MARCH 4, 2001

Debutant Raikkonen given points bonus after appeal

FORMULA ONE debutant Kimi Raikkonen has been promoted into the points after a protest from the Sauber team was accepted by the stewards at the Australian Grand Prix.

The Swiss team, whose drivers finished fifth and seventh on the track, complained that British American Racing's Olivier Panis had illegally overtaken their driver Nick Heidfeld under waved yellow flags after Enrique Bernoldi's accident on lap 2.

The officials interviewed the drivers and studied video evidence of the incident before deciding to uphold the protest and drop BAR's Panis to seventh place with the addition of 25 seconds to the Frenchman's finish time.

That promoted Heidfeld to fourth, Jordan's Heinz-Harald Frentzen to fifth, and allowed Heidfeld's team-mate Raikkonen into the points from seventh to sixth.

Arrows' Jos Verstappen was also given a 25-second penalty after a similar infringement with Heidfeld. He dropped down a place down to 10th with Prost's Jean Alesi moving up to ninth.

The changes to the result now leaves Sauber with four world championship points, two thirds of their total tally for last year.