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Verstappen hit with major fine for touching and inspecting Hamilton's car

Verstappen hit with major fine for touching and inspecting Hamilton's car

F1 News

Verstappen hit with major fine for touching and inspecting Hamilton's car

Verstappen hit with major fine for touching and inspecting Hamilton's car
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

Max Verstappen has been found guilty of breaching the International Sporting Code after inspecting Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes in parc fermé following São Paulo Grand Prix qualifying.

Verstappen and Red Bull were called to the stewards to investigate an alleged breach of article 2.5.1 of the ISC.

The relevant article states that "no operation, checking, tuning or repair is allowed unless authorised...or by the applicable regulations."

Verstappen was, in a video below, seen inspecting the rear wing of his rival's W12, the area of the car under investigation in relation to a DRS infringement.

It has resulted in a €50,000 fine for the Dutchman.

The stewards' report read: "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 [Fernando Alonso], car 33, car 44 [Lewis Hamilton] and car 77 [Valtteri Bottas].

"In all, these videos gave a clear picture of what occurred in parc fermé 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 fermé 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."

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