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FIA maintains Raikkonen’s Imola F1 penalty after Alfa Romeo review

During the Portuguese GP weekend, the Swiss squad won the right to review the penalty handed to Raikkonen at the last race at Imola, when the FIA handed Raikkonen a 30-second post-race penalty for breaking rules under the red flag restart.

On the lap prior to the restart, Raikkonen spun his Alfa Romeo at Turn 3, with F1 rules stating that drivers can retake their original position as long as this is done before the first safety car line.

Raikkonen did not move back up the order amid uncertainty about whether he had to follow safety car procedures that ban such a recovery, and instead took the restart on the track.

Alfa Romeo felt that the penalty was unfair and, as part of the International Sporting Code, it requested a right to a review of the case based on new evidence.

The review was held because the FIA said that its interpretation was based on previous examples of offences from Formula 3 and Formula 2 and it conceded there had not been an occasion when such a rules breach had happened after a red flag in F1 since the rules were changed in 2018.

Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo Racing C41, Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing C41, Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT02, and Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

The confusion centred around the rule changes between a rolling restart and a standing start and, while the FIA stewards accepted “there is ambiguity” amid the restart procedure, the stewards felt there was not sufficient evidence to overturn the decision.

“While the stewards understand why the competitor acted as they did – first to tell the driver to retake his position, then later to tell him not to retake the position – the stewards stand by their original decision that the competitor committed a breach of Article 42.6 by failing to re-establish his starting position during the lap behind the safety car,” the FIA statement read.

As a result, the FIA stewards confirmed the mandatory penalty for breaching this rule remains in place so a 10-second stop-and-go penalty – converted to a 30-second time penalty when applied after the race – has been maintained.

Therefore the original decision and result stands, meaning Raikkonen remains demoted from ninth place to 13th place in the Emilia Romagna GP final classification.

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