So, we have a decision on Max Verstappen’s parc ferme breach! After a visit to the stewards on Saturday morning, it’s been found that Verstappen did break the rules and touch both his and Lewis Hamilton’s car and has been handed a €50,000 fine.
We’ve been refreshing our social media platforms every few seconds waiting for an update, and now we’ve finally got one!
Max qualified in P2 for Saturday’s F1 Sprint and looked to be lining up on the front row alongside Lewis Hamilton, but now his car is under investigation too . After qualifying came to an end Hamilton, Verstappen and Bottas parked up in parc ferme and headed for their post-qualifying media duties as they are instructed to do.
Under these conditions, it’s very important that certain rules are followed. One of these rules is Article 2.5.1 of the FIA International Sporting Code which states that “inside the Parc Fermé, only the officials assigned may enter. No operation, checking, tuning or repair is allowed unless authorised by the same officials or by the applicable regulations”.
This is the rule that the FIA believed Verstappen had violated.
A document was shared at 22:20 local time on Friday evening, hours after qualifying had come to an end, which said that championship contender Verstappen had been summoned to the stewards the following morning.
“The Stewards heard from the driver of car 33 (Max Verstappen) and team representative,” the FIA decision document stated.
“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.
“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.
“Considering the fact that no direct harm was caused in this case, in the opinion of the Stewards, 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, the Stewards determine 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.”
Do you agree with the stewards decision? Let us know in the comments.