Williams receives another heavy fine
25 October 2013 – Williams has been given a substantial fine of 60,000 euros (51,082 pounds) after a wheel nut came off Pastor Maldonado's car during practice for the Indian Grand Prix.
With the Grove-based outfit having suffered a similar wheel-related issue at the previous Japanese Grand Prix, the stewarding panel – which this weekend includes nine-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Tom Kristensen – opted for another sanction.
After an investigation, it was determined that the front right wheel fastener became cross-threaded during a pit-stop, with the main retaining plunger not being engaged. In addition, the second retaining plunger failed to keep the wheel fastener in place.
Although it was the second incident in as many events for Williams, the stewards chose not to hand out a more serious penalty as the wheel this time stayed attached.
A statement issued by the FIA read:
'Examination of the parts concerned revealed that the wheel fastener had been cross threaded, thus not engaging the primary retaining plunger. 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 the 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.'