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FIA rejects Haas' request for review of US GP track limits breaches

The FIA has rejected the Haas Formula 1 team's right of review over alleged track limit infringements at Formula 1’s United States Grand Prix.

Nico Hulkenberg, Haas VF-23, Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT04, abd Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo C43

Nico Hulkenberg, Haas VF-23, Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT04, abd Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo C43

Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Last week it emerged that Haas had lodged a petition with the FIA to review various track limit breaches in Austin, asserting that several drivers had benefited from abusing track limits at COTA's Turn 6, that were not properly policed by race control.

Afterwards, several teams raised questions after seeing on-board images of competitors apparently crossing the white line, including Red Bull's Sergio Perez, Williams duo Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant as well as Aston Martin's Lance Stroll.

Originally, the stewards decided not to take further action against Albon, acknowledging that there had been "indication for possible track limit infringements in Turn 6" but without sufficient evidence to hand out penalties. The remaining three drivers had not been investigated.

Haas disputed this, however, and launched a right of review procedure which hinges on the party in question providing new, significant and relevant evidence that wasn't available at the time.

Haas moved to ask for a right of review as in Sargeant's case a five-second penalty would have seen him lose his point for 10th place to Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg.

After hearings on Wednesday and Thursday, which involved the respective team managers of Haas, Red Bull, Williams and Aston Martin and was also attended by Ferrari and McLaren, the FIA panel decided to reject Haas' request.

Haas submitted on-board footage from Perez, Albon, Sargeant and Stroll allegedly crossing track limits in Turn 6 on several occasions, as well as footage from cars following Albon through the corner.

Nico Hulkenberg, Haas VF-23 Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT04

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Nico Hulkenberg, Haas VF-23 Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT04

But the Austin stewards also present in the hearing decided that, contrary to Haas' point of view, those videos were already available to the team at the time of the original stewards' decisions on Sunday night, which absolved Albon and finalised the race classification.

The FIA panel therefore rejected Haas' request, meaning the matter is now closed. If the FIA had agreed that Haas' evidence qualified for a right of review, the team would have been granted a subsequent second hearing to review the race result.

The stewards did agree that the evidence against Albon was significant while dismissing the evidence against the other three drivers and judging that none of the evidence presented was new or relevant.

They re-iterated that the images were available to them, but were not considered sufficient evidence due to the lack of fixed CCTV footage.

The stewards therefore couldn't penalise Albon or other drivers for alleged Turn 6 offences, but they stressed the importance of finding better track limits solutions in the future, a process which is already underway.

"[The stewards] find their inability to properly enforce the current standard for track limits for all competitors completely unsatisfactory and therefore strongly recommend to all concerned that a solution to prevent further reoccurrences of this widespread problem be rapidly deployed," said the hearing statement.

"Whether the problem is properly addressed by better technology solutions, track modifications, a combination thereof, or a different regulation and enforcement standard, the stewards leave to those better positioned to make such assessments."

Track limits issues have plagued F1 in recent years, with this year's Austrian Grand Prix a particular low-point as stewards faced the near-impossible task of reviewing over 1200 potential breaches. The final result was declared nearly five hours after the chequered flag.

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