Bamber gets Cadillac grid penalty for Spa crash as Ferrari protests results

Cadillac Racing driver Earl Bamber has been dealt a five-place grid penalty ahead of the Le Mans 24 Hours next month for his part in the huge incident on the Kemmel Straight in Saturday’s FIA WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, causing the lengthy red flag. Ferrari, meanwhile, lodged a protest against the decision from the stewards to extend the race by the length of the red flag period, which it felt cost it a near-certain 1-2 finish.

“After checking the video evidence, the Stewards considered driver of the car 2 hit car 99 and moved to the right causing a collision with car 31 (Team WRT’s M4 LMGT3 driven by Sean Gelael),” the steward’s bulletin from last night reads. “The Stewards considered car 2 responsible for the collision.”

The penalty, which Cadillac Racing as a team will ultimately receive, is “5 grid positions for the next race of 2024 WEC Championship in which the driver Earl Bamber will take part (the Le Mans 24 Hours) and a withdrawal of 3 penalty points for the driver.”


The decision is not subject to appeal.

This was one of a number of decisions posted on the noticeboard following Saturday’s extended encounter in Belgium.

Danish racer Michelle Gatting was found to be at fault when the Iron Dames Lamborghini and Pure Rxcing Porsche came together at Turn 18 late in the race. As a result, the. No. 85 car was handed a five-second time penalty, dropping it to fifth in the final classification, promoting the No. 59 United Autosports McLaren to fourth.

The No. 88 Proton Mustang was also handed a five-second penalty for an unsafe release.

Ferrari’s protest against the decision to extend the race by the length of the red flag period was rejected.

“Ferrari AF Corse submitted a protest against the Decision of the Stewards No. 71 and against the Provisional classification posted on May 11th 2024 at 21:46,” the bulletin reads. “The protest is rejected. Pursuant to International Sporting Code Art. 13.10.1, the protest fee will be retained in its entirety.

“The competitor was summoned for a hearing. He confirmed that the protest is lodged against the Decision of the Stewards No. 71 and consequently against the provisional classification.

“The written protest was received directly by the chairperson of the Stewards at 22:03 on May 11th, 2024 with the protest fee of 1 000 € paid in cash.

Ferrari appealed the results after the race ran beyond six hours. Jakob Ebrey/Motorsport Images

“The protest is not admissible based on the following:

“A Stewards’ decision can not be the subject of a protest under article 13.2.1 of FIA International Sporting Code.

“Competitors are reminded that they have the right to appeal certain decisions of the Stewards, in accordance with 7.2.6 of WEC Sporting Regulations, Article 15.1.5 of the FIA Sporting Code and Article 9.1.1 and 10.1 of the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Rules, within the applicable time limits.

“Decisions of the Stewards are taken independently of the FIA and are based solely on the relevant regulations, guidelines and evidence presented.”

Ferrari, which sat first and second in Hypercar with its factory 499Ps at the time of the red flag, also released a pair of statements from senior management post-race which made their position on the matter clear.

“The team did a great job over the entire weekend at Spa. Today in the race the drivers pulled back many positions and took the lead with the two official cars, benefiting from the team’s excellent strategy, which allowed them to make the most of the tires,” Antonello Coletta, the global head of endurance and Corse Clienti, said.

“The third and fourth positions of the 499P numbers 50 and 51, as well as the class podium finish of number 83, are significant results.

“However, this race, which ideally should have concluded at the sixth hour when we were in even better positions, went on a lot longer.”

Ferdinando Cannizzo, the head of endurance race cars at Ferrari, added: “Today was a positive day for us, despite the result. As far as the race performance is concerned, we did nothing wrong, setting a perfect strategy.

“We took the cars, which started at the back of the grid, all the way to the top of the leaderboard, and we were leading the race securely, so much so that we had the three Ferrari 499Ps in the top four positions.

“Unfortunately, an accident at that point led to a red flag, but we consider the decision to extend the race beyond six hours questionable. We feel a lot of regret because we believe the outcome should have been different.


Story originally appeared on Racer