Sauber fined for incorrect radio message

2013 Japanese Grand Prix

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Nico Hulkenberg, Sauber, Suzuka, 2013Sauber have been fined ??16,980 (??20,000) for giving an incorrect radio message to Nico Hulkenberg which resulted in him holding up Max Chilton.

Hulkenberg was not penalised for the incident which happened at the end of final practice.

The stewards ruled that “the team of car 11 [Sauber] advised him [Hulkenberg] by radio that car 23 [Chilton] was on a ‘cool down’ lap. Car 11 was preparing for a fast lap when the driver realised car 23 was immediately behind him and tried his best to give car 23 the apex.”

“The team of car 23 [Marussia] does not believe the incident amounted to illegitimately impeding,” they added.

“However, whilst the driver of car 11 is not found to be in breach of Article 16.1(g), we determine the team to be responsible for the incident, which was potentially dangerous, by issuing an incorrect message.”

At the end of practice Hulkenberg was heard asking “What was that about, Chilton?” to which race engineer Marco Schupbach replied “Yeah we speak after”.

The stewards also gave Nico Rosberg his second reprimand of the year for driving too slowly on the track during final practice on the approach to 130R.

“Car 9 [Rosberg] slowed to less than 90kph when car 20 [Charles Pic] was closing at full speed on the straight,” said the stewards.

“The speed differential was approximately 200kph at the point where car 20 needed to decide on which side to pass. The driver of car 9 conceded that he should have more clearly indicated to car 20 on which side he could pass, by moving to one side.”

Adrian Sutil has also received a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change after his original unit was damaged when he crashed at Spoon Curve during the final hour of practice.

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    16 comments on “Sauber fined for incorrect radio message”

    1. Is FIA desperately looking for money or what, because I really don’t understand this huge financial penalty for such minor infringement?

      1. Now you mention it Red Bull/Vettel were only fined 200 € for speeding in the pitlane at Singaprore. Then again misinforming a driver over aproaching cars is a more serious thing.

        1. @force-maikel I’m not sure if it’s still the case now, but in the past the size of a pit lane speeding fine depended on how many km/h you were over the speed limit. If Vettel was only slightly over the limit, that would account for the small size of the fine.

          1. @red-andy That’s what I used to think but this article states it was calculated on the basis of his salary at Red Bull

            The German, who has effectively been fined 0.0017 per cent of his £10million salary


            1. That’s just the article putting into a “funny” perspective

            2. @force-maikel

              It doesn’t, it’s just putting the fine into context. The use of the word ‘effectively’ is what gives it away to me. My guess is he was only 1-2 kph over the speed limit and was fined accordingly

            3. @force-maikel @patrickl @keeleyobsessed At any right the article is incorrect because pit lane speeding fines are now paid by the teams, not the drivers.

          2. YEah, I was convinced that was the way these penalties were calculated too @red-andy

        2. @force-maike speeding in the pitliane is like “legislated”. It’s a certain amount of money per km/h that exceeds the limit.

      2. Uh, it’s because they told Hulkenberg the wrong thing. Because of that, Chilton and Hulkenberg could have easily collided, and given the difference in speed between the two, it would have been a big one.

        Furthermore, Marussia accepted that Sauber made a mistake and that there was nothing malicious in Hulkenberg blocking Chilton. So the stewards would have been kinder on Sauber, but still had to penalise them. So instead of a reprimand or grid penalty or what-have-you, they chose a fine.

      3. Lewisham Milton
        12th October 2013, 10:21

        Ker-ching! Between them, Williams and Sauber have paid for the FIA Christmas party
        (or a load of election ********)

    2. Ouch…

    3. I lol-ed just by reading the title.

    4. I like how detailed the stewards’ explanation is. Makes a lot of sense to me. Wish all decisions were so well explained.

    5. Hmmm.. 3 Germans got penalty/reprimand. There is one German left :D

    6. Come on when did stuff just happening stop and all these fines and laws start? Racing used to be a free for all, a huge party, F-U-N. Since the Self impotant, Egotestical, Idiots who think this crap up think what they say matters, in the name of Safety, Security and the Nanny state. What next speed limits on ‘race tracks’? with F1 cars painted to look like cop cars zooming up to pull car and driver over for disobeying the speed limit!?
      I was going to say if this keeps up F1 will be unwatchable in a few years to any one with discerning tastes, however I think we are at that point now with this ‘sport’, Nascar any one?

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