Ralf penalty swapped for fine

Ralf Schumacher and Williams are relieved that the outcome of yesterday's FIA court of appeal means the ten-place grid demotion penalty originally decided by stewards has been overruled in favour of a fine. The stewards' inquiry after the German...

Ralf Schumacher and Williams are relieved that the outcome of yesterday's FIA court of appeal means the ten-place grid demotion penalty originally decided by stewards has been overruled in favour of a fine. The stewards' inquiry after the German Grand Prix decided Schumacher was to blame for the first corner incident that took out three championship contenders, while at the hearing in Paris Williams argued that the accident was not avoidable.

It was announced August 20th that although the court agreed with the stewards' findings, Schumacher's grid demotion penalty was inappropriate and instead substituted a fine of $50,000.

While the court confirmed the initial judgement that Ralf was the instigator of the crash, the FIA has asked Peter Wright, the technical and safety consultant, to consider the actions of Rubens Barrichello and Kimi Raikkonen in light of how they may have contributed to the situation.

The court asked the case be referred back to the panel of stewards of the German GP so Wright's decision on Barrichello and Raikkonen, if there is one, can also be considered.

"We are delighted the Court of Appeal has seen fit to remove the serious penalty of a 10-place demotion on the starting grid for the next race," said team boss Frank Williams. "The substitution of a financial penalty at least means we can compete in Hungary with Ralf still in a competitive position in both championships."

"The hearing proved to be a fair and transparent review of all the factors that culminated in the incident and the team can now turn its full attention to the following race in Budapest."

Schumacher, who has always maintained the crash was just a normal racing incident, said: "I am delighted with the decision. After the hearing, I didn't expect too much, but I'm happy with the conclusion that was reached."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Ralf Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , Kimi Raikkonen , Frank Williams
Teams Williams