided “unanimously, that there is no new significant and relevant element present, which justifies a review of any of the five incidents referred to in the request.”

The stewards highlighted that Sirotkin’s penalty was due to him making contact with the rear of another car rather than being side-by-side as in the other cases presented. They also dismissed the Williams claim that Magnussen’s penalty was “inconsequential,” saying teams were made aware in 2013 that “the consequences of penalties are not taken into account.”

FIA race director Charlie Whiting was present at the hearing and stated that in monitoring Alonso’s driving he “noted that firstly, the Safety Car was present, and secondly that the driver took care to avoid the racing line, avoid following traffic and minimized risk.” The fact that Williams did not take exception to Alonso’s driving at the time was also referenced by the stewards.

In response to Williams’ claims that there were inconsistencies with the penalties, the stewards also stated that “differing penalties imposed or incidents where no further action was taken, cannot be regarded as a new element.”

As a result, the stewards dismissed the request to hold a formal review. Williams says it will not be issuing a statement following the request but will answer all questions at this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.

–Chris Medland

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