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Verstappen fined for touching and examining Hamilton's rear wing

NEWS STORY
13/11/2021

Max Verstappen has been fined €50,000 (£42,600) for "touching and examining" the rear wing on Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes.

In addition to hearing from the Dutchman and a Red Bull representative, thev stewards examined a fan video taken from across the track, CCTV video footage taken from pit lane and in car footage from the cars of Fernando Alonso, Valtteri Bottas and those of Verstappen himself and Hamilton.

All the videos gave a clear picture of what occurred in parc fermé following the qualifying session, in that 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 Hamilton's car 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 Hamilton's car shows that there is absolutely no movement of any of the wing elements 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 and 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.

The stewards, considering the fact that no direct harm was caused in this case, 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, determined 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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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Mad Matt, 14/11/2021 11:19

"I think the problem was that he touched a part which would then be the cause of an exclusion. I don't think the FIA really had a choice and the fine is probably the softest option.
I don't think Max had any intention of cheating and he certainly isn't the first to touch another car so it seems fair that he hasn't been given a grid penalty."

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2. Posted by Stitch431, 13/11/2021 17:09

"Vettel, as well as others, have been doing this so many times without punishment. Therefore I assume that Lewis/Mercedes is going to get a severe punishment for breaching the rules. Anything other would be incomprehensible in this case."

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