Haas picks up costly FIA fines after Hungarian Grand Prix tyre infringement

Sam Cooper
Guenther Steiner looking disgruntled. Hungary, Budapest July 2023.

Guenther Steiner looking disgruntled. Hungary, Budapest July 2023.

Haas have seen €10k head out of their account after twice being found guilty of a tyre infringement at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The FIA has strict rules as to when and what tyres must be returned to the supplier Pirelli during a race weekend and Haas were adjudged to have fallen foul of that rule shortly before qualifying.

Tyre allocation rules also factor in rain and as FP1 was affected by the weather and declared wet, an additional set of intermediate tyres were made available to all drivers who used a set of intermediate tyres during the P1 session.

The regulations state that if this occurs, one used set of intermediate tyres must be electronically returned before the start of the qualifying session and that is where Haas came unstuck.

The American outfit were found guilty of failing to electronically return one set of intermediate tyres for both Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen ahead of qualifying, although the FIA did note that the team had physically returned the tyres.

Failing to electronically do so was a technical breach of Article 30.5 (g) of the Sporting Regulations and thus, a team representative was summoned to meet with the stewards.

After that meeting, the sport’s governing body said that in accordance with previous precedents for such an infringement, a €5k fine was an appropriate punishment and having committed it twice that value was doubled in Haas’ case.

On track, there was at least some positive news with Hulkenberg continuing his strong qualifying form this year and making it into Q3 for the seventh time in 2023.

It comes after team boss Guenther Steiner suggested a new contract for Hulkenberg was on its way.“We’ve already talked about it,” the Italian told Sport.de. “But it’s nicer when you can do it in person than by phone or video call. It won’t take us long.

“He’s [team owner Haas] coming there so hopefully, we can announce it as soon as possible. We’re happy with him.”

Hulkenberg, though, played coy when that was put to him by the media in Budapest.

“I’ll sit down with him regardless,” he said. “Maybe there is no deal to be done? Maybe a deal is in place? Who knows?

“I’m pretty happy and relaxed. I think it works both ways at the moment, and I’m enjoying myself. I think the team is also in a good place. So, there’s no reason not to think why that relationship shouldn’t continue like this.”

It was a less positive quali for Magnussen who will line up P19 in Sunday’s race having exited qualifying at the earliest stage possible.