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Vasseur bemused by swift stewards decision: 'It took five seconds'

Frederic Vasseur believes that the Australian Grand Prix stewards should have discussed Carlos Sainz's late-race collision with the Ferrari driver before awarding a time penalty.

Frederic Vasseur believes that the decision to hand Carlos Sainz a five-second time penalty at the Australian GP was "harsh", and believed it should have taken longer to review. In what turned out to be a disastrous day for Ferrari, Sainz collided with Fernando Alonso on the final standing restart of the race, taking the Aston Martin driver out of the race. Sainz, who had been reinstated to P4 for the final lap rolling restart under the Safety Car, was judged to be "wholly" to blame and handed a five-second time penalty, which dropped him to P12. Speaking after the race, Vasseur believed that Sainz's "unlucky" circumstances didn't merit coming away from Melbourne with zero points. "My job is also to take the positives and the negatives but, just coming from the pit wall, it's more of a negative because I think overall we did a good job," Vasseur commented to Channel 4 . "Carlos had a very good recovery after the unlucky pitstop just before the red flag, and to get penalised like this at the end, it's very harsh. "For sure you are emotional in this kind of situation, because that you are not far away from the podium, you are P4 after coming from nowhere, when all of the others get their pit stop for free. He did a mega good job."

Vasseur: Stewards should have discussed the decision

The Ferrari team boss noted the speed of the decision made by the stewards, and believed that it's lack of impact on the final podium positions meant it could be reviewed more thoroughly after the race. "I think that you can discuss if the penalty is harsh or not, that depends on your position in your team, so the analysis will be different," added Vasseur. "But I think what is a shame for me is, considering that it was not impacting the podium, the stewards at least could have listened to them and have a look at the data. That I think is a bit of a shame. "Last week, we changed the regulations two times in ten minutes about the pitstop for Alonso, and we could have done the same today, at least have had a discussion. "They took thirty laps [in Jeddah] to decide if Alonso was in the [start] box or not. Today it took five seconds."

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