Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz says he is “very disappointed” with the FIA’s decision to dismiss an appeal against the Spaniard’s five-second time penalty at the Australian Grand Prix. Sainz was slapped with the penalty after clipping Fernando Alonso during the chaotic Lap 57 restart in Melbourne. With the Safety Car deployed and no more green flag racing possible, Sainz crossed the line fourth, but the penalty saw him demoted to 12th and last place. As a time penalty cannot be appealed, Ferrari requested a Right of Review, which was rejected on Tuesday by the independent – but FIA-appointed – stewards on the basis that no new evidence was presented. Sainz calls for talks on inconsistencies Writing on his Instagram page shortly after the announcement, a disappointed Sainz said he accepted the decision, but called for discussions about inconsistencies in decision-making. “Very disappointed that the FIA did not grant us a right to review,” Sainz wrote. “Two weeks later, I still think the penalty is too disproportionate and I believe it should have at least been reviewed on the basis of the evidence and reasoning we presented. “We have to continue working together to improve certain things for the future. The consistency and decision-making process has been a hot topic for many seasons now and we need to be clearer for the sake of our sport. “What happened in Australia is now in the past and I am 100% focused on the next race in Baku.” An opportunistic appeal from Ferrari? Dieter Rencken says: Ultimately, Carlos never was going to win this fight for the simple reason that he and the team were unable to present compelling new evidence, as the stewards noted in their report. The precedent the team presented in support of their case – a 2014 Canadian Grand Prix crash between Sergio Perez and Felipe Massa – was deemed to have occurred under circumstances which bore little or no resemblance to the Sainz/Alonso tangle. I wonder whether the Request for Review was simply an optimistic move by Ferrari, who know they had nothing to lose but much-needed points to gain if they had a sympathetic hearing. Equally, I’m surprised that Carlos criticises the FIA, who are rule makers but have no direct role in stewarding processes save the appointment of individuals on the basis of qualification for the role – just as governments make laws and preside over appointments of judges but play no part in in court cases. Another parallel is football: players may criticise referees but not global governing body FIFA, and so it should be here.

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