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Ferrari appeal Vettel’s demotion at the Mexican GP

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Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel (r) and Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo (c). PHOTO/SKY>
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel (r) and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo (c). PHOTO/SKY>

SAO PAULO, Brazil, Nov 11 – Ferrari have asked FIA stewards to review Sebastian Vettel’s demotion in the Mexican Grand Prix.

Two weeks after Vettel was relegated from third to fifth after being adjudged to have moved under braking defending against Daniel Ricciardo.

Ferrari say “new evidence” has come to light and they have requested the Mexican GP stewards reassess the incident.

The annoucement was made just hours after FIA race director Charlie Whiting appeared at the drivers’ press conference ahead of this weekend’s Brazilian GP in which he sought to explain why Vettel and Max Verstappen had been penalised.

Ferrari insist they have chosen to persue the matter “in light of its importance as a precedent for the future” after the FIA introduced a beefed-up rule at the previous race in Austin to outlaw drivers moving under braking – a regulation dubbed the ‘Verstappen rule’ following several controversial incidents involving the Dutchman this season. Vettel became the first driver to be punished under the new rule.

‘Scuderia Ferrari has submitted a request to the Stewards of the 2016 Mexican Grand Prix to review their decision to penalize Sebastian Vettel for breach of Article 27.5 of the 2016 F1 Sporting Regulations as a consequence of his driving behavior in Turn 4 of lap 70,’ read a Ferrari statement.

‘This has been the first application of Article 27.5 of the 2016 F1 Sporting Regulations as interpreted on the basis of the Race Director’s notes on “defensive maneuvers” and effective from the 2016 US Grand Prix.

‘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’.

Although Ferrari did not divulge what the “new evidence” related to, their request comes just hours after FIA race director Charlie Whiting gave a detailed explanation of several controversial judgements in the Mexican GP at the end of Thursday’s regular drivers’ press conference in Brazil.

Sitting behind Whiting, Vettel insisted he had not moved to illegally block Ricciardo.

“I don’t agree with the decision made,” said the Ferrari driver. “I gave enough room on the inside, l kept the car straight for the majority of the braking and in my opinion Daniel locked up so badly because there was no grip on the inside. I think it looked worse than it actually was.”

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