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Force India fined 100,000 euros for latest unsafe release

NEWS STORY
23/06/2018

Force India has been heavily fined after the incident in which Sergio Perez lost his left-rear wheel in FP2, however, the Mexican will not incur a grid penalty.

The incident resulted in a red flag as the car had to be lifted to safety and the errant wheel recovered.

On Friday evening, the FIA revealed it was carrying out a full investigation of the incident.

"Marks on the inner side of the wheel let assume that there has been some sort of debris between the wheel nut and the axle shaft when the wheel was fitted to the car," said the stewards at the time.

"This probably gave a wrong indication to the wheel operator that the wheel nut was properly torqued and tight. But only the first stage of the retention device was engaged at this point and further the red line on the axle shaft, which is only visible when the wheel is properly fastened could not be seen by the wheel operator."

Today, the stewards reviewed video evidence and heard from the FIA Technical Delegate, Perez, the wheel gun operator and a team representative, they also inspected parts from the wheel retaining system from the left rear wheel from the incident.

Announcing a fine of 15,000 euros plus an additional fine of 85,000 euros, which is suspended for 12 months subject to no further breach of Article 28.13 during this period, by the team, the stewards said they view the incident as very serious and potentially dangerous because it involved a wheel coming off the car at high speed.

The FIA Technical Delegate revised his original report on the possible cause of the incident and confirmed the team's evidence to the Stewards that the problem was not caused by incorrect or incomplete fitment of the wheel but rather by an assembly fault involving poor seating of 3 retaining screws on the retaining plate.

The stewards are satisfied that the wheel gun operator made no error in fitting the wheel, that the witness line was visible and that his manual check of the security of the wheel was satisfactory.

Likewise the stewards are satisfied that neither the team nor the driver had any warning whatsoever that something was amiss, until the incident occurred.

Therefore it would be unreasonable to infer that the team did not take "appropriate action" to stop the car because it had no way of knowing of the problem.

Accordingly and consistent with previous decisions this year, the stewards decided that the grid place penalty that "may" be imposed under the above article, would not be applied.

Check out our Saturday gallery from Paul Ricard, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by -ape-, 24/06/2018 8:17

"So the fine is actually 15.000 for now. Not too bad."

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2. Posted by Ro, 23/06/2018 22:19

"Sorry for my language...but what a load of absolute bollocks! We all know racing is dangerous, but was anyone hurt, it delayed NOTHING. The FIA is a joke, a bunch of self-effacing idiots. Why dont we just have racing? shit happens, get over it, get on with the racing!"

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