Force India fined for Perez's FP2 incident
The Force India team has been hit with a €5,000 fine for the unsafe release of Sergio Perez's Formula 1 car during practice for the Spanish Grand Prix.
Perez was forced to stop on track near the end of second practice after the team failed to attach the left front wheel properly during a pitstop with 14 minutes left in the session.
Although the Mexican was asked by his team to try to return to the pits, he eventually aborted the attempt and pulled off the track.
Perez and a Force India representative were summoned by the stewards, who considered a fine was sufficient as the team gave Perez the appropriate instructions after realising what the problem was.
"Unusually, the wheel clamped to the car and it was not immediately apparent that the wheel was not fully fitted," the stewards explained in a statement.
"The Stewards had the Technical Delegate inspect the car, and his conclusion agreed with the team's that although the wheel clamped, the wheel nut was cross threaded.
"The driver stopped the car in a safe manner as soon as the above became apparent to him. And while there was some confusion on the radio, the team gave appropriate instructions as soon as they realised the issue, which was not apparent until just before Turn 9.
"Consistent with previous decisions of a similar nature, the Stewards decided that the grid place penalty would not be applied as all appropriate measures were taken, and in particular it was not obvious that the car was unsafe when it was released.
"Nevertheless, it is the responsibility of the team to take all measures to ensure that the wheel is fully fitted and accordingly, the Stewards fine the team €5,000."
Force India's COO Otmar Szafnauer said the team was investigating the cause of the problem.
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