Haas has decided not to appeal the stewards decision against Force India during last weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Amid a dispute about historical constructors’ championship payments, Haas protested the legality of the two Force India cars entered at the final race, claiming they did not comply with the definition of a constructor. Haas was protesting the fact that Force India was racing as a new entrant since the Belgian Grand Prix, but using cars designed and built by a different constructor — the previous Force India team.
The stewards dismissed the protest on Saturday morning, but as part of their decision did state their belief that Force India is a new team rather than a continuation of the previous one, which Haas might use in discussions with Formula 1 about payments — since it was not entitled to certain prize money during its first two seasons as a new entrant itself.
While Haas registered its intent to appeal the decision during the required time frame in Abu Dhabi, the team confirmed on Wednesday it would not take the protest any further.
Force India team principal Otmar Szafnauer told RACER he was not surprised by Haas opting against an appeal.
“It was pretty clear to me, the stewards kind of confirmed that,” Szafnauer said. “I would have been surprised if they would have appealed because I think the International Court of Appeal would have just reconfirmed what the stewards said. So I think it was probably a telling thing to do.”
And Szafnauer says he is not concerned by the stewards viewing Force India as a new team, saying various stages of the protest hearing included opposing examples of its status.
“There’s conflicting evidence of that. There are some bits that we acted like a continuation of the old team, and some bits that are like a new team. From the stewards perspective they thought we were more new than old, but for example we had to use the same engine allocation, gearbox allocation and also wind tunnel restriction. So that all points to us being an old team.
“The sponsors are the same, the people are the same — all that points to us being an old team.
“We have a new entry and a slightly modified name — that points to us being a new team. So I don’t know which one takes precedent, but that’s what the stewards have said.”