Formula 1: McLaren fined for Vandoorne pitstop error in China

McLaren has been fined €5,000 for letting Stoffel Vandoorne leave the Formula 1 pits with a loose wheel during second practice for the Chinese Grand Prix

Formula 1: McLaren fined for Vandoorne pitstop error in China

Vandoorne stopped out on track towards the closing minutes of the session after a problem with his right rear tyre meant it was not properly attached to his F1 car during a practice pitstop.

Although F1's rules allow stewards to impose grid penalties for such unsafe releases, the FIA stewards handed out a financial penalty instead.

A statement issued by the FIA said: "Consistent with previous 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.

"Accordingly, the Stewards fined the team €5,000."

Vandoorne's incident comes after a run of pitstop errors that have begun to prompt questions about whether teams are compromising safety in their quest to complete ever faster stops.

In Australia, both Haas cars retired from the race after pitstop blunders, while in Bahrain last weekend a Ferrari mechanic was left with a broken leg after being hit by Kimi Raikkonen when a race pitstop went wrong.

Ferrari was handed a €50,000 Euro fine for that incident, having also been hit with a €5,000 fine for an unsafe release in practice, when Raikkonen left the pits with a front wheel not attached correctly.

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