During the rain-soaked Japanese Grand Prix that saw many a strange race for some teams, Toro Rosso did the unthinkable and scored a world championship point. For the small team who compete with a minuscule budget in comparison to the top squads, the achievement was one to be savoured. But unfortunately, after the race it transpired that Vitantonio Liuzzi passed Adrian Sutil under yellow flags, infringing the rules and therefore deserving of a penalty. As the FIA seem to take satisfaction in changing the result after the race, Liuzzi was handed a 25 second addition to his total race time, promoting Spyker into eighth place.
The two rivaling teams have been at loggerheads all year, not necessarily fighting for points, but certainly trying to outdo each other. This came as a blow to Toro Rosso, that single world championship point meaning a lot of money would swing their way from FOM and they would move even further up the pitlane next year. Naturally, Rosso boss Gerhard Berger appealed the decision and a decision has been made by the FIA International Court of Appeal. The decision stands and the appeal thrown out. Spyker keep their point.
Following a report from the Race Director, the Stewards of the Meeting decided to impose a penalty of 25 seconds to be added to the elapsed race time of driver N°18, Vitantonio Liuzzi, for having overtaken another competitor while a yellow flag restriction was in place.
Having heard the explanations of both parties and having examined the various documents and other evidence, the Court confirmed the decision of the Panel of the Stewards of the Meeting. FIA Statement.
Of course, Toro Rosso went on to score a magnificent eight points in China with a fourth and sixth place finishes in Shanghai.