Haas has made a complaint after what they consider to be regulations not applied properly in determining finishing positions at the Melbourne event after a chaotic second red-flag restart. The order was determined based on how cars were before the grid was formed, which Haas disputed. F1‘s race control decided to use the position of the last sector that every driver completed, as stipulated in Article 57.3 of the Sporting Regulations. However, Haas argued that the positions should have been taken from Safety Car line 2, which is at the exit of the pits before Turn One.
F1 Race Director Niels Wittich felt the most sensible point to determine the order was the previous grid rather than trying to determine the order using GPS data. He felt that using GPS data was not completely reliable, and he and Haas agreed on this matter. The stewards felt that using the starting grid as the restart order was in the best interest of keeping the Grand Prix running as promptly as possible. They explained that determining the restart order at the safety car line in televised sporting events needed to be made promptly by the Race Control and the Race Director. The decision had to be based on the most appropriate information available at the time, using the exercise of appropriate discretion.
Using the safety car line as the starting point to determine the restart order could lead to drivers taking greater risks in the future to get ahead of their rivals in case there is a red flag in repeat circumstances. It, therefore, became clear that this would not be an appropriate path to follow. Interestingly, even drivers such as Sergio Perez were in a different position at SC2 than they were during the restart. Haas argued the positions should have been taken from the safety car line. This would gather all participants who made it out and past this point. Haas driver, Nico Hulkenberg, would have been classified seventh ahead of Lando Norris if the positions had been taken at the safety car line.