Williams Handed Fine for Free Practice Tyre Rule Breach

Williams were fined for using a set of tyres they should have handed back during first practice in Belgium - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

The Williams Martini Racing team has been fined €10,000 after breaking the rules of tyre usage during opening practice for the Belgian Grand Prix on Friday.

Regulations dictate that teams must hand over one set of tyres from their allocation after the first forty-minutes of Friday mornings session, but the set that Williams indicated they would hand back were used well after the forty minute mark on Lance Stroll’s FW40.

The team admitted their mistake for using the set of tyres for two runs, and with it being their second offence after Felipe Massa did the same during practice at the 2015 Malaysian Grand Prix, the fine imposed by the stewards.

“Having considered the facts the Stewards accept that the infringement was inadvertent,” said a statement from the race stewards.

“The Stewards have taken due note of repeated offences concerning tyres by the team and a similar infringement for which a suspended fine was imposed.”

Stroll endured a tough day in the office, finishing down in fifteenth in the session before ending up seventeenth in the afternoon session, more than three-seconds off the pace set by Lewis Hamilton, with the Canadian teenager admitting they were hoping to be much further up the order than they were.

“That was not where we were hoping to be,” said Stroll. “We are just struggling to carry speed through the corners and be as competitive as we want to be.

“We need to improve in the high-speed corners, as we are still suffering with the same kind of problems we faced in Silverstone and Austria. We just can’t seem to carry the entry speed in those typical high-loaded, long corners.

“We need to work on the balance for tomorrow and understand how we can be more competitive in FP3. But things can change, as we have a lot of people looking how to improve and I am sure after the briefing we will understand more.”