Aston Martin now considering its position with respect to the appeal of the penalty – which lost Vettel second place and 18 points in Budapest; Team boss Otmar Szafnauer labels stewards’ verdict “disappointing”
By Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 10/08/21 6:14am
Aston Martin’s bid to get Sebastian Vettel’s costly disqualification from the Hungarian GP reviewed has been dismissed by the FIA.
The team has confirmed that it is now “considering its position in respect of its outstanding appeal” against the penalty, which lost Vettel second place in Budapest. The appeal is still ongoing, although the latest verdict from the FIA stewards is a major blow to Aston Martin’s hopes of success.
Vettel was disqualified long after he stepped on the podium last Sunday after Aston Martin failed to provide the required 1-litre fuel sample post-race. Launching their intent to appeal and their right of review last week, the team claimed there were 1.44litres of fuel left in the car – despite the FIA technical delegate only being able to extract 0.3litres.
They also said they had “discovered significant new evidence” in the case.
The stewards met with Aston Martin personnel – including team boss Otmar Szafnauer – on Monday afternoon, with the team claiming that a “fuel system failure” led to them not having the required amount of fuel after the race.
However, the right of review request was denied by the FIA as F1’s governing body – while accepting the information was a “new element” – claimed it did not matter why there was less than 1-litre of fuel in the car and deemed it not to be relevant.
“The technical regulations unequivocally call for a remaining amount of 1-litre and does not allow any exceptions,” read an FIA statement on Monday evening.
“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.”
Aston Martin said afterwards they were considering their appeal against the Vettel penalty decision, which is separate to their right of review case.
“We felt that the evidence we presented was relevant and demonstrated to the FIA that he should have been reinstated following his disqualification,” stated 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.”
Under the provisional results, Vettel’s exclusion promoted Lewis Hamilton from third to second in the finishing order with the extra points increasing his title advantage over Max Verstappen to eight points.
Aston Martin also dropped back behind AlphaTauri to seventh in the Constructors’ Championship.