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FIA hands out 12 penalties for track limit offences after F1 Austrian GP

The FIA has handed out an additional 12 penalties for track limit offences during Formula 1’s 2023 Austrian Grand Prix, to demote Carlos Sainz and Lewis Hamilton most notably.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Max Verstappen dominated the Red Bull Ring race to win from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and team-mate Sergio Perez. But the provisional result was soon plunged into doubt.

Aston Martin launched a protest in relation to incidents of breaches of track limits – predominately at Turns 9 and 10 – not being correctly identified and penalised.

The FIA then revealed that it had been unable to review in excess of 1200 reports of violations of drivers having strayed over the painted white lines with all four wheels during the 71-lap race.

The stewards, meanwhile, were presented with a list of deleted lap times from race control that showed cases of infringements that were not previously brought to their attention.

These have now been reviewed and a further 12 penalties awarded on the following basis:

-Three infringements should have resulted in a black-and-white warning flag
-Four infringements earn a five-second penalty
-Five infringements earn a 10-second penalty
-Thereafter, a “reset” has been allowed due to the “excessive number of infringements” meaning four fouls earns another five-second penalty.

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

As a result of the full review, Sainz has dropped two places to sixth in the final classification.

He was initially handed a five-second penalty, which he served at his second pitstop. But that has now been upped to a 10s hit.

The Spaniard subsequently falls behind McLaren driver Lando Norris and Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso.

Similarly, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has been moved from a five to 10-second penalty to fall a place behind his team-mate George Russell to eighth.

Esteban Ocon is the biggest casualty of the new evidence presented to the stewards. He has copped four separate penalties that combine for a 30s hit. His 12th place becomes 14th.

Pierre Gasly (now 10th in the final results), Williams duo Alex Albon (11th), Logan Sargeant (13th) and AlphaTauri drivers Nyck de Vries (17th) and Yuki Tsunoda (19th) have also been penalised.

Teams retain the right to appeal these latest decisions within a specific timeframe.

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A523

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A523

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Autosport understands teams were frustrated by the delayed policing of track limits since they might have otherwise been able to warn drivers when they were shown a black-and-white flag that they were only one strike away from receiving a five-second penalty.

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The stewards added that they “very strongly recommend that a solution be found to the track limits”.

The FIA has previously lobbied Red Bull Ring management to instal gravel traps on the exit of Turns 9 and 10 – as is used at the slower Turn 4. But these have not come to fruition owing to the circuit also hosting motorcycle championship events including MotoGP.

Updated F1 Austrian GP race results

Cla Driver Chassis Engine Gap Interval
1 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull Red Bull    
2 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari Ferrari 5.155 5.155
3 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull Red Bull 17.188 12.033
4 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes 26.327 9.139
5 Spain Fernando Alonso Aston Martin Mercedes 30.317 3.990
6 Spain Carlos Sainz Ferrari Ferrari 31.377 1.060
7 United Kingdom George Russell Mercedes Mercedes 48.403 17.026
8 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Mercedes 49.196 0.793
9 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes 59.043 9.847
10 France Pierre Gasly Alpine Renault 1'07.667 8.624
11 Thailand Alex Albon Williams Mercedes 1'19.767 12.100
12 China Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo Ferrari 1 Lap 1 Lap
13 United States Logan Sargeant Williams Mercedes 1 Lap 6.751
14 France Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault 1 Lap 10.756
15 Finland Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo Ferrari 1 Lap 0.637
16 Australia Oscar Piastri McLaren Mercedes 1 Lap 3.792
17 Netherlands Nyck de Vries AlphaTauri Red Bull 1 Lap 3.134
18 Denmark Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1 Lap 6.950
19 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri Red Bull 1 Lap 3.220
  Germany Nico Hulkenberg Haas Ferrari 59 Laps 58 Laps

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