Friday will see the start of the race weekend of the French Grand Prix at the Circuit Paul Ricard. After the dramatic Canadian GP, where a 5-second penalty to German driver Sebastian Vettel for joining the track unsafely cost him a win. Lewis Hamilton from Mercedes who on Vettel's tail throughout won the GP in spite of finishing second at the chequered flag. Ferrari has been summoned by the FIA to a hearing on Friday, for an inquiry into the Formula 1 team's request to review Sebastian Vettel's controversial penalty.
Vettel was penalized and given two points on his license, after being judged to have rejoined the track unsafely and forced another car off-track while leading the race.
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The penalty was not received well by the F1 fans and they took to the internet and coined the term ‘MaFIA’ to address The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, the governing body for F1. Even Vettel was furious and adamant that he deserved the win, he did not take his car for the race end inspection and stomped towards the FIA office after the race, on his team’s orders, Vettel did show up at the podium but he looked displeased. Before joining Hamilton (first) and his teammate Charles Leclerc (third) at the podium, Vettel switched the signage that indicated rank 1 from in front of Hamilton’s car to the rank 2 signage.
“I'm not happy with the decision the stewards took. I think you can understand. It feels a bit weird, not having won the race even though you crossed the line first. And as I said, I don’t think I have done anything wrong; I don’t feel I could have done anything differently. I don’t know, actually, what the problem was. So… yeah. Not much more to say, I think, from my point of view. I think all the people out there, they probably agree with me.” said Vettel
The FIA International Sporting Code gives teams an option of a post-event review of decisions if new evidence that was not available during the race comes forward. Under Article 14.1.1 of the code, the FIA can reconvene stewards or replacements to look again at the case.
Ferrari lodged its request for an official review, and on Thursday ahead of the French Grand Prix, a notice from FIA and the stewards called Ferrari representatives to the hearing.