Valtteri Bottas Esteban Gutierrez

Two of Formula 1’s race debutantes won’t be able to afford a round of drinks for their hard-working mechanics this evening after being hit with hefty fines for speeding in the pit lane during today’s opening practice sessions at the Australian Grand Prix.

Sauber rookie Esteban Gutiérrez was hit with an €800 (AU$1,007) fine after he was caught driving at 63.4km/h during the second practice session at Albert Park, while Williams’ Valtteri Bottas was relieved of a whopping €2,800 (AU$3,525) after he was clocked doing 73.8km/h in the opening practice session.

Fellow race debutante Jules Bianchi managed to escape any sanction after being investigated for a late pit entry, which was blamed on a mix-up with other drivers.

Meanwhile Mark Webber also had to pay a visit to the FIA Stewards’ office to explain why he’d made a practice start from his pit bay and then been pulled backwards by his Red Bull Racing mechanics.

It turns out that his pit crew quickly realised their errors and sent the Australian on his way without performing any further changes to his car’s set-up, in accordance with the FIA rulebook.

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.