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FIA formally warns Stroll over F1 Qatar GP garage strop

The FIA has issued Lance Stroll with a formal warning for his actions during his garage strop at Formula 1’s 2023 Qatar Grand Prix, after the Canadian apologised.

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin F1 Team

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Stroll appeared to shove his trainer Henry Howe after throwing his steering wheel out of his cockpit following his elimination from GP qualifying at last weekend’s event.

The governing body had announced on Tuesday that its compliance officer was holding discussions with Stroll in relation to several incidents that may have contravened the FIA’s rules, policies and procedures.

While these were not specifically outlined by the FIA, they are understood to have been focused to Stroll’s actions caught on camera at the Losail track last Friday and centred on the catch-all ‘disrepute’ clause in the FIA’s International Sporting Code.

An FIA spokesperson then issued an update on Friday afternoon that effectively ended the matter, with Stroll handed a warning regarding his actions in Qatar and future behaviour.

“We can confirm that the FIA Compliance Officer has received an apology from Lance Stroll regarding his actions during the 2023 FIA Formula 1 Qatar Grand Prix,” read the FIA statement.

“The Compliance Officer has noted this apology and issued a written warning, reminding Lance of his responsibilities as a competitor bound by the FIA Code of Ethics and other FIA ethical and conduct guidelines set forth by the sporting regulations.

“The FIA maintains a zero-tolerance stance against misconduct and condemns any actions that may lead to physical harassment.”

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR23, leaves his pit box

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR23, leaves his pit box

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Stroll’s actions appear to fall under the FIA ISC Article 12.2.1.c entry, which states that a competitor will be deemed to have committed an offence if they are found guilty of “any fraudulent conduct or any act prejudicial to the interests of any competition or to the interests of motorsport generally”.

This rule was highlighted in the case of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, when he pushed then Force India driver Esteban Ocon in parc ferme at Interlagos after the pair had clashed in the 2018 Brazilian GP.

Verstappen was later ordered to complete two days of public service as punishment for his actions in Brazil, which included visiting the 2019 Marrakech Formula E race to learn how the stewards of that event went about assessing driver conduct.

Stroll’s Aston squad had already moved to downplay its driver’s actions in Qatar, with team principal Mike Krack saying “you have to speak about these things but you have to put them in relation [to surrounding circumstances]”, when it came to explaining how the green team would broach the incident with Stroll.

“I think you cannot speak in the heat of the moment,” Krack added. “You need to wait, and maybe everybody sleeps one night and then we have a look and we discuss it and then the world is a different one.”

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