Memory is the diary we all carry with us. The memory of the last lap shambles of the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP is still fresh in Toto Wolff’s mind. Fernando Alonso was penalized wrongfully by FIA which triggered Wolff’s memories of the 2021 robbery. The Mercedes Team Principal has expressed his views on the wrong decision made by FIA yet again.
Fernando Alonso was given a 5-sec time penalty for starting outside his grid box during the 2023 Saudi Arabian GP. According to race control, Fernando and Aston Martin served the penalty incorrectly when he pitted as the rear jack was touching the car. 35 laps after the incident, the Spanish was served with a 10 sec time penalty. However, Aston Martin appealed to the stewards with new evidence and minutes of the FIA meeting and got the decision to be overturned.
Toto Wolff has taken a jab at FIA after seeing Fernando’s penalty being overturned. Still recovering from the 2021 wounds inflicted by FIA and Micheal Masi, Wolff suggests that they were victims of a quick decision made by FIA for entertainment, costing Lewis Hamilton a World Championship. He asked FIA to make the right decisions even if takes a little longer.
According to Motorsport.nextgen-auto.com, Toto Wolff said “I prefer the FIA to make the right decisions rather than being too fast and obviously falling into something wrong. We were victims of this in 2021 when everything was done for entertainment with a quick decision and it stole from us, it stole Lewis, from a title.” Further adding “It is better a good decision late than the bad one on the spot just to go fast.”
Toto went on to congratulate Fernando, remarking the right decision was finally made for him. The Aston Martin launched a protest soon after the race and got the penalty overturned the same day itself.
How did Aston Martin manage to get the decision overturned?
The British Team petitioned for a right to review with the hearing taking place in quick succession. The team presented videos of seven different instances where front jacks touched the car while serving similar penalties. Adding to that, they also showed the minutes of the latest sporting advisory committee meeting. As per the minutes of the meeting, touching the car with a jack did not amount to working on the car. Hence, FIA accepted the new evidence and overturned Alonso’s penalty.
According to the-race.com, the stewards said “We concluded that there was no clear agreement, as was suggested to the stewards previously, that could be relied upon to determine that parties had agreed that a jack touching a car would amount to working on the car,”
Do you think FIA should’ve looked better into the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP’s shambles and given Hamilton his 8th World title?