Max Verstappen slapped with speeding fine for Australia pit lane infringement

Henry Valantine
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen in the paddock at Albert Park for the Australian Grand Prix.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen in the paddock.

Max Verstappen has been hit with a €700 [£615] fine by the FIA for speeding in the pit lane during FP1 for the Australian Grand Prix on Friday.

The timing of the FIA’s verdict will most likely have meant Red Bull driver was heading back into the pit lane along with the rest of the pack when FP1 was red flagged after a GPS issue, but the reigning World Champion was clocked at 86.4km/h in the pit lane – over the 80km/h limit.

This put him in breach of Article 34.7 of Formula 1’s Sporting Regulations, and thus a fine will be coming his way that he will need to pay if he does not decide to appeal.

It’s not the first time the Dutchman has had to pay up, hit with a €50,000 fine back in 2021 for touching Lewis Hamilton’s rear wing under parc ferme conditions after Friday qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

He joked at the time about paying for expensive wine for the stewards’ dinner.

“It’s quite a big fine, so I hope they have a nice dinner and a lot of wine – I hope good, expensive wine, that would be nice,” he said. “They can invite me for dinner as well, I will pay for that dinner too.”

Verstappen ended Friday’s red flag-interrupted session for the Australian Grand Prix fastest of anyone, though FP1 did not come without its challenges for the Red Bull driver.

He brushed the gravel at one stage and worried that “we are dragging the rear brakes too much” on the RB19, before running wide at the apex of Turn 4 late in the session and spinning 180 degrees as he tried to put the power down, flat-spotting his tyres in the process. recommends

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The signs are still encouraging for the Dutchman and Red Bull however, their car looking the fastest in the field once again after taking 87 points from a possible 88 as a team in the first two races of the 2023 season.

Verstappen heads into the weekend looking to break his win duck around Melbourne, having scored just the one podium in his previous start at Albert Park – with Red Bull’s only win at the circuit having come all the way back in 2011 with Sebastian Vettel.