Max Verstappen has been punished by the FIA ahead of the Italian Grand Prix. The Dutchman was handed a £429 (€500) fine for speeding in the pit lane during the second practice session on Friday afternoon.
The Dutch driver’s chances of adding another grand slam to his collection this weekend slipped away after he finished FP2 in fifth place behind his team-mate, both McLaren drivers and Carlos Sainz, who went fastest for Ferrari in front of their home fans.
Following an investigation, the 25-year-old was found to be in breach of ‘Article 34.7’ of the sporting regulations. An FIA statement reads: “Car 1 exceeded the pit lane speed limit which is set at 80 km/h for this event by 4.8 km/h.
“Competitors are reminded that they have the right to appeal certain decisions of the Stewards, in accordance with Article 15 of the FIA International Sporting Code and Chapter 4 of the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Rules within the applicable time limits.”
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With the fine only totalling £429 (€500) and no penalty points to be added to the Dutchman’s FIA super license, it is unlikely that the Red Bull camp will opt to protest this decision from the sport’s governing body.
Verstappen is not the only Red Bull driver to find himself in hot water for pit-lane-related misdemeanors in recent times. Team-mate Sergio Perez found his race scuppered at Zandvoort last time out after he breached the speed limit when boxing for fresh Pirelli rubber.
The Mexican driver was ultimately handed a five-second time penalty for his mistake, dropping him below Alpine star Pierre Gasly and dumping him out of the podium positions with mere laps to go.
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Addressing his pit lane incident after the race, Perez explained: “The rain arrived towards the end. We switched to intermediates. When they instructed me to use intermediates, I entered the pit lane which was flooded.
“That’s when the issue arose. I couldn’t brake, and I ended up hitting the wall, resulting in me exceeding the speed limit. Consequently, I lost my chance at the podium.”
The 33-year-old also found himself in trouble during Friday’s practice sessions, red-flagging FP2 with fewer than ten minutes remaining after he was caught out on the exit of the final corner and span off into the gravel, finding the barriers and becoming beached in the gravel trap.
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