Scuderia Toro Rosso has appealed the stewards decision to hand Vitantonio Liuzzi a post-race penalty the cost the Italian and his team a precious point in the Japanese Grand Prix.

After the disastrous accident that removed Liuzzi's team-mate, Sebastian Vettel, and Red Bull stable-mate Mark Webber from likely podium finishes at Fuji, STR consoled itself with Liuzzi's hard-earned eighth place, which had been achieved despite the Italian starting a lap behind everyone else. However, a protest from the rival Spyker team claimed that Liuzzi had passed its driver, Adrian Sutil, under a late yellow flag - something the stewards belatedly agreed with. The time penalty issued was enough to swap Liuzzi and Sutil on the finishing order.

A brief statement issued by Toro Rosso on Monday confirms that it intends to appeal the decision, casting doubt over the result of the Japanese round, but will not try to get the penalty applied to Vettel following his incident with Webber. The German was handed a ten-place grid penalty for hitting the Australian under the safety car.

"Whoever came up with the expression 'things can only get better' definitely did not have Scuderia Toro Rosso in mind," the statement claimed, "After Sebastian Vettel crashed out of the race when he looked set to finish on the podium, the team thought it could take some consolation from the fact that Tonio Liuzzi had finished eighth, thus scoring our first point of the season.

"However, the Stewards of the Meeting imposed a 25-second penalty on Tonio for allegedly overtaking under yellow flags and this meant he was no longer eighth and
so the point was taken away. The team has lodged an appeal against this decision.

"On top of that, Sebastian will take a ten place drop on the grid for this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix as punishment for his accident with Mark Webber when running
in safety car conditions.

"In our case, it seems that what we thought was the light at the end of the tunnel was actually an oncoming train!"

 

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