Ferrari will not appeal Sebastian Vettel’s penalty that cost him victory at the Canadian Grand Prix.
In an embarrassing climbdown, team principal Mattia Binotto has written to the FIA to inform them that Ferrari will not be lodging a challenge ahead of the deadline on Thursday evening.
This is despite Ferrari having previously said the appeal had gone in.
Vettel crossed the line first but was handed a five-second penalty after running off track at Montreal on Sunday and coming back on in what the stewards deemed to be an unsafe manner.
Lewis Hamilton, who was pressing him for the lead, had to take evasive action to avoid a collision.
Hamilton went on to win once the forfeit had been added to Vettel’s time. It gave Hamilton a 62-point lead over the German in the championship.
Vettel was furious, calling the stewards ‘blind’ and missing the initial post-race interview with Martin Brundle.
He also moved the position boards, indicating that he thought he was the moral winner.
Former world champion Nigel Mansell echoed the outrage of several ex-drivers by saying the stewards’ decision was ‘embarrassing’.
On Sunday evening in Canada and in subsequent communiques, Ferrari insisted they had appealed.
New video evidence later emerged seemingly showing that Vettel had made a second steering input to block Hamilton once he had gathered control of his Ferrari after coming off the grass back on to the track.
It appeared to contradict the German’s contention that he could go nowhere but into Hamilton’s path.
Other drivers supported the stewards, with Nico Rosberg, the 2016 world champion, saying: ‘It’s very clear that it was an unsafe return to the track.
‘You have to return safely, so a penalty is deserved. The rule is there and that is it. Pretty simple.’
Ferrari will retain their ‘right of review’ under article 14 of the FIA’s sporting code. This enables them to question the verdict if significant new evidence is discovered.