Ferrari have asked FIA stewards to reconsider their decision to penalise Sebastian Vettel at last month’s Mexican Grand Prix.
Vettel received a 10-second penalty after he was adjudged to have driven “dangerously and erratically” while attempting to hold on to fourth position ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.
The German therefore slipped from third to fifth in the final classification, behind Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, who had earlier been punished with a five-second penalty of his own for going off track and gaining an advantage over Vettel.
Red Bull can tie up second place in the constructors’ standings in Brazil this weekend and Ferrari will not be able to recoup any championship points in their appeal, but the Italian squad hope the case can set a precedent after Vettel was the first driver to fall foul of new regulations concerning aggressive defence in braking zones – prompted by a string of incidents involving Verstappen.
A statement from Vettel’s team on Thursday read: “Scuderia Ferrari considers that a number of new elements have come to light after the decision was rendered that make the decision reviewable under Article 14.1 of the International Sporting Code.
“Scuderia Ferrari is aware that championship rankings will not change, regardless of the outcome.
“But in light of its importance as a precedent for the future, and in order to provide clarity in the application of the rules in future events, Scuderia Ferrari believes that the decision should be reconsidered by the stewards.”
During the drivers’ news conference ahead of this weekend’s grand prix in Brazil, Vettel insisted he had not blocked off Ricciardo illegally.
“I don’t agree with the decision made,” said the four-time world champion, prior to race director Charlie Whiting explaining several judgements made in Mexico.
“I moved over once to defend and then I gave Daniel enough room. It looks worse than it was.”