Aston Martin is considering its position regarding the appeal against Sebastian Vettel’s disqualification from the Hungarian Grand Prix after failing to gain a right to review.
Vettel finished runner-up but was disqualified when the FIA was unable to take a 1.0-liter fuel sample from his car after the race, only managing to extract 0.3L. Aston Martin had previously claimed there was 1.44L in the car – later increasing that to 1.74L – but subsequently found a fuel system failure meant there wasn’t, and so submitted that information as a new, significant and relevant element in its petition for a right to review the penalty.
While the FIA accepted the element as new, it dismissed it as relevant because the regulations simply demand that a team provides a 1.0L fuel sample at any time, and makes no exceptions for any reasons why it might not be able to do so. After seeing the right to review request dismissed, team principal Otmar Szafnauer mentioned Aston Martin is weighing up whether to continue with a full appeal of the decision.
“Sebastian drove brilliantly in Hungary and we are pleased to have been given the opportunity to show significant new evidence that we discovered since the race,” Szafnauer said. “We felt that the evidence we presented was relevant and demonstrated to the FIA that he should have been reinstated following his disqualification.
“Unfortunately, the FIA took a different view and, despite the fact that the accuracy of our new evidence was not contested, Sebastian’s disqualification has been upheld on the basis that the new evidence was not deemed ‘relevant’. That is disappointing, and we will now consider our position in respect of the full appeal process.”
The petition for a right to review was lodged at the same time Aston Martin confirmed its intention to appeal the penalty, which means it is taking two different routes to try and overturn the decision but it can withdraw that appeal at any time.
Should the team push ahead with the appeal, it will not need a new element to convince the FIA but can attempt to argue its case based on the existing evidence.