Scuderia Toro Rosso’s driver Jean-Eric Vergne was handed down a hefty 10 place grid penalty last night. This was served due to his right wheel coming off at Turn one after the car was released from a pit stop in Free Practice 2. The team was also fined a further 30,000 Euro for the safety breach.
Vergne was forced to stop at the sweeping right hand turn three corner and the incident was treated as particularly unsafe by the stewards, an opinion reflected in their penalty.
Stewards determined a breach of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulation Article 23.12 (b) which refers to unsafe releases in practices. The article states:
“If a car is deemed to have been released in an unsafe condition during any practice session, the stewards may drop the driver such number of grid positions as they consider appropriate.”
Further to this, the Stewards regarded it as such a dangerous breach that they requested both the Toro Rosso vehicles be re-examined for compliance with Article 14.7 of the FIA Formula One Technical Regulations and Technical Directive TD/017-13 prior to participation in any other event. They also requested the governing body examine all other cars in the Event.
Essentially, all the cars need to have their ‘wheel retention’ capabilities checked.
The French driver has not had much luck this year, with his rookie team mate Daniil Kvyat finishing three races in the points to his single points placing in Australia. Both teammates are tied in the championship at 4 points.
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