AlphaTauri fined for releasing Tsunoda in unsafe condition


AlphaTauri has been fined after allowing Yuki Tsunoda to rejoin the race in an unsafe condition following his first lap clash with his teammate, Nyck de Vries.

The pair were battling in Turn 3, when the Dutch driver clipped the front wing of his teammate's car.

While de Vries was able to continue, Tsunoda radioed his team to inform them that he was pitting. However, with the loss of front downforce he subsequently hit the wall , shattering his right-rear wheel in the process and losing the tyre, which proceeded to follow him down the track.

Though he feared the damage was beyond repair, certainly in terms of continuing in the race, Tsunoda was ordered to drive back to the pits.

On returning to the pits he was told the car was 'good to go' and he headed back out again only to discover that the right-rear suspension was damaged.

As he made his way slowly around the track, first the VSC was deployed and then the full Safety Car as a result of debris deposited on the tarmac.

The stewards subsequently launched an investigation, and having heard from Tsunoda and a team representative and reviewed positioning/marshalling system data, video, timing, team radio and in-car video evidence, determined that the team released the Japanese driver in an unsafe condition.

"Car 22 had entered the pits after a shunt at Turn 13 of Lap 1 where the right rear tyre had come off and the rim was touching the track," said the stewards in their report. "The driver had indicated to the team while returning to the pits that the shunt was significant and that he did not think it was possible to continue.

"The team apparently did a visual check on the car, refitted a new tyre and rim and released the car. The right rear suspension failed almost immediately after the release and the car had to be driven slowly back to the pits and retired."

The stewards considered that the team could have done more to check if the car was safe before releasing it, while the team representative acknowledged that more could have been done.

Deeming that the Faenza outfit had breached Article 34.14 d) of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations, in releasing the car in an unsafe condition, the stewards imposed a €5,000 fine.

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Article from Pitpass (

Published: 29/04/2023
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