Williams has been hit with another huge fine, its second in two races, for failing to properly secure a wheel on Pastor Maldonado’s car.
The race stewards handed out a £51,000 (€60,000) fine after a wheel-nut freed itself from Maldonado’s car during second practice for the Indian Grand Prix.
It’s the second such problem in two race weekends after Maldonado lost a wheel during practice for the Japanese GP. Williams were given an identical financial penalty for that incident too.
A report from the stewards found that the “wheel fastener had been cross threaded, thus not engaging the primary retaining plunger”.
A new mandatory two-stage locking system is supposed to stop such issues, but it hasn’t worked for Williams, though the stewards noted that the wheel remained secure.
“This is a breach of Article 23.12 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations as the car was released in an unsafe condition. The secondary retaining plunger failed to keep the wheel fastener in place. This is a breach of Article 14.7 of the FIA Formula One Technical Regulations.
“The stewards noted that in this case the wheel had been retained on the car (unlike a similar incident in Suzuka two weeks ago) and that the cross threading of the wheel fastener contributed to the fastener coming off the car.
“Whilst the stewards accept that improvements to the wheel retaining system had been implemented the team need to ensure that both the wheel and its fastener are fully retained on the car. The stewards decide that a fine of €60,000 is the most appropriate penalty in this case taking into account this was the second offence, but on this occasion the wheel was retained.”