Controversy Strikes Red Bull Ring Race as Penalties Reshape Final Results

July 3, 2023 9:58 am

In a stunning display of skill and speed, Max Verstappen emerged as the dominant force at the Red Bull Ring race, clinching victory over Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and his own teammate Sergio Perez. However, the provisional result was soon thrown into uncertainty due to a protest lodged by Aston Martin.

The protest centered around incidents where track limits were breached, particularly at Turns 9 and 10, without appropriate penalties being enforced. Upon investigation, the FIA revealed that over 1200 reports of violations, where drivers exceeded the boundaries with all four wheels, had not been adequately reviewed during the 71-lap race. Enhance your F1 viewing experience with attractive betting odds from Nextbet.

Subsequently, the stewards were presented with a comprehensive list of deleted lap times that highlighted instances of rule violations that had not been previously addressed. After careful evaluation, a total of 12 penalties were issued based on the following criteria:

– Three infringements warranted a black-and-white warning flag.

– Four infringements resulted in a five-second penalty.

– Five infringements incurred a ten-second penalty.

– Beyond that, due to the excessive number of infringements, a “reset” was allowed, leading to an additional five-second penalty for every four subsequent violations.

Consequently, Carlos Sainz dropped two positions, ending up in sixth place in the final classification. Initially, he received a five-second penalty, which was served during his second pitstop, but it was subsequently increased to a 10-second penalty. As a result, Sainz now finds himself behind McLaren’s Lando Norris and Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton also faced a penalty revision, going from a five-second penalty to a 10-second one, which pushed him down to eighth place, falling behind his teammate George Russell.

Esteban Ocon faced the greatest impact from the new evidence, accumulating four separate penalties resulting in a total time penalty of 30 seconds. Consequently, his 12th place finish in the initial classification was revised to 14th.

Other drivers affected by the penalties include Pierre Gasly, who now occupies 10th place in the final results, as well as Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant from Williams in 11th and 13th place, respectively. AlphaTauri drivers Nyck de Vries and Yuki Tsunoda also faced penalties, resulting in their final positions of 17th and 19th, respectively.

Teams have the option to appeal these recent decisions within a specified timeframe. However, frustrations have arisen among teams regarding the delayed enforcement of track limits, as earlier intervention could have allowed them to warn drivers when they received a black-and-white flag, indicating that they were one infraction away from receiving a five-second penalty.

The stewards strongly emphasized the need for a resolution to address the issue of track limits. Previously, the FIA had advocated for the installation of gravel traps at the exit of Turns 9 and 10, similar to the ones present at the slower Turn 4. However, due to the circuit hosting motorcycle championship events, including MotoGP, this recommendation has not been implemented. Get the latest updates from the world of F1 only on Nextbet Sports.