Race Director's error gave Ferrari hope for protest against Verstappen

F1 News

1 June at 09:20
Last update 1 June at 09:30
  • GPblog.com

Ferrari saw its protests rejected by the stewards, but why did the Italian team think it had a case against Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez anyway? It turned out to be because of an error by the race director.

Verstappen on the edge

Verstappen and Perez were looking for the edge in Monaco when they came out of the pit lane in Monaco. The Red Bull Racing drivers had to pull out all the stops to stay ahead of the Ferrari men and they narrowly succeeded. In the process, however, the two drivers were up against the edge of the pit exit.

Perez touched the line of the pit exit and Verstappen was even over it with part of his wheel. The stewards noted the incident but took no action. Ferrari did not understand this, because the Italians pointed to a rule in the Race Directors Event Notes that stated that cars were not allowed to touch the line at the exit of the pit lane. So why was this not penalised anyway?

The Race Director on duty, Eduardo Freitas, had made a mistake in the Event Notes prior to the weekend. In it, the rule on exiting the pit lane was brought forward, but in doing so, the rule from the 2021 Sporting Regulations was copied and pasted. As a result, the Event Notes stated that drivers had to stay to the right of the yellow line when exiting the pit lane and swerving could only be done in exceptional circumstances.

Different rules in 2022

Based on this guideline Ferrari went to the stewards, but they ruled that the race director had made a mistake here. In fact, the rules regarding exiting the pits have changed in the sporting regulations from 2021 to 2022. As of 2022, the rule is that cars are not allowed to cross the line when exiting the pit lane.

Although the stewards ruled that the mistake should not occur in the Event Notes, the sporting regulations do take precedence over the Event Notes. Therefore Perez and Verstappen did not receive a penalty. Perez only touched the line and Verstappen did not fully cross it.