F1 rookies handed fines

2013 Australian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Melbourne, 2013Two of F1’s newest drivers were among those to collect fines on the first day of the new season.

Valtteri Bottas and Esteban Gutierrez were fined ??2,800 and ??800 respectively for breaking the pit lane speed limit. Bottas exceeded the 60kph limit by 13.8kph during the first practice session, Gutierrez by 3.4kph in the second.

But it wasn’t just new drivers who fell foul of the pit lane speed limit – Felipe Massa was fined ??1,400 after breaking it in first practice.

A third newcomer, Jules Bianchi, escaped a penalty following an incident at the pit entry at the end of the first practice session when he passed the entry bollard on the left-hand side instead of the right.

The stewards decided to take no action: “The driver had been instructed to do a further lap after the chequered flag,” they said in a statement. “He saw other cars enter the pit lane while he was on the left side of the track.”

“He stopped and waited for other cars. He was then on the wrong side of the bollard. He entered the pit lane rather than do another lap. The stewards accepted the movement was done safely and that there were mitigating circumstances.”

Mark Webber also went unpunished after performing a practice start in his pit box. Rules require drivers to leave the pits after they pull away from their pit box, but Webber was incorrectly pulled back in.

“The team explained that as soon as the error was identified they instructed the driver to drive onto the track without making any changes to the car,” said the stewards.

“As all manoeuvres were carried out safely. The stewards accepted these mitigating circumstances.”

2013 Australian Grand Prix

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Image ?? Williams/LAT