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FIA sets date for review of Sainz's F1 Australian GP penalty

The FIA has announced that a virtual hearing into Ferrari's request for a right of review over Carlos Sainz's penalty in the Australian GP will take place on 18 April.

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23

Ferrari made the request after Sainz was docked five seconds following his collision with Fernando Alonso after the final grid restart in Melbourne.

The contact between the two Spaniards was one of several incidents that occurred at the restart and which led to the third red flag of the race.

Sainz received the penalty before the resumption for a one-lap run to the chequered flag behind the safety car.

Because the field was bunched together – and rivals knew to stay as close as possible – he tumbled from fourth to 12th in the final order.

Sainz and his team boss Fred Vasseur were both frustrated that the penalty was given without the stewards hearing from the drivers concerned, especially as the incident took place so close to the end and did not impact the podium positions.

The team launched the right of review process in an attempt to get the penalty rescinded.

Ferrari will first have to prove that it can produce a "significant and relevant new element" that was not available to the stewards at the time before the process continues with an analysis of that evidence.

The FIA noted on Friday: "The stewards of the 2023 Australian Grand Prix have received a letter from Nikolas Tombazis, single-seater director of the FIA, attaching a petition by competitor Scuderia Ferrari dated 6th April 2023 under Article 14 of the FIA International Sporting Code ("Petition"), seeking a review of the stewards decision n°46 made within the framework of the 2023 Australian Grand Prix and requesting that the Stewards 'consider such request and to make a determination whether or not a significant and relevant new element exists (Article 14.3 of the Code) in relation to the decision/incident.'"

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari

Photo by: Ferrari

It added: "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."

Other teams with an interest in the outcome are allowed to participate in the process.

If Sainz gets his fourth place back, the drivers classified behind him – Lance Stroll, Sergio Perez, Lando Norris, Nico Hulkenberg, Oscar Piastri, Zhou Guanyu and Yuki Tsunoda – would all drop back a place and lose points.

"The process is that first, they will have a look on our petition to see if they can re-open the case," said Vasseur last week.

"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 to have this kind of decision when you have three cases on the same corner, and not the same decision.

"The biggest frustration was from Carlos, and you heard it on the radio, to not have a hearing.

"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."

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