On Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix, the stewards have dismissed a protest lodged by the Haas team over the provisional results of the race. The race saw Max Verstappen secure his first victory at the Albert Park venue, with a standing restart in which Carlos Sainz tapped Fernando Alonso into a spin, both Alpines crashed out, and Williams’ Logan Sargeant also collected AlphaTauri’s Nyck de Vries. The race was red-flagged again and restarted under caution on Lap 58 of 58, but the order of classification for the restart was reverted to before the previous accident-filled restart had begun.
Haas lodged a protest over the result of Sunday’s race on the grounds that it was in breach of Article 57.3 of the Sporting Regulations. According to the regulation, in the event of a red flag, “the order will be taken at the last point at which it was possible to determine the position of all cars.” Haas contended that the relative positions of the cars should have been established as at the SC2 line instead of the last grid, as that would have affected their starting grid position.
After summoning the Race Director to provide further clarification, the stewards found that, in the time available for the continuation of the race, the most reliable point was the last grid, given the data available to him at the time, the relative positions of the cars, and the incidents on the track. They also noted that Haas acknowledged that the GPS data that showed the relative positions of the cars was unreliable for the purpose of establishing the order of cars. The stewards dismissed the protest, stating that the decision of Race Control and the Race Director needed to be made promptly, with the exercise of appropriate discretion, and by using the most appropriate information available to them at the time.
Although Haas’s protest was dismissed, Nico Hulkenberg’s seventh-place finish represented the team’s best finish so far in the 2023 season, with the American team moving to P7 in the constructors’ standings on seven points.
Haas, Formula 1, Australian Grand Prix, F1, F1 2023, Racing