FIA confirms date for Ferrari right of review hearing over Sainz penalty

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FIA has scheduled a virtual hearing for 18 April in response to the right of review request submitted by Ferrari last week.

Photo credit: Scuderia Ferrari

In a document released on Friday, the FIA stated that “the driver(s) and team representative(s) are required to report to the stewards for a virtual hearing to be held on 18th April 2023 at 0800 CET in relation to the petition.”

Ferrari is hoping to overturn the stewards’ decision to award Carlos Sainz a five-second penalty for colliding with Fernando Alonso in the chaotic final laps of the Australian Grand Prix. The penalty demoted him from P4 to P12, which meant Ferrari returned from Melbourne empty-handed.

Sainz called it “the most unfair penalty” he has “ever seen in [his] life” and lamented that he wasn’t given a chance to speak to the stewards. Team boss Frédéric Vasseur later echoed this sentiment, saying that the stewards should have taken the time to hear from the drivers involved before handing out the penalty.

Ferrari will first have to present “significant and relevant” new evidence that would warrant reopening the case. Speaking about the situation last week, Vasseur remained tight-lipped about the details of Ferrari’s appeal.

He explained: “The process is that first, they will have a look on our petition to see if they can re-open the case.”

“And then we’ll have a second hearing a bit later, with the same stewards or the stewards of the next meeting, about the decision itself.”

“What we can expect is at least to have an open discussion with them, and also for the good of the sport to avoid having this kind of decision when you have three cases on the same corner, and not the same decision.”

“Because the case was very special, and in this case, I think it would have made sense considering that it was the race was over, it was not affecting the podium, to have a hearing, as Gasly and Ocon had.”

Depending on the outcome, the penalty might still stand, be changed, or be overturned completely.