Formula 1’s governing body has clarified the regulation concerning serving a penalty at a pit stop following Fernando Alonso’s rescinded sanction in Saudi Arabia.
Alonso was issued a five-second time penalty after he was judged to have been out of his grid box at the start.
Alonso served a five-second time penalty at his pit stop but was then issued a 10-second sanction post-race after it was judged that the rear jackman had touched the car.
The stewards cited a Sporting Advisory Committee meeting at which it was deemed that any member of the team touching the car would be taken as working on the car.
Aston Martin successfully appealed the penalty after it was judged that there was ‘no clear agreement’ that could be relied upon to determine that teams had agreed that a jack touching a car would amount to working on the car.
The penalty was subsequently rescinded, affirming Alonso in third place, with the FIA pledging to review the situation at the next gathering of senior officials.
On Friday the FIA issued a directive from Single-Seater Sporting Director Steve Nielsen clarifying the situation.
It outlined that Article 54.4 of the Sporting Regulations states that ‘whilst a car is stationary in the pit lane as a result of incurring a penalty, it may not be worked on until the car has been stationary for the duration of the penalty’.
‘For clarity and until further notice, in this context the physical touching of the car or driver by hand, tools or equipment (including the front and rear jacks) during any such penalty will all be considered to constitute work.
‘The use of cooling fans during a penalty is permitted providing any such fan does not physically touch the car.
‘As is already common practice, multiple penalties incurred prior to a car’s pit stop can be served in series at a single pit stop. For example, a 5sec + 10 sec penalty can be served as a single 15sec penalty and so on.’