MONTREAL (Agencies): Ferrari said Sunday they will appeal against the five-second penalty that cost Sebastian Vettel victory in the Canadian Grand Prix.
Five-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton maintained Mercedes’ record winning start to the season when he was handed the controversial victory courtesy of a disputed stewards’ decision, despite crossing the finish line just behind the German.
Vettel was deemed to have forced a charging Hamilton towards a wall after running off at a chicane and rejoining across a strip of grass. The Briton had to brake and pull out of his overtaking manoeuvre, prompting the stewards to impose the time penalty on Vettel. “Where could I go?” protested Vettel. “They’re stealing the race from us.”
Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto later said the team would be appealing against the penalty. “At the moment, we, as a team, are naturally disappointed,” said Binotto in a statement posted on the Ferrari official website. “As for Seb, I don’t think he could have done things differently, which is why we have decided to appeal the Stewards’ decision.” Under the sport’s regulations, Ferrari have 96 hours from the end of the race to gather evidence to support their appeal. Vettel drove his car back to the garage instead of into parc ferme and refused to attend the post-race interviews.
He stormed off to the Ferrari motor home before being persuaded by his team to return for the podium ceremonies.
On the way he walked into parc ferme and swapped the number one for the winner from in front of Hamilton’s Mercedes with the number two in front of the empty space for his car.
The pro-Ferrari crowd booed Hamilton on the podium, but Vettel told them: “Don’t boo Lewis — you should boo these decisions, not him.”
It was a record seventh victory in Canada for Hamilton and the 78th of his career. It extended Mercedes’ season-opening run to seven successive wins.