Aston Martin decided to engage an appeal procedure to contest Sebastian Vettel’s disqualification, following his P2 finish in Hungary.
Last Sunday in Hungary, after spending the Grand Prix wheel to wheel with Esteban Ocon, Vettel had to settle for what he considered a frustrating but positive P2 finish. Nevertheless, a few hours after the podium ceremony, Aston Martin were summoned to the stewards after a mandatory 1.0L sample of fuel could not be extracted from the car.
“After Sebastian Vettel’s drive to second place on the road in the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday August 1st, he was disqualified from the results when a 1.0-litre sample of fuel was not able to be taken from his car after the race (a requirement as set out in the FIA Formula One Technical Regulations),” an Aston Martin statement said.
“There was and is no suggestion that Vettel’s Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team AMR21 car benefited from a performance advantage from the alleged regulatory breach, or that it was deliberate.”
The first judgment disqualified Vettel from the race, depriving him of his podium and taking his precious 18 points away. However, Aston Martin decided to give themselves 96 hours to gather additional pieces of evidence and prepare a solid case to be able to appeal the decision. Vettel’s car was brought to France, at the FIA factory, to preserve the evidence in case Aston Martin would effectively engage the procedure.
On Thursday evening, the British team confirmed that they are ready to appeal the FIA’s decision. The team also asked for a “Right of review” procedure that should be held before the appeal judgment. The latter will allow Aston Martin to bring further proof to the same stewards that decided to disqualify Vettel.
According to the Silverstone-based outfit, the FIA’s fuel flow meter confirmed that they had 1.74 liters left at the end of the race, although less than one liter could be extracted from Vettel’s car by the stewards. A lift pump issue could be incriminated to justify why the last bits of fuel could not be collected by the FIA. If the “Right of review” procedure had positive outcomes for Aston Martin, meaning that a 1L fuel sample could be extracted or that new pieces of evidence were accepted by the stewards, Vettel would retrieve his trophy.
“Since the team’s data indicated that there was more than 1.0 liter of fuel in the car after the race – 1.74 liters according to the data – the team immediately reserved its right to appeal and has requested a right of review alongside the appeal procedure, as a result of having discovered significant new evidence relevant to the sanction which was unavailable to it at the time of the FIA stewards’ decision,” the team’s statement added.