SINGAPORE: Aston Martin, the Formula One team, has raised concerns over the consistency of penalties handed out by the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) following Max Verstappen’s seemingly lenient sanction during the qualifying session for the Singapore Grand Prix.
Verstappen, representing Red Bull Racing, was summoned for three alleged incidents of impeding, but to the surprise of many, he received only two reprimands and a €5,000 fine, avoiding a grid penalty. This decision diverged from earlier events in the season, where a three-place grid drop was a common consequence.
Two of Verstappen’s impeding incidents occurred on the track, involving drivers Yuki Tsunoda and Logan Sargeant. Additionally, a pit lane incident saw him accused of obstructing other cars from joining the track. While Verstappen did receive a reprimand for impeding Tsunoda, critics argue that a grid drop would have been more in line with previous rulings.
Aston Martin’s Performance Director, Tom McCullough, emphasized the need for uniformity in penalties, stating, “The stewards have all of the information… What we really want is consistency.”
The perplexing decision came amid speculation of potential collaboration between Red Bull-owned teams, with an AlphaTauri representative notably absent from the meeting. However, this absence was attributed to a procedural oversight by the FIA.
Aston Martin experienced a challenging weekend overall, failing to secure any points for the first time this season. This was further compounded by Lance Stroll’s inability to race due to a qualifying injury and Fernando Alonso’s uncharacteristic race errors.
Regarding Stroll’s condition, Team Boss Mike Krack assured the media in Singapore that the Canadian driver will be ready for the upcoming Japanese Grand Prix, despite experiencing soreness. Krack emphasized Stroll’s well-being as the primary concern, underscoring the team’s commitment to his recovery.