Mercedes fined €5,000 for Schumacher release
15 April 2012 – Mercedes has been handed a fine of 5,000 euros (£4,100) following Michael Schumacher’s pit-stop blunder in Shanghai. After the race, FIA stewards deemed that the Anglo-German team had released the former Champion dangerously.
After following team-mate Nico Rosberg in a Mercedes one-two, Schumacher became the only retirement of the race on Lap 12 of 56. Despite mechanics’ waving, he was shown a green light and duly exited the pit lane. Realising the wheel was loose at Turn 3, he immediately retired from the Grand Prix without causing a yellow flag.
Most strict on the release of any car until all wheels are correctly fastened, attempting to ensure the safety of others working in the pit lane, the FIA has submitted the fine to the team. Such a penalty cannot be appealed.
The stewards’ report made a point of noting:
‘The Prompt action of the driver, in stopping the car as soon as the problem was noticed, is taken into account in the penalty determination.’