Mark Webber avoids penalty after pitlane breach
The FIA stewards have allowed Australia’s Formula 1 star Mark Webber to escape without penalty following a breach of pitlane regulations in practice.
The Red Bull Racing driver performed a practice start from his pit box late in the opening session before stopping and being pulled backwards by his crew. Such a manoeuvre has been outlawed by the FIA on safety grounds.
A statement from the stewards recognised that the team attempted to mitigate any advantage from the breach immediately upon realising the mistake.
“The team explained that as soon as the error was identified they instructed the driver to drive onto the track without making any changes to the car,” read the stewards’ report.
“As all manoeuvres were carried out safely, the stewards accepted these mitigating circumstances.”
Webber ended the opening session fifth fastest before improving to second behind Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel in Practice 2.
“It was not a bad day and we got through plenty of information,” he said afterward.
“It was nice to have a bit of sun on the circuit after Barcelona, where we had pretty overcast conditions.
“We had to correlate a lot of information from Europe and that went pretty well. We still have a huge amount to go through tonight and we’re expecting a bit of overcast stuff tomorrow, so we need to be ready for that.
“Overall, it was pretty positive for us, but there are still areas to improve on.”
A third and final Formula 1 practice session will get underway at 1400 on Saturday afternoon before qualifying at 1700.