When the second Safety Car was deployed on Sunday, Trulli lost control of his car and made a short visit to the run-off area, therefore handing Hamilton the 3rd place in the race. However, when returning to the track, Trulli proceeded to overtaking the reigning world champion under Safety Car, an illegal move according to the FIA rule book.
The Aussie stewards explained Toyota that their appeal was inadmissible, given the Spa incident in 2008. McLaren's Lewis Hamilton then cut a chicane and gained one track position over Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen in the process, while later penalized with a 25-second penalty of his own. According to the FIA, appeals on those kind of incidents are inadmissible.
Toyota have, nevertheless, announced that they would take their appeal further, to the Australian Grand Prix's Clerk of the Course. Trulli insisted he had no choice but to pass Hamilton, as the British driver instantly slowed down when he returned to the track. Team boss Tadashi Yamashina was even more frustrated with the penalty.
“This is an extremely frustrating way to finish a challenging weekend. Already we were disappointed to be starting from the pitlane after we were informed yesterday about the problem with our rear wing. We responded to that in a fantastic way and we showed that our car has genuine performance,” argued Yamashina.
However, according to a FIA spokesman on Monday, Toyota are yet to submit their appeal to the FIA within the next 48 hours.
“Toyota communicated their intention to appeal to the Clerk of the Course last night. They were reminded by the Stewards that, as with Spa last season, penalties of this kind have proven to be inadmissible to appeal. They have 48 hours to consider their position,” said the spokesman.