Austrian Grand Prix result in doubt as F1 hit with ‘unprecedented’ scenario
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The result of the Austrian Grand Prix could be changed after a review Formula 1's governing body, the FIA.
On Sunday, Red Bull driver Max Verstappen eased to victory in Speilberg to extend his lead at the top of the driver’s championship.
During what was a hectic race, many drivers were penalised for exceeding track limits, with Lewis Hamilton one of six drivers handed time penalties.
Now, it has been confirmed that the final finishing order could be changed after a successful protest by the Aston Martin F1 team.
A statement from the FIA said: “Regarding the track limits infringements at the 2023 Austrian Grand Prix, we note that due to the specifics of the circuit layout and the propensity of many drivers to repeatedly drive outside of the boundaries of the track.
“An unprecedented situation arose which resulted in all potential infringements not being able to be reviewed during the race. Prior to the submission of a Protest against the result, we had already begun a full review of the track limits infringements, which is ongoing.
“During the Grand Prix, Race Control was tasked with reviewing well over 1,200 instances where a car was reported as potentially leaving the track. The results will be updated once the review of those which were not able to be reviewed during the race is complete.”
Fans were quick to react on social media.
One said: "At what point do the FIA realise the track limits are a joke?"
Another tweeted: "Just about sums up the shambles that is F1."
A third fan added: "F1's obsession with track limits has been unnecessary and embarrassing."
"I think the track limits were a joke this weekend" 😤— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) July 2, 2023
Sergio Perez was not happy with the track limits in Austria this weekend 👇 pic.twitter.com/8mlr7qk8IV
Red Bull driver Sergio Perez said after the race: “I think the track limits were a joke this weekend. I think it hit everybody at some point.”
Whilst McLaren driver Lando Norris said: “It’s just not as easy as it looks on the outside. But they don’t understand how difficult it is to stay within the track limits.”
A separate document from the stewards stated: “An examination of the list of deleted lap times provided to the Stewards by Race Control, revealed that a number of track limit infringements had not previously been referred to the Stewards for potential penalty. It was determined that some of these infringements warranted a penalty that was not previously applied when the Provisional Classification was published.
“These penalties will be reflected in the Final Classification. Accordingly, the Protest is upheld and the Protest Fee is returned to the Competitor.”