Verstappen fined for F1 parc ferme breach

Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen has been fined for his parc ferme transgression following qualifying for the Formula 1 Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

The championship leader was seen to climb from his Red Bull following the session and check the rear wing on his car.

He then stepped over to Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes, where he touched the W12’s wing in the same manner, breaching Article 2.5.1 of the FIA International Sporting Code in the process.

The stewards issued a summons late on Friday night, with Verstappen and Red Bull team manager Jonathan Wheatley fronting the panel in Interlagos this morning.

Having heard from the Dutchman, stewards elected to issue a €50,000 penalty.

The full judgement from the stewards stated:

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 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.

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