The stewards stripped the Brazilian of his eighth place finish because a tyre had been measured by the FIA on the grid to be 137 degrees — a massive 27 degrees higher than Pirelli’s now-mandatory guidelines.
Williams engineering chief Rob Smedley, however, is not impressed and said the outfit is confused as to why the FIA’s infra-red gun reading showed the tyre to be at 137 degrees, because its own data suggested the tyre was at 107.
“We have two different sensors,” he said, “and our measurement on the grid was 104 degrees. The other on the telemetry was 105.7.
“The sensors are independent and both confirm that we were well within the rules,” Smedley said. “Unfortunately they only accept their measurement and not ours.”
“And in addition to that, we have also bought exactly the same [IR] sensor that the FIA uses and we do random checks throughout the weekend to ensure it doesn’t happen.
“For us it is critical that we understand where this problem came from, but we have three independent measures and none of them give anything like the FIA measurement on the grid.”
When the media asked why, if the team’s own data showed the tyre to be within the boundary, the race stewards reading was so far out, he said: “No idea. That is why we have served notice of appeal.
“There was no explanation whatsoever. They explained to us that this is reference measurement because it is the FIA measurement and so this is the one that counts. The other three that we have are of less consequence.”