Sébastien Ogier’s challenge for a sixth consecutive world title remains alive after he was allowed to keep his Rally Italia Sardegna points following Sunday’s bizarre time card error.
Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia were reported to event stewards after hurriedly departing the finish of the penultimate speed test without collecting the card.
It was delivered to them by Ott Tänak at the following regroup before the live TV Power Stage, a breach of regulations which prohibit the crew receiving items from a third party.
After investigating the issue, stewards removed the 22 points Ogier and Ingrassia gained from the rally and the 18 earned by their M-Sport Ford team.
The penalty was suspended, meaning it will only be applied if the pair repeat the offence before the end of the season. They were also fined 10,000 Euros.
The decision means Ogier remains 27 points adrift of rally winner Thierry Neuville with six rounds remaining.
Ingrassia admitted his mistake at the hearing. He said they left the stage finish without checking the time card had been returned by marshals and when he realised the error, it was too late to return to the finish line by car or on foot.
Stewards accepted it was a genuine mistake which had no effect on the performance of their Ford Fiesta.