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Haas submits protest over F1 Australian GP result

Haas has protested the result of Formula 1’s Australian Grand Prix in the wake of the FIA’s decisions ahead of the final restart.

Nico Hulkenberg, Haas VF-23, parks up at the end of the race

Nico Hulkenberg, Haas VF-23, parks up at the end of the race

Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

The American-owned outfit appeared to have been the biggest gainer from a chaotic second red flag restart as Nico Hulkenberg moved up to fourth place on the road as a number of front runners crashed out in the chaotic first few corners.

With a third red flag being brought out, the FIA elected to go for another restart – although this time it was behind a safety car and the cars only went around to take the chequered flag.

But it was the decision of the FIA to revert to the running order of the previous restart that triggered some annoyance, as it meant that Hulkenberg was shuffled back to seventh on the road.

Rivals who had hit trouble at the original restart – including Fernando Alonso, Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez - were all allowed to retake their original positions in the order.

While Haas has not commented on the reasons for its protest, it is almost certainly related to the decisions made for the restart that cost Hulkenberg.

In a super close midfield battle, the loss of points through the drop of positions could prove critical at the end of the season in the fight for constructors’ championship positions.

The classification of positions for when races are stopped is laid out in F1’s Sporting Regulations.

The Safety Car Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23

The Safety Car Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23

Photo by: Lionel Ng / Motorsport Images

Article 57.3 of the rules states that when a race is suspended, the classification is taken from the last official point where positions can be determined.

It states: “In all cases the order will be taken at the last point at which it was possible to determine the position of all cars. All such cars will then be permitted to resume the sprint session or the race.”

How exactly this is determined is not specified, but in the case of what happened in Australia – where a number of cars did not make it through the first timing sector – then there is little choice but to roll it back to the original starting positions.

This is what happened at last year’s British Grand Prix, which was stopped on the opening lap after Zhou Guanyu’s spectacular crash and restarted with the original grid positions.

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