Ferrari won't contest Verstappen's victory

SPIELBERG • Ferrari have ruled out appealing against Max Verstappen's Austrian Grand Prix victory on Sunday, after it was upheld by a post-race inquiry, even if they again felt Formula One stewards had made the wrong decision.

The result of the race was confirmed some three hours after the finish as stewards reviewed the Red Bull driver's wheel-banging move on Ferrari's Charles Leclerc two laps from the finish.

Insisting they were entitled to their own opinion, Scuderia team principal Mattia Binotto said: "We still believe this is a wrong decision. We believe Charles leaves the entire space, he had no fault, a collision has happened and he has been pushed and forced off the track."

Three weeks ago in Canada, Ferrari missed out on victory - the team have missed out on victory three times this term after leading from pole - when Sebastian Vettel was given a five-second penalty after going off and returning to the track in an unsafe fashion while leading.

In that case, Vettel finished ahead of Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton, but was demoted to second, and Ferrari made a failed bid to secure a review of the stewards' decision.

That likely played a part in Ferrari's decision not to take the matter further, with Binotto admitting that despite being an "ultimate Ferrari fan", it was "time for F1 to turn the page and look ahead".

He added: "They (the stewards) are the judge, we need to respect that."

Sunday's exciting race was seen as an antidote to the dull French GP two weeks ago and, while the stewards' inquiry took some of the gloss off the action, it was still a "perfect day" for Red Bull after they ended Mercedes' run of 10 straight wins.

Lauding Verstappen's triumph - his second successive one in Austria - as the Dutchman's best yet, team boss Christian Horner said: "To win here in Austria, Red Bull car, to get Honda's first win as well since 2006, in the style and manner he did... tastes even better than last year."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 02, 2019, with the headline 'Ferrari won't contest Verstappen's victory'. Print Edition | Subscribe