Ferrari will not appeal F1 Austrian Grand Prix stewards' decision not to penalize Verstappen
Ferrari will not appeal the decision not to penalize F1 Austrian Grand Prix winner Max Verstappen for an aggressive race-winning move.
The Austrian Grand Prix was without question the race of the season so far. The first race not to be won by a Mercedes, close battles throughout the pack and some robust passes did a lot to restore F1’s crumbling reputation in the short term.
However, for all of the entertainment, the work came close to being thrown instantly down the drain when Max Verstappen came under investigation for his pass on Charles Leclerc which involved minor contact and Leclerc being run off the road as the pass was completed.
Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto has confirmed that the team will not launch an appeal on the ‘no penalty’ decision.
“We still believe that this is a wrong decision, that’s our own opinion,” said Binotto. “We believe that Charles leaves the entire space, he had no fault, a collision has happened, and he has been pushed and forced off the track.”
“They (the stewards) are the judge, we need to respect that, and more than that, as a Ferrari fan — and I am ultimate Ferrari fan — I think it’s time for F1 to turn the page and look ahead.”
In truth, Verstappen was lucky to escape without a penalty and Ferrari would actually have a strong case should they have decided to appeal. Before completing the move, Verstappen opened up the steering lock to run Leclerc, who was level wheel to wheel at the time, off the road.
Despite this, it is for the good of Formula 1 that no penalty was dished out. The run-off was there and, no matter how many times people question what would have happened if there was a concrete wall there rather than tarmac runoff, the fact is that there was no wall and there was a run-off.
Hard racing in Austria provided the most entertainment of the year, so this should not be stifled. It should be encouraged.
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