Z extensive free practice in Bahrain, crime scene first corner: Sebastian Vettel accelerates out of the pit lane. Sergio Perez cuts in from the outside. The Force India and the Ferrari touch. The front wing breaks off on Vettel's Ferrari. First of all, they want to blame Perez. But then rumors arise that the right front wheel on the Ferrari was loose and Vettel could not slow down his car as usual.
The stewards investigated the incident a day later at the instigation of FIA race director Charlie Whiting . And actually found out that the wheel wasn't properly attached. But the matter fizzled out. Nobody was punished. Now the case boiled up again at a meeting of the team managers with Charlie Whiting in Barcelona.
Force India team manager Andy Stevenson raised the legitimate question: 'How can the stewards claim that Vettel's Ferrari drove in a safe condition? Yes, he finished the lap without the wheel falling off. But he couldn't brake properly because of that and drove Perez into the car. '
New Penalties for loose bike
Vettel is lucky. The Bahrain file is closed. But in the future it wouldn't get off so cheaply. The team managers agreed with Whiting that new rules apply immediately in the event of loose bikes.
In the future, a difference will be made between training and racing. If it happens during training and the driver parks his car immediately, then it is up to the stewards to decide whether there is a penalty. He'll probably get away with a black eye. If he finishes the lap like Vettel, there is an automatic starting place penalty. Even if the bike stays on.
The rules are stricter in races. If the driver continues there, he has to compete for a ten-second stop and go penalty. And he threatens another fine for the next race. If the bike flies away, he will be severely punished for the following race. 10 starting places are a minimum.
How do you proceed correctly as a driver? It's actually quite simple. Like Kimi Raikkonen in Melbourne. The Finn noticed that something was wrong with his car and parked the Ferrari at the edge of the track.