Toyota Withdraw Ralf Appeal

Toyota have decided to withdraw their appeal against Ralf Schumacher's time penalty from the San Marino Grand Prix after he blocked Nick Heidfeld coming out of the pits

Toyota Withdraw Ralf Appeal

The Cologne-based manufacturer informed motor racing's governing body on Friday morning that they no longer wished to challenge the 25-second punishment, which relegated Schumacher from his eighth placed finish to 11th.

Schumacher had been punished because the race stewards felts that he had been released too early from his pits and straight into the path of Heidfeld's Williams - who subsequently had to take avoiding action to prevent a crash.

A statement issued by the team claimed that evidence they had gathered to defend their case had not provided a strong enough case.

"The team lodged an appeal on the evening of the race because it wanted the opportunity to undertake a detailed analysis of the incident," said the statement. "After an exhaustive review of the data, the team feels that the evidence is not conclusive and has decided not to take the matter further.

"The team will however work together with the FIA and the other teams to further clarify what constitutes the 'safe release' of the car by the competitor following a pit stop at the subsequent Team Managers meeting."

The climb-down over the appeal came despite claims by the team immediately after the race that they believed they have been unfairly punished for the pitlane incident.

Team principal Tsutomu Tomita said on Sunday: "In view of the extremely vague description of the regulation and a number of similar incidents which have gone unpunished, Toyota has decided to appeal the decision of the stewards in order to clarify this issue for the future."

Toyota's decision means that Heidfeld takes the final points-scoring finish.

The FIA's court of appeal hearing regarding BAR will still be heard in Paris next Wednesday.

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