Two weeks ago, in Imola, Kimi Raikkonen was handed a 30-second penalty, kicking him out of the points range. Alfa Romeo appealed FIA’s decision and an aspect of the file presented by the Swiss team caught the stewards’ attention.
During the 2021 Emila Romagna Grand Prix, Raikkonen was blamed for not pitting after losing control of his single-seater and leaving the track, before the race was resumed, under a rolling start procedure.
A similar situation later happened, when Max Verstappen arguably left the track, right before the restart. Nonetheless, the stewards considered the Dutch did not leave the track and allowed him to keep his position.
After reviewing Alfa Romeo’s protest file, the FIA accepted to hear representatives of the team. The offending item in the stewards’ report is the one pointing out the fact that similar penalties were consistently applied in similar cases. Alfa Romeo pointed out that the cases used as examples by the FIA were not applied prior to a rolling race restart and after a red flag.
“Subsequent to the decision and as part of this present hearing, the Stewards have discovered that the specific cases that they referred to were not following a Red Flag.”
“While this was only one element among many considered by the Stewards, this information was unavailable to the Competitor at the time of the original decision and was a part of the discussion by the Stewards and is therefore deemed significant and relevant,” the FIA stated, therefore, accepting to meet with representatives of the team and maybe review their decision.
If Alfa Romeo can be convincing enough, Raikkonen might recover his 9th place finish and claim back his two points, kicking Alonso out of the points range at the same time, and depriving him of his first point finish in 2021.