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F1 drivers want clarification on continued pitlane speeding fines

Felipe Massa Ferrari F1 2013 AustraliaFormula 1 drivers want to seek clarification from the FIA about why they are still being fined for pitlane speeding infringements.

Heading in to 2013, F1 drivers faced a huge hike in their super licence fees as part of a push by the FIA to increase the revenue it gets from the sport.

AUTOSPORT understands that as part of their acceptance of the ramp up in costs for the super licence, the drivers were told that they would not be fined for rules infringements.

Over the Australian GP weekend, however, a number of drivers - including Felipe Massa, Nico Hulkenberg, Adrian Sutil and Valtteri Bottas were fined for speeding in the pits.

Amid uncertainty about why the drivers faced financial penalties having been given assurances from the FIA, the matter was discussed at length in the regular meeting of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association (GPDA) in Melbourne.

It is expected that the GPDA will now speak with the FIA to find out why the drivers are still being fined when they believed that such sanctions would not happen.

Hulkenberg, who was fined 1,000 for speeding in the pits, said the drivers were eager to get an answer from the FIA.

"As the GPDA, we are currently looking at that in terms of where we are," he told AUTOSPORT. "It is a bit unclear at the moment."

AUTOSPORT understands that the FIA is aware of the issue, but believes the agreement not to fine drivers was only in relation to offences where there is a discretionary fine.

For speeding in the pitlane, the fine is a part of the Sporting Regulations so it is mandatory that they are handed down.

Nico Hulkenberg Sauber F1 2013 AustraliaArticle 30.12 of the regulations states: "Except in the race, any driver who exceeds the limit will be fined 200 for each km/h above the limit (this may be increased in the case of a second offence in the same event)."

Hulkenberg admitted that it was hard to think of an alternative sanction to a fine for speeding in the pitlane, as even a reprimand could lead to a bigger punishment if they totted up.

"You would have to think quite hard on the alternative," he said. "A reprimand for speeding is not the right penalty.

"You don't do it on purpose and it is easy to overshoot in practice and go one or two kilometres per hour too fast. It has happened to everybody, so a reprimand is not the right thing for sure."

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