The Prema Formula 2 team has submitted a protest over the results of today’s sprint race in Jeddah following Dennis Hauger’s penalty.
The Red Bull junior driver started from pole and was able to keep position off the line, defending from Calan Williams. The race was neutralised on lap two, following a crash for Amaury Cordeel and proceeded behind the Safety Car until the end of lap six.
Racing restarted at the beginning of lap seven, with Hauger again keeping the lead. However, another Safety Car period was almost instantly called after Jack Doohan and Logan Sargeant crashed.
Drivers were immediately instructed to drive through the pit lane in order to catch up to the Safety Car on the following lap. However by the time leader Hauger came around to the pits, race control appeared to have recognised the hazard and the LED flag panels began to display the cross symbol, indicating that the pit lane was closed.
Having not been informed of this by his team, Hauger drove around Doohan and Sargeant’s cars to enter the pit lane – which no other car behind him did – putting him down to 12th place by the time he re-emerged.
By lap 14 of the heavily disrupted race, and still behind safety car, Hauger was informed that he would be given a 10-second stop-go penalty for entering the pit lane when it was closed. He had two discussions with the pit wall about the penalty, before coming in to serve it when racing restarted on lap 13.
|11||Prema||We have a 10 second stop-and-go penalty for entering the pit lane when it was closed, so we’ll just have to serve it when the pit lane is open.|
|11||Hauger||Are you joking, man?|
|11||Prema||I’m not, I’m sorry|
|11||Hauger||Was the pit lane closed or was it open?|
|11||Prema||They put [out] a message to go through the pit lane and after they could have made the pit lane closed. We confirmed after two messages with the race director, two times, that you were going through the pit lane and he said yes. So we followed his instructions.|
|12||Hauger||I just don’t understand, if you get the confirmation to go into the pit, why are we getting a fucking penalty?|
|12||Hauger||Fuck the race directors|
Hauger finished the race last, after serving his penalty, 30 seconds behind the rest of the field.
The FIA has called a hearing with Hauger and his team, due to a protest lodged against the results of the sprint race by Prema. The official document reads “having received a protest from the competitor regarding the provisional classification of the sprint race (race one), a hearing is convened to discuss the protest.”
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