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Monaco Grand Prix Results Stand – No Appeal From Mercedes

by F1Fan on May 18, 2010

The Monaco Grand Prix results were in question for the last few days after Mercedes GP had said that they would be appealing the penalty imposed on Michael Schumacher for overtaking Fernando Alonso on the last corner of the race after the Safety car had entered pit lane.

Today, in a statement released by Mercedes GP, the team has decided not to appeal the penalty in light of the FIA’s decision to clarify the Sporting Regulation 40.13 (“40.13 If the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed it will enter the pit lane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking”) and any related penalties imposed at the next Sporting Working Group meeting. This regulation is the one that the team misinterpreted and which led to Michael Schumacher’s 20 second penalty.

Here is the complete text of the Mercedes Gp team’s statement:

On the final lap of the 2010 Monaco Grand Prix, MERCEDES GP PETRONAS instructed our drivers, Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg, to race from safety car line one until the finish line as permitted under articles 40.7 and 40.11.

MERCEDES GP PETRONAS were fully aware of article 40.13 which states that no overtaking is permitted if the race finishes under safety car conditions. However we believed that the combination of the race control messages ‘Safety Car in this lap’ and ‘Track Clear’ and the green flags and lights shown by the marshals after safety car line one indicated that the race was not finishing under the safety car and all drivers were free to race.

This opinion appears to have been shared by the majority of the teams with cars in the top ten positions who also gave their drivers instructions to race to the finish line.

It was clear from our discussions with the stewards after the race that they understood the reasons for our interpretation and acknowledged that this was a new and previously untested situation but ultimately disagreed with our interpretation.

MERCEDES GP PETRONAS would like to emphasise that we fully support the inclusion of past drivers on the stewards panel and are completely satisfied that the Monaco Grand Prix stewards acted professionally, impartially and properly in this matter.

The FIA has agreed to include article 40.13 on the agenda of the next Sporting Working Group for discussion and to consider the scale of post race penalties. We believe that the 20 second penalty imposed on Michael to be disproportionate in the circumstances.

Whilst we cannot be happy with the outcome, we are pleased that the FIA has recognised the reasons for our interpretation. Therefore in the best interests of the sport, MERCEDES GP PETRONAS will not be submitting an appeal.

To me a fair result would have been just to reverse the finishing positions of Alonso and Schumacher rather than impose a 20 second penalty which took Schumacher out of the points. After all, if the race was finished under the Safety Car then a Seventh place finish for Schumacher would have been the result.

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