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Ferrari pushing ahead with Vettel penalty appeal

2019-06-12 10:21
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Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari walks in to parc ferme to swap the 1st and 2nd place boards after the F1 Grand Prix of Canada at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Image: Dan Istitene Getty

Ferrari is pushing ahead with its appeal against the controversial stewards decision that cost Sebastian Vettel victory in Canada.

There has been uncertainty about whether an appeal against the verdict would be heard by the FIA unless new evidence emerges.

But ahead of the Thursday deadline for the appeal being formally lodged, a spokesperson for the Maranello team told German news agency DPA: "We are going forward with the appeal."

Ferrari insider Leo Turrini said on his Quotidiano blog: "I doubt the appeal can happen for official reasons.

"However, the reaction has been so great that common sense could prevail."

Liberty Media, the F1 owner, is staying out of the controversy for now.

"I don't want to give an opinion on the decision, because in my position it would be wrong to do so," said sporting boss Ross Brawn.

He said he has "a lot of respect" for the stewards, but also understands "how difficult it must be" for fans of the sport to see Vettel's win taken away.

"Therefore, it might be useful to work with the FIA on solutions that would allow the stewards to explain their decisions to the fans and to elaborate on how they reached them."

Brawn also denied that the FIA stewards who came to the decision, including former driver Emanuele Pirro, have any "hidden agenda".

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said demonising the stewards after controversial decisions means "no one will want to do the job".

Pirro, the steward in Canada, admitted he has been stung by the criticism that has come from fellow former drivers including Nigel Mansell and Mario Andretti.

"The world and racing have changed," he told Italy's Formula Passion.

"As a racing fan, I'm sorry the race ended like that.  It's not easy to make these decisions, but sports integrity has to come before everything else.

"In short, reason must prevail over heart and passion," Pirro added.

Another issue in play is whether Vettel should be further penalised for his post-race tantrums, including boycotting the top three 'parc ferme' and switching the positions of the number 1 and 2 markers.

Ralf Schumacher called the latter interference of the post-race protocol "really embarrassing".

"Tantrums and insults that denigrate authority and the other competitors must be properly sanctioned, like Max Verstappen when he pushed Esteban Ocon," said Marca correspondent Marco Canseco.

"UEFA would have banned him from between six to eight races without hesitation."

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