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F1 stewards too proud to allow appeals - Sainz

Carlos Sainz Jr. says Formula 1's race stewards will never allow appeals for their decisions out of pride and for fear of losing face.
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Carlos Sainz Jr. believes that Formula 1 race stewards will never allow drivers to appeal decisions and penalties because they are too proud and do not want their credibility undermined.

Sainz was handed a three-place grid penalty for the Russian Grand Prix after tangling with Lance Stroll during Sunday's race in Bahrain, the stewards adjudging the Toro Rosso driver to have been at fault.

"I obviously was quite surprised with the grid drop. I thought they were going to consider it a racing incident," Sainz explained.

"Obviously in F1 when you are fighting for position, for the points, there are a lot of racing battles going on. It was, for me, a racing incident. Lance simply didn't see me and maybe a guy with a bit more experience would have seen me and left me enough space on the corner."

Despite being disappointed in the decision, Sainz has no right to appeal or talk to the stewards about their call which is final, and the Spaniard doubts this will ever change.

"You go home with the penalty, you get it, you cannot appeal, nothing. That's how it is," Sainz said.

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"Even for pride, they wouldn't change their opinion. I don't think it would change nothing. Even if you had the opportunity to appeal, it's not like suddenly the stewards are going to decide the contrary.

"They take a decision, they go with it, they understand they wouldn't change their decision because they would lose some credibility. They will never change. But there you have it. First incident, fighting for position, first penalty."

F1 race director Charlie Whiting had announced earlier in the year that the stewards would be handing out less penalties through 2017, but Sainz is the third driver in the past two races to have received a grid drop for an on-track infringement.

Romain Grosjean and Jolyon Palmer were both demoted five places on the grid in China for allegedly failing to slow under yellow flags after a crash for Antonio Giovinazzi. Grosjean tweeted his data from the lap, showing he backed off by over a second, but the decision was final despite Whiting himself admitting to the Frenchman that the penalty was unfair.

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April 20, 2017 4:53 PM

I'm an ardent protester against penalties for crashes in F1, I think they are unnecessary unless a driver clearly tries to run their rival off the road like Schumi at Jerez, or is a repeat liability like Maldonado was. But even I think it's deserved here. Sorry Carlos, but you were about a 10km behind him in the braking zone. If anything I was impressed you actually managed to hit him.

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