Mercedes fined for post Spanish Grand Prix breach

Mercedes fined for post Spanish Grand Prix breach

Mercedes Formula 1 team received a €10,000 penalty for violating the parc ferme rules after the Spanish Grand Prix race.

Mercedes was penalized €10,000 for violating the rules controlling the podium ceremony by sending its driver physiotherapists and aides into parc ferme after the Spanish Grand Prix race.

The team was able to achieve second-place finish for the team in the constructors’ championship thanks to Lewis Hamilton and George Russell’s second- and third-place finishes in Barcelona behind race winner Max Verstappen.

However, the team was informed a short while after the race that team personnel might have broken the rules in the pitlane-based post-race parc ferme zone.

The physiotherapists for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell as well as a Mercedes team representative were summoned by the stewards on grounds of breaching the FIA’s guidelines for post-race procedures.

Once the cars are in the parc ferme, nobody but team mechanics, officials, and FIA-approved TV crews and photographers is permitted in the allocated area. Specific instructions are given to driver physios to “wait outside the cool down room behind the podium until the podium ceremony has ended.”

Teams are constantly informed prior to the race as to who is and is not permitted entry into the parc ferme area after the race. Additionally, there is a stringent time restriction on how much interaction physios can have with their drivers prior to the podium ceremony.

The FIA had informed the teams in notes sent out that morning ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix.

“Other than the team mechanics (with cooling fans if necessary), officials and FIA pre-approved television crews and FIA approved photographers, no one else will be allowed in the designated area once the cars are in the Parc Ferme area (no team PR personnel.)”

“Driver physios must wait outside the cool down room behind the podium until the podium ceremony has concluded following the instructions given to all teams by the Media Delegate.”

Mercedes physios and driver assistants had violated the rules for the podium ceremony and post-race interview by entering the parc ferme, the FIA media delegate informed the stewards. Mercedes has been fined €10,000 as a result of video footage proving this.

Driver physios breaking parc ferme rules is a problem that has been raised previously.

The top three finishers at the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc, Verstappen, and Hamilton, were all given suspended 10,000 euro fines for violating similar parc ferme regulations.

That happened as a result of team physios violating the rules by entering the parc ferme area during the brief period after the race.

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