Formula 1 drivers face $1M fine for breaking sporting code

By AFP   October 20, 2023 | 01:28 am PT
Formula 1 drivers face $1M fine for breaking sporting code
Drivers power up at the starting grid during the Saudi Arabia Formula One Grand Prix at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit in Jeddah. Photo by AFP/Giuseppe Cacace
Formula One’s top drivers could face fines of up to one million euros ($1.06 million) for breaches of the "sporting code" after ruling body the International Motoring Federation (FIA) quadrupled the limit on Thursday.

Race stewards, who work independently from the FIA at race meetings, were given much greater powers of sanction, following a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) in Geneva.

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem said the previous limit of 250,000 euros "did not reflect the current needs of motorsport."

In a statement, the FIA said: "The ISC (International Sporting Code) had previously determined that the maximum fine amount that the stewards can impose is 250,000 euros.

"This amount has not been reviewed or amended for at least the last 12 years and does not reflect the current needs of motor sport."

The maximum fine in all other FIA world championships was set at 750,000 euros.

In other decisions, the WMSC said it was banning fireworks at all race meetings.

Flares have been set off, creating smoke that has drifted across the circuit at some events while spectators at the 2022 Dutch Grand Prix threw fireworks on to the circuit.

"The world council therefore approved new provision and definition in the ISC prohibiting the unauthorised possession and use of pyrotechnics at FIA competitions," the statement said.

The decisions follow increasing concerns following recent events including the Qatar Grand Prix where seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton ran across a ‘live’ track after he had crashed.

He was fined 50,000 euros with 25,000 suspended. The FIA said it was reviewing that decision, bearing in mind Hamilton’s status as a role model for the sport.

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