The Haas request for a right to review the results of the United States Grand Prix due to track limits violations has been dismissed by the stewards.
The petition was lodged over the weekend in Interlagos and focused on the stewards’ decision to take no further action over Alex Albon potentially exceeding track limits at Circuit of The Americas, despite an investigation at the time. Haas was also wanting a review of the final classification due to a number of other instances it had spotted, including by Logan Sargeant, Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll. All related to the drivers leaving the track at Turn 6 on multiple occasions, with Williams, Red Bull and Aston Martin part of the hearing as a result.
However, with Haas only basing its petition on the on-board footage from each of the cars involved — Albon, Sargeant, Perez and Stroll — the stewards dismissed its request, determining that the footage is not new and was available to Haas at the time.
Explaining why the footage was not accepted at the time to punish Albon, the stewards explained that it’s due to the need for consistent camera angles for all competitors at all times.
“Track limit infringements are almost universally enforced based on principal video evidence from a fixed CCTV camera of adequate resolution positioned to clearly see a car’s position in relation to the track limit boundary,” the stewards’ decision read. “The CCTV camera for Turn 6 did not meet that standard as it did not cover the apex of the corner.
“Because onboard cameras are only useful for verifying a breach when viewing a car in front of the camera car and not the camera car itself, the stewards believed they could not accurately and consistently conclude whether a breach occurred for every car on every lap.
“Anecdotal usage of trailing car video, which may or may not be available for any given car’s potential breach at any given time does not meet that accurate and consistent evidence standard.”
Haas’ request to revisit the final classification based on potential other breaches was also dismissed as the on-board footage was available at the time, and because that can only be dealt with by protesting the lack of decisions made at the time, rather than requesting a right of review.
“The stewards reaffirm that a petition to review the final classification must concern the classification itself,” the stewards’ announcement stated. “It is not possible to exercise the right of review on the final classification to question decisions taken prior to it. This also applies to incidents for which no ruling was made during an event.”
Despite dismissing the case, the stewards noted that the fact there was evidence of so many potential unpunished breaches at Turn 6 highlights the need for the FIA to make improvements, requesting better solutions are found by the start of the 2024 season.
“Given that, notwithstanding the formal outcome of this decision, the stewards have seen individual pieces of evidence that show what appear to be potential track limit breaches at the apex of Turn 6, they find their inability to properly enforce the current standard for track limits for all competitors completely unsatisfactory and therefore strongly recommend to all concerned that a solution to prevent further reoccurrences of this widespread problem be rapidly deployed.”