Aston Martin lose penalty appeal with FIA citing ‘no exceptions’ to fuel rule
Aston Martin have lost their appeal against a penalty issued to Sebastian Vettel in Hungary that lost him a long-awaited P2 status.
The penalty was issued after FIA officials took a fuel sample that showed less than the minimum quantity allowed after a race – but the team had said they had “significant new evidence” that would aid them in their plea.
As part of the evidence, the team said there was, in fact, more fuel in the tank but that was not able to be pumped out, and in a statement, Aston Martin said their data showed there was 1.74 litres of fuel left in the car after the Hungarian GP.
The statement released read: “Since the team’s data indicated that there was more than 1.0 litre of fuel in the car after the race – 1.74 litres according to the data – the team immediately reserved its right to appeal, and has requested a right of review alongside the appeal procedure, as a result of having discovered significant new evidence relevant to the sanction which was unavailable to it at the time of the FIA stewards’ decision.”
On Monday, the FIA released a statement saying Aston Martin had lost their appeal explaining that; “The technical regulations unequivocally call for a remaining amount of 1-litre and does not allow any exceptions.
“Therefore, for the assessment of whether or not 1-litre requirement was broken, it does not make a difference why there was less than 1-litre. There may be a couple of explanations why at the end of a race the remaining amount is insufficient.
“In any case, it remains the sole responsibility of the competitor to ensure the car is in conformity with the regulations at all times and it shall be no defence to claim that no performance advantage was obtained.
“In order to affirm a relevant fact, Aston Martin would have had to present facts that actually more than 1-litre of fuel was remaining. The explanation why this requirement could not be met is not relevant to the decision as to whether a breach of the regulations has occurred.”
“We felt that the evidence we presented was relevant and demonstrated to the FIA that he should have been reinstated following his disqualification,” said Team Principal, Otmar Szafnauer.
“Unfortunately, the FIA took a different view and, despite the fact that that the accuracy of our new evidence was not contested, Sebastian’s disqualification has been upheld on the basis that the new evidence was not deemed ‘relevant’.
“That is disappointing, and we will now consider our position in respect of the full appeal process.”