(L to R): Max Verstappen, Red Bull; Charles Leclerc, Ferrari; Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes; Red Bull Ring, 2022

Leclerc, Verstappen and Hamilton given suspended €10,000 fines but keep results

2022 Austrian Grand Prix

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Charles Leclerc, Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, the top three finishers in today’s Austrian Grand Prix, have kept their finishing positions after an investigation by the stewards.

However the trio have been given suspended fines of €10,000 each for violations of parc ferme protocol.

The three podium finishers were summoned to the stewards two hours after the race for potential violations of article 12.2.1 (i) of the International Sporting Code, governing parc ferme procedures.

After investigating all three drivers, the stewards have handed each a fine of €10,000 – suspended until the end of the 2022 season – after concluding that the physiotherapists for each driver had entered parc ferme earlier than permitted.

Prior to every race this season, the FIA’s media delegate has informed teams about the post-race procedures that will be observed after the conclusion of the event. These procedures have included an instruction that “other than the team mechanics… officials and FIA pre-approved television crews and FIA approved photographers, no one else will be allowed in the designated area at this time.”

Since the Canadian Grand Prix last month, the post-race procedures have emphasised that no “team PR personnel” are permitted in parc ferme as drivers arrive after a race. Teams are now instructed that “driver physios must wait outside the cool-down room behind the podium until the podium ceremony has concluded”.

In their decision, the stewards explained they had “received a report from the media delegate, which was subsequently confirmed by video evidence, that the physio / drivers’ assistants of the top three finishers entered parc ferme without permission and in violation of the procedure that was published prior to the race ‘for the orderly conduct of the event.'”

With all drivers being officially weighed in parc ferme at the end of the race, the stewards explained that the new procedure is “in part… to prevent handing over of items to the drivers prior to them being weighed.” As well as giving the drivers their suspended fines, the stewards also warned their physiotherapists’ paddock passes “may be revoked in case of systemic violation.”

The decision does not change the final result of the race, which saw Leclerc lead home Verstappen and Hamilton to claim his third victory of the 2022 season.

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2022 Austrian Grand Prix

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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43 comments on “Leclerc, Verstappen and Hamilton given suspended €10,000 fines but keep results”

  1. Sure because the real ‘disciplinary’ takeaway this weekend is physios entering parc ferme, not the reports of sexist, racist and homophobic abuse at a FIA-sponsored venue.

    1. Yeah, I really fail to see the pressing reason for this right now too @david-br, apart from the FIA wanting to take more control of all procedures to show who is “in charge”

    2. @david-br to be fair, that’s all the stewards can do. I’m sure a FIA investigation on the organizers will follow, but that’s not the stewards business.

    3. This is footage from the weekend – but yeah, the FIA is worried about physio’s giving the drivers a towel and a pat on the back before they are on the scales …

      1. sorry, that should have been this one: hthttps://twitter.com/whimsah/status/1546187710121099267

          1. @bascb Oh no…this is giving me flashbacks to a politically turbulent time in my area in recent times.

            This kind of behaviour is abhorrent and should be stopped.

      2. So I followed that link, then more, found this headline in Telegraaf. If this is what is being fed to the fans, no wonder it’s getting heated. Google translate gives me “Sneering”, “Snarled”, which is a) Disgusting and b) Far from the truth.
        I suppose when multiple people are killed, that will generate clicks and sell more advertising – so that’s a win for the “news” industry then.

        1. We are being fed and steered by a never taking responsibility media indeed. Thats why I do not understand why certain drivera deliberately play mind games off track. They can put on a show to preach for equality or nature or whatever but fail to see the consequences of their own wanting to be a star ambitions.

      3. I’d love to see the fia do something about all the weight tricks teams play.
        Reminds me of Max’s first win in Austria, we could hear on the world feed someone shouting at Max to put on more weight.

    4. Suspended €10,000 fine is nothing. The stewards were forced to act somehow, because there was a clear violation of the rules and a media delegate reported it. But they have given a very lenient penalty, which has no sporting consequences.

      A sensible decision in my opinion.

      1. There was a “clear violation” of rules that were there but hadn’t been enforced for who knows how long @hotbottoms. This is another one of the recent “FIA trying to show they are in charge” things, just like the jewelry thing they dug up after 16 seasons of having not enforced it in F1.

        Instead of acting on real issues, and when we hear that the drivers are VERY critical of what is and is not enforced and communicated recently (see Vettel storming out of the drivers briefing earlier this weekend after a heated discussion with the race director) and Russel’s’ comments on it (both are directors of the drivers association) this is not great at all.

        And at the same time we haven’t even seen the FIA communicate anything at all about fans misbehaving.

        1. And at the same time we haven’t even seen the FIA communicate anything at all about fans misbehaving.

          Hard to blame the stewards and the race director for that. What should they do, give stop-and-go penalties to spectators?

          It would be really weird, if the behavior of some of the spectators affected how the stewards apply the sporting regulations to the drivers and the teams.

          1. The Stewards have nothing to do with the spectators. But the race director certainly does.

          2. @bascb the official social media channels for the sport issued a brief statement before the race stating “We take these matters very seriously, have raised them with the promoter and event security, and will be speaking to those who reported them. This kind of behaviour is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”

            That said, what’s a little unclear is if that message represented both the FIA and Liberty Media as the commercial rights holder, or just Liberty Media.

          3. The Stewards have nothing to do with the spectators. But the race director certainly does.

            How so, @bascb?

            This is another one of the recent “FIA trying to show they are in charge” things, just like the jewelry thing they dug up after 16 seasons of having not enforced it in F1.

            Well, the FIA is in charge and have every right to run F1 the way they want to. They own it, after all.
            And are you seriously suggesting that just because previous staff underperformed, the current people should also not fulfil their role properly?

