Haas' failed bid for track reinvestigation at US GP

Published on 15 November 2023 at 20:00

Haas Formula 1 team lodged in an appeal to have the classification of the United States Grand Prix to be changed after the American team felt as though there was many track limit violations that were missed.


Following the United States Grand Prix, the American team felt that they could gain some points - through the amount of track limit violations that were missed during the race in Texas.


Haas team principal Guenther Steiner believes that there was "clear evidence" of the track limit breaches, which could help Haas gain some valuable points in the constructors' championship.


The American team find themselves bottom of the constructors' championship with 12 points - four points adrift from Alfa Romeo in ninth. The American team has dropped two places during the past few race, despite bringing a significant upgrade to COTA.


Haas' attempt


Haas' Nico Hulkenberg finished just outside the points at the United States Grand Prix in 11th. The German finished only three seconds behind Williams driver Alex Albon in 10th. If any drivers were found to have violated the track limit regulations, a five-second time penalty would be the usual punishment.


Haas' right of review challenged two concerns: the outcome of the Albon investigation and the final race classification of the race in Texas.


The rules of a right of review are that there must be a "significant and relevant new element" of evidence. This was not attainable for the American team at the time of the original decision. 


Steiner admits that he is not a fan of penalties being given out after the race. However, the 58-year-old believes that the rules should be followed and the results should change.


"We just want to bring the case up, because otherwise we need to change the rules. I'm not a big fan of track limits, to be honest.


"I'm the last one who wants penalties on track limits. But if there's a rule in place, we need as a sport to respect rules, that is more the principle of it, than the penalty.


"If it is written that it is four times you get five seconds and any consequent [offences] you get another five seconds, that's what we should be doing. Like we did before. It's not that we're inventing something new.


Haas' right of review rejected


Despite the American team's strong views of lots of drivers abusing the track limits at Turn Six, the FIA decided to rejected the team's right of review.


Haas submitted evidence of on-board footage from Sergio Perez, Alex Albon, Logan Sargeant and Lance Stroll - having all four wheels off the track at Turn Six. However, the FIA argued that the videos were already available at the time. Therefore, no changes were made to the classification.


The stewards did agree that the evidence against Albon was significant while dismissing the evidence against the other three drivers and judging that none of the evidence presented was new or relevant.


The stewards released a statement on the matter:


"[The stewards] 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 re-occurrences of this widespread problem be rapidly deployed," said the hearing statement.


"Whether the problem is properly addressed by better technology solutions, track modifications, a combination thereof, or a different regulation and enforcement standard, the stewards leave to those better positioned to make such assessments."


Track limits has been a thorn to the side in Formula 1 since the ruling of all four wheels crossing the white line. The change has caused lots of controversy in many incidents, which has seen a driver go off track. Do you think that the track limit rules need changing?


Nathan Hartley

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