Team Penske driver Hélio Castroneves has been slapped with a $30,000 fine and placed on probation for the remaining two races of the season in the wake of a poorly-thought outburst against IndyCar officials after the last championship round at Motegi.
The Brazilian took to Twitter and his regular column in the Metro newspaper to criticise series chief steward Brian Barnhart, who has been the subject of much criticism this season for his inconsistent application of driver penalties.
Castroneves was himself hit with a time penalty after the finish of the Motegi race when he clearly overtook a competitor in a yellow-flag zone on the final lap of the race.
Having earlier described Barnhard as “a circus clown” on his Twitter feed, Castroneves wrote in his newspaper column: “He has definitely lost it.
“It’s impossible to accept the decisions of a race director who is inconsistent, who issues different punishment to identical situations and who is condescending with some and harsh with others.”
Not surprisingly, IndyCar officialdom took a dim view of the Brazilian’s tantrum, issuing the fine and sanction “for use of improper, profane or disparaging language in reference to officials for comments he made toward the Race Director via Twitter.
“Because of the public display of his actions, Castroneves will be able to work off the fine by making a series of public appearances on behalf of INDYCAR throughout the remainder of the season,” an official statement reads.
[Original image via IZOD IndyCar Series]