Williams fined ??50,000 after Maldonado loses wheel

2013 Japanese Grand Prix

Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Suzuka, 2013Williams have been fined ??60,000 (??50,801) for releasing Pastor Maldonado’s car from the pits in an unsafe fashion during the first practice session.

Maldonado’s left-rear wheel worked loose as he approached Spoon Curve and detached from the car as he spun off. It was collected by two marshals.

The stewards claimed Williams had allowed a “serious safety issue” to arise.

“Examination of the parts concerned revealed that the wheel fastener had not been completely fastened, thus not engaging the first retaining plunger,” the stewards ruled. “This is a breach of Article 23.12 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations.”

“The secondary retaining plunger failed to keep the wheel in place. This is a breach of Article 14.7 of the FIA Formula One Technical Regulations.”

Williams assured the stewards that “appropriate measures will be immediately implemented to ensure compliance”.

2013 Japanese Grand Prix

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22 comments on Williams fined ??50,000 after Maldonado loses wheel

  1. tonyyeb (@tonyyeb) said on 11th October 2013, 15:28

    “Williams assured the stewards that “appropriate measures will be immediately implemented to ensure compliance”.” Aka the person who put the wheel on is going to get a slap.

  2. MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 11th October 2013, 15:34

    But I thought now that pitlane reporters were banned, it was impossible for this sort of thing to happen?

    • Merv (@) said on 11th October 2013, 15:48

      No they just won’t get hurt when it does happen.

      • PieLighter (@pielighter) said on 11th October 2013, 17:17

        @cyclonetog It was a sarcastic jibe at the FIA’s stupid reaction of banning reporters from the pitlane instead of regulating pitstops in some fashion.

        • Diego (@ironcito) said on 11th October 2013, 19:34

          Regardless of whatever regulations might be put in place, I believe that keeping reporters and other non-crew people out of the pitlane is just common sense.

          • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 11th October 2013, 22:40

            As proved by the fact that despite the regulations Maldonado’s Williams still managed to shed a wheel!

          • @ironcito agreed, at least for during race sessions in particular. Practice sessions not so much as they’re usually comparatively “relaxed” but fully agreed, the less people there are to hit the better in any case.

            I do however agree with @mazdachris that it isn’t tackling the problem at its source.

          • Sure, and while we’re at it why don’t we just cancel the race. And the rest of the season. And the series as a whole. It’s just common sense, right? Since it’s so dangerous and all.

  3. Lewis McMurray (@celicadion23) said on 11th October 2013, 15:51

    Williams are having a wheely bad year.

  4. Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 11th October 2013, 16:02

    Gary Anderson said on BBC2 in FP1 that many teams didn’t really take this new mechanism seriously and just put some insufficient device as a token gesture to fulfil the regulations.

  5. mantresx (@mantresx) said on 11th October 2013, 16:39

    Williams had what I like to call an I/O error (Idiot Operator error), imagine if that wheel had come off in the middle of 130R, it doesn’t seem like a very harsh penalty but of course it wouldn’t be fair to penalize Pastor.

    • anonymouscoward (@anonymouscoward) said on 11th October 2013, 19:08

      I see a lot of people think along these lines but I don’t agree. By penalising Pastor I have assumed we are referring to a grid drop or some other “driver” penalty but personally I don’t see it that way. Dropping some grid slots etc. is still penalising the team and one member of that team happens to be a driver. It is IMHO a team sport. Sure we all have favourite drivers that we want to see win without having the team mess it up for them but that is the way it goes.

      • Sam Sam said on 11th October 2013, 23:30

        It’s not really the way it goes. While it is a team sport there is also a great emphasis in the driver championship. A driver has no fault of his own for a loose wheel and shouldn’t see his chance for points diminished because team management can’t come to grips with fitting wheels properly. Perhaps the team should be penalized by having points removed from the team’s table or not award it to them for that race weekend. But leave the driver alone, he gets to be penalized for his own mistakes.

  6. josephrobert (@josephrobert) said on 11th October 2013, 19:30

    why don’t f1 car’s have a garage they drive into? Instead of men either side of the pitbox, they could stand be in an inclosed garage which the car and drive in and out of.

    If two car’s tangle and crash into a pit crew its not going to be pretty.

    pitlanes should also cut the course so that drives can do 60kph down the pit lane but only lose 15 to 20 seconds per stop.

  7. Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 11th October 2013, 21:16

    The most surprising bit is that Maldonado had done the timed laps before the wheel came off! So it doesn’t seem to be the usual case of the wheel not being fixed properly.

  8. HoHum (@hohum) said on 11th October 2013, 23:05

    Oh well, there goes the sub-2second pit stop, a bit of practice at a local track might have saved them 50,000Q.

  9. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 11th October 2013, 23:10

    I have two questions:
    1. Was Red Bull penalized when that happened to Webber DURING the race?
    2. How much does the wheel + rim weigh?

  10. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 12th October 2013, 0:00

    I have two questions:
    1. Was Red Bull penalized when that happened to Webber DURING the race?
    2. How much does the wheel weigh?

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