Stewards to impose time penalties for unsafe releases after Germany backlash

Williams pit stop in Germany

Formula 1 race stewards have agreed to impose time penalties for unsafe releases after facing a backlash over the decision to fine Ferrari in Germany.

An unsafe release has traditionally seen the driver face a five-second time penalty which is either served at their next pit-stop or post-race, but in Germany the stewards chose to fine Ferrari €5,000 when they released Charles Leclerc into the path of Romain Grosjean.

Grosjean was forced to come to an almost complete stop to avoid a collision in what was a busier than normal pitlane as changeable weather saw more than half the grid stop for a tyre change.

However after the race there were complaints that a fine would not serve as a deterrent, with such sums insignificant to teams that spend hundreds of millions each season.

"It's completely wrong," was the view of race winner Max Verstappen, who was given a time penalty in Monaco when he was released into the side of Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas.

"If you get a fine, everybody will do it. I think it's not fair. To say they gave me the penalty purely because we touched, I think that is also not fair, you're still releasing the car knowing there is a car in the fast lane."

The matter was addressed in the team manager meeting ahead of the Hungarian GP this weekend and it's believed the stewards have agreed going forward that time penalties will be be the default penalty for unsafe releases.

"I think they have spoken in the managers meeting about it," added Verstappen. "Let's see what they are going to do about it now.

"How big was the fine? 5,000? That's peanuts for a team. They really don't care to pay that. I think it's completely wrong to do that, especially if you talk about safety, it's not correct."