Schumacher’s Monaco penalty will stand after Mercedes withdraw appeal

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Mercedes canned their appeal but called Schumacher's penalty 'disproportionate'
Mercedes canned their appeal but called Schumacher's penalty 'disproportionate'

Mercedes have withdrawn their appeal against Michael Schumacher’s penalty in the Monaco Grand Prix.

However they described Schumacher’s penalty as “disproportionate” and said the FIA has agreed to discuss the terms of article 40.13 under which Schumacher was punished.

They added they were supportive of drivers having a role on the stewards’ panel. Damon Hill, who served as the drivers’ representative to the stewards last weekend, received hate mail after Schumacher was punished.

A statement from the team said:

On the final lap of the 2010 Monaco Grand Prix, Mercedes instructed our drivers, Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg, to race from safety car line one until the finish line as permitted under articles 40.7 and 40.11.

Mercedes were fully aware of article 40.13 which states that no overtaking is permitted if the race finishes under safety car conditions. However we believed that the combination of the race control messages ‘Safety Car in this lap’ and ‘Track Clear’ and the green flags and lights shown by the marshals after safety car line one indicated
that the race was not finishing under the safety car and all drivers were free to race.

This opinion appears to have been shared by the majority of the teams with cars in the top ten positions who also gave their drivers instructions to race to the finish line.

It was clear from our discussions with the stewards after the race that they understood the reasons for our interpretation and acknowledged that this was a new and previously untested situation but ultimately disagreed with our interpretation.

Mercedes would like to emphasise that we fully support the inclusion of past drivers on the stewards panel and are completely satisfied that the Monaco Grand Prix stewards acted professionally, impartially and properly in this matter.

The FIA has agreed to include article 40.13 on the agenda of the next Sporting Working Group for discussion and to consider the scale of post race penalties. We believe that the 20 second penalty imposed on Michael to be disproportionate in the circumstances.

Whilst we cannot be happy with the outcome, we are pleased that the FIA has recognised the reasons for our interpretation. Therefore in the best interests of the sport, Mercedes will not be submitting an appeal.

It’s interesting that Mercedes’ claim their view racing was permitted after the safety car went in “appears to have been shared by the majority of the teams with cars in the top ten positions.”

We already know Ferrari and McLaren instructed their drivers not to race at this moment. Presumably Mercedes is referring to Red Bull, Renault and Force India when it speak of the “majority” – these were the only other teams with cars in the top ten at this point.

Appeals against drive-through penalties (which is essentially what Schumacher got) have been deemed inadmissible in the past, most famously when Lewis Hamilton was stripped of his win in the 2008 Belgian Grand Prix. So it’s no great surprise to see Mercedes drop their attempt to have Schumacher’s sixth place restored.

Schumacher’s Monaco penalty

143 comments on “Schumacher’s Monaco penalty will stand after Mercedes withdraw appeal”

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  1. I REALLY would like to see if all this comments had been risen this way if Shumy was over a Ferrari and Alonso over A Macca……I know that the “if” and “but” world is a world of idiots, but…

  2. I wonder what they think of all of this in SuperKarts, where they had overtaking allowed from the SC line at the end of an SC period for a couple of years … and the same equivalent to rule 40.13 … seems strange that the FIA are only now learning the problems with it …

    Oh, yes, it seems that the current 2010 regs do NOT state in 40.11 that at the end of a Safety Car period, the flags and lights go GREEN at the safety car line!!! Instead, they say it is to happen at the ‘Line’ – that’s the Control/Finish line (see para 5.3)

    “As the safety car is approaching the pit entry the yellow flags and SC boards will be withdrawn and replaced by waved green flags with green lights at the Line. These will be displayed until the last car crosses the Line”

    So, the waving of green flags at the SC line was NOT as per the regs, nor was the removal of the SC car board at the SC line … they should instead have been removed at the ‘Line’ !! So, the Race director got it wrong by the regs, and for all 4 restarts!

    For the first 3, by para 40.7 the cars could overtake once they’d crossed the SC line, but they would have to do it under yellow flags & lights and SC boards deployed until they reached the Control line …

    And for the 4th? Well, who knows, it’s still unclear what the were reading as regs for that …;-)

    What a mess.

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