FIA rejects Haas US GP track limits Right of Review

© XPB 

The FIA has dismissed the Haas team’s Right of Review over alleged track limit infringements at last month’s US GP in Austin. However, the governing body’s stewards have called for a solution to be found for 2024.

Last week, Haas lodged a petition with the FIA to obtain a right of review over the alleged transgression repeatedly committed by several drivers at COTA’s Turn 6 and which went uninvestigated by the US GP stewards.

Haas claimed that it had new evidence – onboard footage – proving its case, with Alex Albon, Logan Sargeant, Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll singled out as offenders.

Initially, the FIA had recognized that the position of the CCTV cameras monitoring the action at Turn 6 did not provide a clear view of the alleged track limit transgressions.

The stewards there opted to delete the corner altogether from their monitoring. This justification was frowned upon by Haas, with the team subsequently petitioning the FIA for a review.

The virtual hearing which was initially started on Wednesday but adjourned to Thursday included team managers from Haas, Red Bull, Williams, and Aston Martin, along with representatives from Ferrari and McLaren.

Haas presented on-board footage from Perez, Albon, Sargeant, and Stroll, allegedly showing all of the latter crossing track limits in Turn 6 multiple times, as well as footage from cars trailing Albon through the corner.

However, the Austin stewards, also participating in the hearing, concluded that, contrary to Haas' claim, the videos were already accessible to the team during the original stewards' decisions on Sunday night.

This cleared Albon and finalized the race classification. Consequently, the FIA panel dismissed Haas' request, concluding the matter. Had the FIA deemed Haas' evidence eligible for a right of review, the team would have been granted a subsequent second hearing to reassess the race result.

Regarding the on-board footage of Albon's car, the stewards agreed that the evidence against the Williams charger was significant but noted that it had been accessible to Haas, rendering it neither new nor relevant.

The other three elements submitted were also deemed insignificant, as they were not new, not relevant, and already available to Haas.

Consequently, the Petition for the Right of Review was dismissed due to the absence of any substantial and relevant new elements that were unavailable to Haas at the time of the initial decision.

Interestingly, despite the unsuccessful outcome of the hearing for Haas, the stewards made clear that F1’s track limits conundrum, or rather the FIA’s “inability” to properly enforce track limits, was “completely unsatisfactory”, a statement that resonated as an indictment by the stewards of their own institution.

"[The stewards] find their inability to properly enforce the current standard for track limits for all competitors completely unsatisfactory and therefore strongly recommend to all concerned that a solution to prevent further re-occurrences of this widespread problem be rapidly deployed," said the hearing statement.

"Whether the problem is properly addressed by better technology solutions, track modifications, a combination thereof, or a different regulation and enforcement standard, the stewards leave to those better positioned to make such assessments.

"However, based on the timing of this decision, it is clear that a complete solution cannot, as a matter of practicality, happen this year.

"But given the number of different circuits where significant track limit issues arose this season, acknowledging that the FIA in conjunction with the circuits have already made significant strides, further solutions should be found before the start of the 2024 season."

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