The Canadian-owned team is considering a full appeal; The German driver was stripped of his second place due to fuel regulations
By Yuri Coghe
*Editor’s note: this story has been updated with Aston Martin withdrawing their appeal on Thursday. New paragraphs are highlighted with a *
Sebastian Vettel came close to claiming Aston Martin’s first F1 win at the Hungarian Grand Prix. In the end, however, he was disqualified from the race.
The German driver finished second after pressuring Esteban Ocon for the lead for the whole race. The Frenchman held on to collect his first career win while Vettel crossed the finish line with less than the required amount of fuel, featuring on the podium ceremony but losing his second place shortly after.
Stewards were unable to take 1.0 litre of fuel from his car for the required sample check, leading to Aston Martin losing what would have been a replay of their season-high result so far – a second-place in Azerbaijan achieved by Vettel.
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The Canadian-owned team then decided to appeal the decision.
They presented evidence to the FIA that a “significant amount of fuel was inadvertently discharged from the fuel cell of Car 5” due to a faulty fuel pump, which led to race personnel only being able to extract 0.3 litres from Vettel’s car.
While the stewards accepted that evidence as a “significant and relevant new” piece of information, therefore ticking the necessary box in order to secure a right to review, they also found it to be irrelevant in the sense of overturning their decision to disqualify Vettel from the race.
“Aston Martin would have had to present facts that actually more than 1 litre of fuel was remaining,” said the stewards in a statement. “The explanation why this requirement could not be met is not relevant to the decision as to whether a breach of the regulations has occurred.”
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Aston Martin considered a full appeal to try and get back Vettel’s second podium of the season and the 18 championships points that would come with it but eventually decided against it.
“Sebastian (Vettel) drove brilliantly in Hungary and we are pleased to have been given the opportunity to show significant new evidence that we discovered since the race,” said Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer on Monday.
“We felt that the evidence we presented was relevant and demonstrated to the FIA that he should have been reinstated following his disqualification.”
“Unfortunately, the FIA took a different view and, despite the fact that that the accuracy of our new evidence was not contested, Sebastian’s disqualification has been upheld on the basis that the new evidence was not deemed ‘relevant’,” Szafnauer added. “That is disappointing, and we will now consider our position in respect of the full appeal process.”
On Thursday, however, the team changed course and withdrew their appeal.*
“Having considered our position and having noted the FIA stewards’ verdict that there was clear new evidence of a fuel system failure, we have nonetheless withdrawn our appeal on the basis that we believe doing so outweighs the benefits of it being heard,” said the team in a statement.*
Aston Martin competed in the 1959 and 1960 Formula 1 championships, returning to the series in 2021 after Canadian entrepreneur Lawrence stroll acquired shares in the British car manufacturer and renamed the Racing Point F1 team he also owned after it.