Alfa Romeo has won the right to review Kimi Raikkonen’s penalty at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix and will do so before today’s race in Portimao.
Raikkonen was penalized for not entering the pit lane ahead of a rolling start after a red flag period in Imola, as he had spun on the previous lap behind the safety car. The Finn was instructed by his team not to regain his place in the queue as the field was under safety car conditions — and it’s illegal to pass under safety car rules — but race restarts require a driver to be in their correct position or be required to restart from the pit lane.
As a rolling restart was chosen because track conditions were wet, Alfa Romeo told Raikkonen not to overtake but asked for clarity that didn’t come until the race had resumed, and Raikkonen was later hit by a controversial penalty. The stewards admitted there were a number of contradictory regulations but insisted the rules had to be applied consistently and pointed to other examples in junior categories of such a penalty being handed out due to a lack of comparable ones in Formula 1.
In a hearing on Saturday, Alfa Romeo successfully argued that there was new evidence that “a significant and relevant new element” has since come to light “was unavailable to the parties seeking the review at the time of the decision concerned.” This centered on the claim that the punishment was being “consistently applied,” as Alfa Romeo was able to alert the stewards to the fact that the incidents in Formula 2 and Formula 3 did not follow a red flag period and were therefore different.
As a result of that point, the stewards will reconvene at on Sunday morning in Portimao to review the penalty decision from Imola. If Alfa Romeo manages to get the penalty reversed, Raikkonen will be reinstated in ninth place in the classification from the previous race.