            You realise who nonsensical that sounds, right?

      2. This has been going on for years. If it’s suddenly a big deal, it should have been announced prior to the race.

        1. It’s announced in the regulations @grat.

      3. ““driver physios must wait outside the cool-down room behind the podium until the podium ceremony has concluded”

        This is silly. Who else does the drivers have to make sure they are ‘presentable’ for the media following a long and arduous race? The physios role is more than the name suggests. They often function the way a PR person would. They are the modern equalent of the knight’s Squire, doing the drivers chores. On the level of psychology, their presence as familiars help the drivers wind down after 90 minutes of adrenalin. Not having them untill after the podium ceremenony is silly, as the drivers are often interviewed well before then. It seems to me all this is meant to unsettle the driver, take him outside of his familar comforts.

        Its like the clamp down on drivers wearing jewelry or personal underwear. Silly.

        1. I hope the drivers protest in the interest of their health and safety, access to physical care as soon as possible is very important, FIA has no business to overrule that in the name of the press moment.

          1. If the drivers and their (employer) teams have signed up to those conditions, then they must obey.
            And in the event there are serious medical implications at play, they take priority – but only on a case by case basis.

            Even marathon runners get less preening and grooming than F1 drivers…
            Seriously – who cares if a drivers hair is a little messy when they’ve just finished a race. For goodness sake.

  2. There’s obviously some break down in communication or instruction for all 3 of them to enter parc ferme. It’s almost like someone waved the physios in when they should have directed them to the cool down room….

    1. All team members know they are not permitted there.

  3. It’s been a fine festival this weekend! And none I think for driving infringements…

    1. @fer-no65 Maybe the FIA is considering fines along the reprimand/flag/penalties for drivers leaving the track without permission.

  4. Wow stewards were not playing today. I guess if you take an extra lap and collect a national flag from a fan it will be solitary confinement for that driver.

    Also jumping against the barricade for a hug up from your mechanics, I guess that’s out too. I mean they can stuff so many tungsten ingots in your race suit that way….

    1. Got me chuckling.
      Jo Bauer: Hmm, 79kg. Charles, yesterday you were 69kg, what’s this?
      Charles: Yeah, I couldn’t go to the bathroom before the race (cling-cling-cling)

      1. 10 grams can be the difference between legal and disqualified….

  5. Hamilton to claim his third victory of the 2022 season.

    oh, good to know

    1. Amazing what missing punctuation can do to many a phrase in English, isn’t it?

    2. Wow, we’re into parodying stuff now, like that!

      1. Generally the standard of English of today’s journalists is questionable.
        The fact that computers are based on American ???? is really no excuse.
        Whatever language they are writing in, it should be plain & clear, incl. punctuation.

  6. “physiotherapists for each driver had entered parc ferme earlier than permitted”

    More lunatic FIA bureaucracy

    If the issue is the risk of physiotherapists handing weights to drivers to make them overweight for the weigh-in why do they allow the drivers to run and jump onto the mechanics the second the get out of the car after winning the race where they could easily hand ballast?

    I understand this rule was introduced after ros brawn ran underweight cars and put lead weights in Michael Schumacher’s helmet after the race but I doubt in the age of a million phone cameras and 4k footage anyone would try to cheat like this and risk being kicked out of the championship.

    1. Wait, that actually happened with Schumacher? I was just joking in my comment about the ingots, I never thought anyone dared such a really insane move.

      1. @dmw I don’t know about F1, but definitely a few years ago in one of the lower formulas, the father of one of the drivers poured water into his son’s racing suit while he was hugging the mechanics.

        Obviously everyone noticed and I think he was disqualified, I’m sure the video is out there.

      2. @dmw it is an allegation that was raised at Schumacher for the 1995 season, but one that is debated.

        In 1995, the sport began adding the weight of the driver to the minimum weight of the car – however, the original proposal was that the FIA would weight the drivers twice a year to establish a set official weight.

        Now, the claim is that, when Schumacher went for that official weigh in before the 1995 season, he was 8kg heavier than the last reading at the end of the 1994 season, which supposedly made the FIA suspicious. Whiting then took the approach of weighing the drivers after the first race in Brazil, where Schumacher was then found to weight in 5.5kg less than his official benchmark weight, with the FIA then changing their policies to weighing the drivers after each race. The allegation is that Schumacher was using a weighted helmet at the official weigh in, which would then allow him to run slightly under weight during the season.

        Whilst there were reports at the time, the allegations were not confirmed and so they are considered unproven (and whilst some other teams supposedly were upset, I would wager that more than a few other teams would have at least considered doing something similar).

        The other issue is that sort of story is one that has cropped up in the past – similar stories floated around in the 1980s involving other drivers – so there is the question of whether the story might be a case of someone recycling a historic claim and fitting it to a new driver, particularly when said driver and team were viewed in a rather negative light at the time.

        1. Thanks for that story. I would say that 8kg is worth a huge amount of lap time, maybe as much as having secret traction control, especially with the relatively lighter cars back then. Seems like a huge deal and I’m surprised I never heard about it. Of course the secret TC was never proven either.

  7. Iam sure Netflix can make something of it?

  8. Sure it is right, but doesn’t keep one from really wondering where is this sport finally heading at. Somewhere strict and typical, somewhere else inconsistent and “flexy”…
    We are baffled

  9. Apparently the FIA agreed to suspend the fines on condition that the three physios give up one hour of their time at the next Grand Prix to massage Ben Sulayem’s ego.

    1. That seems like fitting the policy, thanks for the chuckle

  10. Just funny, but rules are rules.

  11. I can see why people have marginalised this issue, however it should either be a rule, and therefor policed, or the rule should be removed. I cant see it being more complex than that.

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