F1 rookies handed fines

2013 Australian Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Melbourne, 2013Two of F1’s newest drivers were among those to collect fines on the first day of the new season.

Valtteri Bottas and Esteban Gutierrez were fined ??2,800 and ??800 respectively for breaking the pit lane speed limit. Bottas exceeded the 60kph limit by 13.8kph during the first practice session, Gutierrez by 3.4kph in the second.

But it wasn’t just new drivers who fell foul of the pit lane speed limit – Felipe Massa was fined ??1,400 after breaking it in first practice.

A third newcomer, Jules Bianchi, escaped a penalty following an incident at the pit entry at the end of the first practice session when he passed the entry bollard on the left-hand side instead of the right.

The stewards decided to take no action: “The driver had been instructed to do a further lap after the chequered flag,” they said in a statement. “He saw other cars enter the pit lane while he was on the left side of the track.”

“He stopped and waited for other cars. He was then on the wrong side of the bollard. He entered the pit lane rather than do another lap. The stewards accepted the movement was done safely and that there were mitigating circumstances.”

Mark Webber also went unpunished after performing a practice start in his pit box. Rules require drivers to leave the pits after they pull away from their pit box, but Webber was incorrectly pulled back in.

“The team explained that as soon as the error was identified they instructed the driver to drive onto the track without making any changes to the car,” said the stewards.

“As all manoeuvres were carried out safely. The stewards accepted these mitigating circumstances.”

2013 Australian Grand Prix

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Image ?? Williams/LAT

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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28 comments on “F1 rookies handed fines”

  1. Not the two rookies I was expecting when I clicked the link, to be honest.

    1. Only because the others find it hard to even reach the pit lane limit in their cars ;)

  2. You kind of have to do it in this case don’t you. The kids get a slap on the wrist – “Don’t do it again!”

    1. I don’t quite understand how it happens, though. I mean, it’s not like the pit limiter isn’t automated and it’s not like the entry and exit lines aren’t clearly marked…

      1. Wasn’t the limit 100 kph? Isn’t the pace controlled by a computer?

        1. @aish It’s 60kph at non-permanent venues.

      2. @magnificent-geoffrey Presumably these indiscretions occur at the pit lane entry when crossing the pit lane entry rather than the middle of the pit lane. If the driver brakes too late before the line, the automated system cant bend the laws of physics to get the car down to 100 km/h!

        1. @tomcat173 That does seem the most likely scenario, but that’s also a very silly thing for a Formula 1 level driver to do on a Friday practice session!

          1. @magnificent-geoffrey They’re just pushing the limits at pit entry, and a simple out-brake can get you that kind of penalty. Better on Friday than Sunday!

          2. @enigma Well, that’s definitely true!

      3. @magnificent-geoffrey

        it’s not like the entry and exit lines aren’t clearly marked…

        You said it yourself ..lines. A car isn’t a line so sometimes a small zone of the car is in the ‘Go Slow’ zone, but they’ve already let go of the limiter or have not yet pressed the limiter, as the case may be. It generally happens whilst exiting the pits, it requires good spatial awareness from the driver about the positioning of the rear end of the car. For Bottas and Gutierrez, I’m sure it’ll develop soon. For Massa, I’m less sure ;)

  3. Welcome to Formula 1!

    1. Bottas, though, is on his way to being a champion. Vettel got a fine for doing the same thing (6 seconds into the session) at the US GP 2007, if i’m not mistaken.

      1. It was actually in Turkey 2006, when Vettel appeared for the first time as a third driver (back when such things were allowed on Fridays).

        1. Yes, but it was Vettel’s debut race weekend. Both Vettel and Bottas have both spent about a year doing Friday tests before gaining a race start. It was just unfortunate circumstances that lead to Vettel getting his race seat.

  4. Are these errors going into the Drivers’ Iinfringement Log Book??

  5. What happens when a pay driver gets a fine?
    Do they have to go back to the sponsor, LOL?

    1. i loled at that

    2. @rocky

      What happens when a pay driver gets a fine?

      Actually, that’s a good question that maybe @keithcollantine can answer: are drivers’ fines paid administratively by the team, typically, on behalf of the driver, or is the driver as license holder the one who pays the fine (w/o it going through the team’s accounting)?

      1. Pay drivers get a salary from the team.
        They have expenses just like everyone else.

        Even Narain Karthikeyan was getting paid 250,000 euro per season.

        However, the team gets paid significantly more money by their sponsor, so the team is making money from the deal.

        Really, the only difference between a regular driver and a “pay driver,” is that there is a formal relationship between a driver and a sponsor.

        So, to answer the question, the driver has to pay the fine out of his own pocket.

  6. David not Coulthard (@)
    15th March 2013, 12:43

    Is Vettel thinking

    Welcome to the club, guys!…..and then there’s Felipe.


  7. Hopefully they’ll learn. Better a few euros now than a drive through during the race.

  8. Any one noticed how amateurish Gutierrez held Raikkonen at the end of one of his fly lap and the later when going out of pits, he floored it and did not slowed down to let Felipe by, almost causing an accident hitting Felipe, going wide outbraking himself into turn one? I just hope this is not how he actually behaves on track….

    1. @joematers I didn’t see anything wrong in either of those incidents.

      1. yep, nothing wrong in not letting the guy in the fly lap go by and almost crashing into him in the first turn of your out lap… ;)

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