Unsafe Releases To be Punished With A Time Penalty Confirms FIA

by Craig Edwards
FIA

Formula One race director Michael Masi has stated teams will receive time penalties for unsafe pitstop releases from now on.

The decision comes about following the controversial decision by the FIA to only give Scuderia Ferrari a fine when they released Charles Leclerc from his pit box just in front of the Haas F1 Team of Romain Grosjean causing the Frenchman to brake to avoid hitting the Ferrari.

The Italian team received a fine of €5,000 for the incident but Leclerc did not receive a time penalty unlike on previous occasions when an unsafe release has resulted in a time penalty.

The incident ended up having no impact on the result as Leclerc crashed out of the German Grand Prix but after talks at the Hungarian Grand Prix, Motorsport.Com says Masi has now stated that a time penalty will be given out, even if there is no advantage gained.

“We had quite a good discussion and it was agreed that from this weekend effectively, forget about what happened in the first part of the year and during the race, if there is a judged unsafe release then it will be a time penalty regardless of if there is or is not a sporting advantage.

“So there will be no differentiation.”

The decision has come into effect with Masi saying everyone was happy with the decision made.

“Teams were all quite happy to effectively start from this weekend onwards and all the teams and team principals were made aware of exactly the same thing.

“I am open to listening and I’ve side it to a few people, if the teams all agreed that was the approach they wanted us to take, regardless of what has happened before, and we are happy with it, then fine.

“So no problem from my end.”

The time penalty will only be assigned to the race with Masi saying unsafe releases in practice and qualifying will be dealt with separately.

“For practice and qualifying, unsafe releases are a different story but for the race, we’ve said time penalty.”

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