Verstappen fined €50k for touching Hamilton's wing

Max Verstappen has been fined for breaching parc ferme rules after Formula 1 qualifying in Brazil on Friday by touching the rear wing on Lewis Hamilton's car.

Verstappen fined €50k for touching Hamilton's wing

Verstappen was called to see the stewards on Saturday morning in Brazil after a fan video emerged showing him inspect and touch the rear wing on title rival Hamilton's car after qualifying.

The hearing took place at 9:30am at Interlagos. Verstappen was joined by Red Bull sporting director Jonathan Wheatley for the meeting with the stewards, which lasted less than half an hour.

In a subsequent bulletin issued by the FIA, it was confirmed that Verstappen had received a €50,000 fine for breaching Article 2.5.1 of the International Sporting Code.

Article 2.5.1 of the ISC reads: "Inside the Parc Ferme, only the officials assigned may enter. No operation, checking, tuning or repair is allowed unless authorised by the same officials or by the applicable regulations."

The stewards spoke with Verstappen and analysed the fan video footage, as well as onboard camera footage from the cars of Verstappen, Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Fernando Alonso.

Importantly, the stewards note that there was "insignificant force when Verstappen touched the wing" of Hamilton's car, linking to the ongoing investigation into the Mercedes' DRS failing the post-session checks.

The stewards acknowledged that inspecting and touching other cars has become "a habit for drivers" that was "mostly harmless", but nevertheless noted it was a breach of the parc ferme regulation and "has significant potential to cause harm".

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, congratulates pole man Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, in Parc Ferme

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, congratulates pole man Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, in Parc Ferme

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

As a result, the stewards felt it was important to take action and fine Verstappen €50,000, as well as adding it "is intended that all teams and drivers take notice that future breaches may incur different penalties from the Stewards of those events."

It means that Verstappen will keep second place on the grid for the sprint race, and would be in line to inherit pole position should Hamilton be excluded from the qualifying results.

Verstappen qualified second behind Mercedes driver Hamilton at Interlagos, finishing four tenths of a second behind as the title contenders locked out the front row for the sprint race on Saturday.

But Hamilton's sprint race pole was thrown into doubt after the FIA found the DRS on his Mercedes was not in conformity with the technical regulations.

Read Also:

The hearing was adjourned until Saturday morning, and took place at 10:30am local time in Brazil, with no decision yet being announced.

Verstappen will head into Saturday's 24-lap sprint at Interlagos with a 19-point lead over Hamilton in the drivers' championship, with three points on offer to the winner of the Saturday race.

The result of the sprint race will then set the grid for Sunday, but Hamilton will take a five-place grid drop regardless of the stewards' ruling on his wing due to an engine penalty.

The full verdict

"The Stewards heard from the driver of car 33 (Max Verstappen) and team representative.

"The stewards also examined a fan video taken from across the track, CCTV video footage taken from pit lane and in car footage from car 14, car 33, car 44 and car 77. In all, these videos gave a clear picture of what occurred in parc ferme following the qualifying session.

"Verstappen exits the car, then moves to the rear of his car. He then takes his gloves off and puts his right hand at the slot-gap of the rear wing of his car. He then moves to car 44 and repeats the exercise, touching the rear wing in two places, once on either side of the DRS actuation device, but on the bottom rear side of the wing, in the area of the slot gap and never near the actuator or the end fixation points.

"Clear, high definition video from the rear facing roll-hoop camera on car 44 shows that there is absolutely no movement of any of the wing elements on car 44 when Verstappen touches the back of the wing and the Stewards are satisfied, from watching all the videos, his body position and the video of the wing, that there was insignificant force when Verstappen touched the wing.

"It is clear to the Stewards that it has become a habit of the drivers to touch cars after qualifying and the races. This was also the explanation of Verstappen, that it was simply habit to touch this area of the car which has been a point of speculation in recent races between both teams. This general tendency has been seen as mostly harmless and so has not been uniformly policed. Nevertheless, it is a breach of the parc ferme regulation and has significant potential to cause harm.

"Considering the fact that no direct harm was caused in this case, in the opinion of the Stewards, and that no earlier precedent of penalties for this exists – on the one hand; but that it is a breach of the regulation and has potential for serious consequences on the other, the Stewards determine to take action in this case and order a fine of €50,000. The Stewards further note that it is intended that all teams and drivers take notice that future breaches may incur different penalties from the Stewards of those events.

"Competitors are reminded that they have the right to appeal certain decisions of the Stewards, in accordance with Article 15 of the FIA International Sporting Code and Chapter 4 of the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Rules, within the applicable time limits."

shares
comments

Related video

Horner would be "amazed" if Verstappen got an F1 penalty
Previous article

Horner would be "amazed" if Verstappen got an F1 penalty

Next article

Hamilton excluded from Brazil F1 qualifying over DRS infringement

Hamilton excluded from Brazil F1 qualifying over DRS infringement
Load comments
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021
How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage Prime

How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage

There was simply no stopping Lewis Hamilton on Formula 1's first visit to Qatar. The Mercedes driver eased to pole position and led every lap to secure an utterly dominant victory - even without a key Mercedes weapon in his arsenal to increase the heat on Red Bull heading into the final two races of the gripping 2021 title race

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021
Qatar's long-term plans for a "World Cup every single year" Prime

Qatar's long-term plans for a "World Cup every single year"

Qatar is preparing to host the football World Cup next year, but will be thrown into the sporting spotlight this weekend as Formula 1 prepares to race in the country. Ahead of a 10-year deal to hold a grand prix from 2023 onwards, it's a much-needed opportunity to highlight reforms in the country

Formula 1
Nov 20, 2021