Home - The Official Formula 1 Website Skip to content

Mercedes GP will not appeal Schumacher penalty 18 May 2010

There's confusion at the final corner as Schumacher passes Alonso Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes GP MGP W01 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 6, Race, Monaco Grand Prix, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Sunday, 16 May 2010 Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes GP.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 6, Race, Monaco Grand Prix, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Sunday, 16 May 2010

Mercedes GP have announced they will not appeal the stewards' decision to penalise Michael Schumacher following Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix. Schumacher dropped from sixth to 12th in the results after he was handed a 20-second time penalty for his overtaking manoeuvre on Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso in the dying moments of the Monte Carlo race.

Schumacher passed Alonso just as the safety car pulled in at the end of Lap 78. The FIA stewards, decided the German breached Article 40.13 of the Sporting Regulations, which states that “if the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed it will enter the pit lane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking."

The team, however, believed that the Grand Prix didn’t finish under the safety car and therefore drivers were free to race.

“Mercedes GP Petronas were fully aware of Article 40.13 which states that no overtaking is permitted if the race finishes under safety car conditions,” explained the team in a statement released on Tuesday. “However we believed that the combination of the race control messages 'Safety Car in this lap' and 'Track Clear' and the green flags and lights shown by the marshals after safety car line one indicated that the race was not finishing under the safety car and all drivers were free to race.

“This opinion appears to have been shared by the majority of the teams with cars in the top ten positions who also gave their drivers instructions to race to the finish line. It was clear from our discussions with the stewards after the race that they understood the reasons for our interpretation and acknowledged that this was a new and previously untested situation but ultimately disagreed with our interpretation."

In their statement, the team also revealed that the FIA had agreed to include Article 40.13 on the agenda of the next Sporting Working Group and to consider the scale of post-race penalties.

Mercedes GP’s statement in full:
On the final lap of the 2010 Monaco Grand Prix, MERCEDES GP PETRONAS instructed our drivers, Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg, to race from safety car line one until the finish line as permitted under articles 40.7 and 40.11.

MERCEDES GP PETRONAS were fully aware of article 40.13 which states that no overtaking is permitted if the race finishes under safety car conditions. However we believed that the combination of the race control messages 'Safety Car in this lap' and 'Track Clear' and the green flags and lights shown by the marshals after safety car line one indicated that the race was not finishing under the safety car and all drivers were free to race.

This opinion appears to have been shared by the majority of the teams with cars in the top ten positions who also gave their drivers instructions to race to the finish line.

It was clear from our discussions with the stewards after the race that they understood the reasons for our interpretation and acknowledged that this was a new and previously untested situation but ultimately disagreed with our interpretation.

MERCEDES GP PETRONAS would like to emphasise that we fully support the inclusion of past drivers on the stewards panel and are completely satisfied that the Monaco Grand Prix stewards acted professionally, impartially and properly in this matter.

The FIA has agreed to include article 40.13 on the agenda of the next Sporting Working Group for discussion and to consider the scale of post race penalties. We believe that the 20 second penalty imposed on Michael to be disproportionate in the circumstances.

Whilst we cannot be happy with the outcome, we are pleased that the FIA has recognised the reasons for our interpretation. Therefore in the best interests of the sport, MERCEDES GP PETRONAS will not be submitting an appeal.