Loose wheel earns McLaren a hefty fine
MCLAREN have been fined € 5 000 after Belgian driver Stoffel Vandoorne was released from the pits with a loose wheel during yesterday’s Chinese Grand Prix practice.
Vandoorne brought his McLaren to a halt in the closing stages of the second 90-minute session.
“I need to stop the car, the tyre is not on,” reported the 26-year-old before climbing out and helping marshals push his car to safety.
Stewards said McLaren had released Vandoorne from the pits in an unsafe condition, but decided to limit the punishment to a fine, and not a grid penalty, because he had stopped the car in a safe manner.
“Consistent with pre- vious decisions of a similar nature, the stewards decided that the grid place penalty... would not be applied as the driver took all appropriate actions at the first available opportunity,” stewards said.
Vandoorne’s case was the latest in a series of incidents of drivers being released from the pits with loose wheels on their cars.
Ferrari were fined € 55,000 in Bahrain last weekend after two incidents involving Kimi Raikkonen.
The Finn was sent out with a loose wheel in second practice at Sakhir and his car hit a mechanic, who suffered a broken leg, during a pitstop when given the signal to go while a rear wheel was unchanged. – Reuters