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Raikkonen stripped of Imola points after bizarre restart infringement

Raikkonen stripped of Imola points after bizarre restart infringement

F1 News

Raikkonen stripped of Imola points after bizarre restart infringement

Raikkonen stripped of Imola points after bizarre restart infringement

Kimi Raikkonen has lost the two points he earned at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix after being handed a 30-second penalty for an infringement ahead of the red-flag restart.

The 2007 world champion spun behind the safety car after the red-flag period caused by Valtteri Bottas and George Russell's frightening incident mid-race, taking up a position at the rear of the field.

Unlike last season's standing restarts, FIA race director Michael Masi chose to get the action back underway with a rolling start, a decision seemingly made with caution due to the wet-dry conditions at Imola.

After the spin, Raikkonen would have been permitted to regain his lost positions before the first safety car line.

But, as has transpired, the Finn was told to remain at the back of the pack by his team, triggering what should have been a stop-go penalty - converted to a 30-second penalty due to the decision coming post-race.

A stewards document read: "The stewards heard from the driver of car 7 (Kimi Raikkonen), and the team representative and reviewed multiple angles of video evidence, telemetry and team radio.

"On the lap before the re-start following the race suspension, Raikkonen spun at turn 3. Art 42.6 indicates that the driver may retake his position, so long as he does so prior to the first safety car line (SC1).

"At first the team instructed him to do so, but then told him to hold his position. Art 42.6 then indicates that should a driver fail to take his position he must enter the pit lane and can only re-join the race once the whole field has passed the pit exit.

"Art 42.12 indicates that during a rolling start, once the safety car turns its lights out, 'No driver may overtake another car on the track until he passes the Line...'

"In this case, the driver caught up to the cars ahead of him between turn 13 and 14, but the safety car turned its lights out at approximately turn 10.

"This would appear to be a contradictory instruction and the team instructed the driver to not regain his position, fearing that this would create a safety issue in the wet conditions.

"They radioed the race director, but there was no time for a response between their call and the restart.

"The stewards consider it to be a further contradiction that when the cars are behind the safety car during a safety car period, they are prohibited from passing, but when they are behind the safety car for a restart, they are permitted to – even though the reasons for a rolling start are that the track conditions don’t permit a standing start."

Further explaining the action taken by the stewards, the document explains the regulation has been applied consistently over a number of seasons.

The report continues: "The rule requiring a car to enter the pit lane if it fails to regain its position is consistent amongst several championships, has been in the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations for several years and has been consistently applied.

"The penalty is a mandatory penalty, and therefore the Stewards consider that they have no alternative than to apply this penalty for reasons of consistency."

The decision could cost Alfa Romeo millions in prize money by the end of the season, as the points earned in what was a frenetic race could be the difference between eighth and 10th.

Raikkonen's penalty also promoted Fernando Alonso into the top 10, earning the Spaniard his first points since returning to the sport with Alpine.

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