Verstappen fined for parc ferme incident

By on

Championship leader Max Verstappen has been fined for touching Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes W12 in perf ferme conditions yesterday following the qualifying session for the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

The talk of the paddock on Saturday morning was the on-going investigation of Hamilton’s DRS overtaking aid and Verstappen’s summons to the stewards for an alleged breach of the International Sporting Code. Yesterday, following the qualifying session, the Dutchman checked the the rear wing of his own car before moving to the back of Hamilton's car, checking the flaps of Mercedes W12's rear wing.

The stewards launched an investigation into the matter with the hearing taking place at 9:30am at Interlagos. Verstappen visited the stewards in attendance of Red Bull sporting director Jonathan Wheatley in order the clear the matter. Following a lenghty investigation, the stewards decided to hand out a €50,000 fine to Verstappen for examining Hamilton's rear wing.

The FIA statement read: "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. 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 car 44 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 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," read the FIA statement.