Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc were summoned to the stewards over Parc Ferme breaches at the Austrian Grand Prix.
It briefly placed the result of the race into some doubt, with all three drivers who stood on the podium facing an investigation. Race-winner Leclerc was the first to receive the summons, with the other two following moments after.
All three were probed for alleged breaches of Parc Ferme rules. According to the official documents from the stewards, the reason given was an “alleged breach of Article 12.2.1 of the International Sporting Code”. The documents went on to accuse all three driver of “failure to follow the instructions of the relevant officials for the safe and orderly conduct of the event”.
Prominent F1 reporter Chris Medland added: “It relates to the drivers’ physios interacting with the drivers in Parc Ferme before they’ve been weighed. It has been going on for a while and the FIA have previously warned the teams it needs to stop.”
The drivers visited the stewards at 5.30pm UK time in order to plead their individual cases. After a short deliberation period, it was decided that no sporting penalty would be handed out and that each would be given a €10,000 suspended fine.
In the extremely unlikely event that a sporting penalty had been applied instead, George Russell, Esteban Ocon and Mick Schumacher would have been the next three racers in line. Such an outcome would have meant a first F1 race win for the young Brit, and a maiden podium for driver of the day Schumacher.
The trio were not the only drivers punished over the course of the race weekend, after Sebastian Vettel landed himself in hot water with the stewards. He stormed out of a heated drivers’ meeting on Friday evening, and was later handed a suspended €25,000 fine.
The post-race drama only added to what was an action-packed race at the Red Bull Ring, in which Leclerc took the chequered flag after several overtakes on Verstappen between pit stops. Hamilton came home third as Carlos Sainz failed to finish after his Ferrari caught fire.