The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix stewards have dismissed the Haas F1 Team's protest against Force India, stating that the latter satisfied the definition of a 'constructor' under F1's 2018 sporting rules.
Ahead of this weekend's ultimate round of the F1 world championship, Haas' brought a case against Racing Point Force India, claiming the pink outfit should not be deemed a 'constructor' as defined by the Formula One's 2018 sporting rules.
Haas' protest contended that RPFI had acquired listed parts (parts such as the monocoque, survival cell, bodywork, etc… which a team is required to produce in-house) from the original Force India team that went into administration last summer.
After reviewing the protest and the evidence, the stewards have concluded that Haas' action as baseless because Force India was no longer a competitor in the F1 world championship when the newly established RPFI acquired the parts.
"The former team was no longer a competitor in the 2018 Formula One world championship as it had as of August 16, forfeited all its rights and ability to field two cars at any further Grand Prix in 2018.
"The Force India Formula One Team ceased to meet the FIA definition of both a Competitor and a Constructor on 16 August 2018 when all of its assets were sold. At that point it no longer possessed the resources to meet its obligations as either a competitor or constructor.
"The stewards therefore decide that the Racing Point Force India F1 Team satisfied, from August 23, 2018, the definition of a ‘Constructor’ under the 2018 FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations."
Had Haas's protest been successful, it would have likely called into question Force India's eligibility for F1's 'Column 1' prize money, which in turn could have benefitted the US outfit as excluding Force India would have increased the size of the funds to be allocated to F1's remaining teams.
Haas boss Guenther Steiner denied however that the premise of the protest was only about being awarded more money.
"We are just looking for equal treatment for all the teams," said Steiner.
"We are not trying to get more, but just what teams in the future know what they are entitled to," he added.
"We entered Formula 1 under certain conditions, and we do not feel that this has happened on this occasion with Force India.
"So we want equality, or least an explanation as to why that has not happened," Steiner said.
Haas has submitted a notice of its intent to appeal the decision of the FIA stewards, which leaves the team 96 hours to effectively lodge its appeal.