Ferrari opts against appealing 'wrong' decision

SPIELBERG, Austria -- Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has confirmed his team will not appeal the stewards' decision that ensured Max Verstappen kept victory at the Austrian Grand Prix ahead of Charles Leclerc.

Leclerc was leading the race with three laps to go when Verstappen overtook him at Turn 3 to claim the lead. The move saw the pair bang wheels as Verstappen squeezed Leclerc out of track on the exit of the corner.

A three-hour investigation into the incident took place before the stewards confirmed there would be not further action. Binotto said he did not agree with the stewards but saw no benefit in appealing the decision.

"What's Ferrari's opinion and position? We still believe that this is a wrong decision, that's our own opinion," he said. "We believe that Charles leaves the entire space, he had no fault, a collision has happened and he has been pushed and forced off the track, so we believe these are clear rules which we may appreciate or not. And these are exactly the same rules which have been applied in past races.

"Having said that, we respect the decision of the stewards fully. They are the judge, we need to respect that, and more than that, as a Ferrari fan -- and I am the ultimate Ferrari fan -- I think it's time for F1 to turn page and look ahead, other incidents and accidents that may happen in the race."

After a five-second penalty stripped Sebastian Vettel of victory in Canada, Ferrari requested a review of the stewards' decision that was denied. Ferrari could have requested another review in Austria, but Binotto said he would not pursue the issue further.

"We can appeal, we may somehow have had an intention of appeal tonight and appeal later on but it's our decision not to do it, as we said it's good for the sport to turn the page and to look ahead."

Binotto said there was no comparison to be made between the incidents in Canada and Austria, but believes Verstappen was guilty of causing the collision on Sunday.

"Certainly we believe the interpretation have been different in the two cases, why I think is we are unhappy with what has been the decision today. I think the rules for us are clear," he added. "A collision has been created and he has been pushed off the track, forced off the track, but again it is no further action, that's the way it is.

Binotto underlined that he was not happy with the decision but congratulated Verstappen on the victory nonetheless.

"As we often said we should leave drivers free to battle. So we may not be happy of the decision, we are not supporting the decision but somehow we understand the fact we need to move forward and overall that's good for the sport and good for F1.

"So bravo to Verstappen, the victory of him, he did a fantastic race today, as Charles as well, Charles drove very well, but there will be new opportunities."