The Haas team on Saturday gave official notice that they will appeal a stewards’ decision dismissing their protest against Force India’s status following their take-over by a consortium in August.

Haas team chief Guenther Steiner said they had filed notice of intent to appeal, which means they had a period of 96 hours from Saturday to proceed with a full appeal or withdraw their proposed action.

The race stewards, on behalf of the sport’s ruling body, the International Motoring Federation (FIA), had released a document on Saturday explaining why the protest was dismissed.

Steiner said that Haas, a new American-owned team which entered Formula One in 2016, have had to compete without any access to the sport’s prize money funds for two years because they were classified as a new team.

He said Haas believed Force India were also, under their new ownership, a new team and should serve the same probationary period.

Steiner told Sky F1: “I didn’t really have time to read it through. It’s a big document they sent back explaining why in the end they have decided…

“We filed an intent of appeal, which doesn’t mean a lot. It just means you buy yourself time so you can actually read what’s written in there and find out whether it makes sense to appeal or not.”

He added that Haas was protesting against the Silverstone-based team in the interest of fairness and equality.

“The argument was, in our opinion, that they are a new constructor — because they came in with a new licence and that normally means a new constructor… That’s what we were arguing.

“In the end it’s all about money. We don’t want more of the money. We just want that it is equal to everybody. We had to do two years and, in our opinion, this is a new team. We asked for this to be clarified.”

The stewards latest ruling may have financial consequences for Force India as it appears that they could be confirmed to be a new team – and therefore lose any right to collect the prize money earned previously by the former team that collapsed or next year collect prize money earned this year, estimated at more than 30 million dollars.

Thanks for reading and for your interest in South Africa. Content is produced in collaboration between iAfrica’s editorial team and partners — including nongovernmental organizations, private sector stakeholders, agencies and institutions. If you are interested in sharing stories to shine a spotlight on a particular issue, please email i-news@africa.com. We look forward to hearing from you.