Toyota Drops Appeal over Trulli's Penalty

Toyota have confirmed they will not lodge an appeal to Jarno Trulli's 25-second post-race penalty at Melbourne. As announced shortly after the Grand Prix by the race organizers, this kind of penalties is usually not admissible by the FIA Court of Appeal and Toyota have decided it would be useless to continue with their protest.

The penalty came as a result of Trulli overtaking Lewis Hamilton under Safety Car in the late stages of the Aussie race. Shortly after the chequered flag was waved, the Italian argued that the British driver instantly slowed down and gave him no choice but to pass him on track. Hamilton himself admitted he had been instructed from the pits to let Trulli pass by. In such a case, the Toyota driver's maneuver would have been legal.

Normally, overtaking someone under Safety Car would lead to a drive-through penalty, not admissible to appeal by FIA laws. However, due to the late happening of the incident, Trulli was handed a post-race penalty of 25 seconds, demoting him from 3rd place in the race to 12th spot. However, the latter has the same legal statute in terms of admissibility as the former.

Toyota F1 issued a short statement earlier today, confirming it would not go ahead with their appeal to the Aussie stewards' decision.

“Having considered recent judgments of the International Court of Appeal and referring to the Sporting Code it is believed that any appeal will be rejected on a procedural point such as that defined under article 152, paragraph 5 of the Sporting Code. Based on this Toyota Motorsport has decided that it would serve no benefit to pursue this course of action,” said the statement.

Under the FIA rule book – the aforementioned article & paragraph – “penalties of driving through or stopping in pit lanes together with certain penalties specified in FIA Championship regulations where this is expressly stated, are not susceptible to appeal.”
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