Formula One drivers are now at risk of an increased maximum F1 Fine. The sport’s governing body has decided to increase the maximum amount one million euros ($1.06 million).
This change represents a quadrupling of the previous maximum fine. It was approved at a meeting of the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council in Geneva. The motivation for the adjustment to the International Sporting Code (ISC) was deemed necessary.
This is because the previous cap of 250,000 euros had not been reviewed or amended for over a decade.
F1Worldwide.com recommends the following articles.
- Revving Up the Paycheck: F1 Driver Salaries in 2023 Revealed!
- F1 Drivers’ Nutrition and Diet: How to Eat Like a Champion
- F1 Drivers’ Height and Weight: Analysis of the Average F1 Driver Height and Weight
Why has the FIA increased the maximum F1 Fine?
The FIA’s decision to increase the maximum fine comes after recognizing that the previous limit of 250,000 euros was inadequate. It had remained unchanged for at least the last 12 years, no longer “reflects the current needs of motor sport.”
The sport has evolved significantly over the years, with increasing revenues, sponsorships, and viewership. As such, they have decided that the penalties imposed need to be proportionate to the current state of the sport. BY doing so they believe that they will maintain its integrity and ensure compliance.
What type of infringements may result in the maximum fine being imposed?
The specific infringements that might warrant the maximum fine have not been detailed in the article. Past incidents, do however, provide some context.
For instance, Lewis Hamilton was fined $50,000 in Qatar for crossing a live track. This decision is currently under review by the FIA.
Max Verstappen was fined 50,000 euros in 2021 for touching the rear wing of Hamilton’s car. It happened after the qualifying session for the Brazilian Grand Prix.
These incidents, while significant, did not approach the old maximum fine. It suggests that truly egregious or dangerous actions might be required to trigger such a hefty penalty.
How did the Drivers Respond to the New F1 Fine Amount
The general driver reaction was one of shock.
Mercedes’ George Russell
A director of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA), Russell was one of the first to voice his astonishment. He described the new maximum as “obscene.”
Reflecting on his early days in F1, he shared, “In my first year of Formula One (at Williams), I was on a five-figure salary and actually lost over six figures from paying for my trainer, paying for flights, paying for an assistant.”
His sentiment was clear: such a fine could be devastating for younger drivers still finding their footing in the sport.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc
The Monegasque driver left scratching his head, wondering what on earth could warrant such a colossal penalty.
Haas’s Kevin Magnussen
Haas, Kevin Magnussen, echoed the sentiment, labeling the fine as “ridiculous.”
In a moment of levity, Magnussen quipped about Leclerc’s stolen Richard Mille watch, valued at over $2 million. “Charles can give his watch, but I will disappear forever.”
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton
The FIA has recently fined the seven-time world champion $50,000 in Qatar for crossing a live track. The news shocked Lewis. He hadn’t even heard of the change until then.
However, ever the philanthropist, Hamilton suggested, “If they are going to be fining a million, let’s make sure that 100% of that goes to a cause.”
He emphasized the need for the sport to contribute more towards accessibility, diversity, and creating opportunities for those less privileged.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen
The FIA fined the Dutchman €50,000 in 2021 for touching the rear wing of Hamilton’s car. He left pondering the scale of offenses. “If touching a rear wing is 50k, then I would like to know what one mill is,” he mused.
As the dust settled on the announcement, one sentiment was clear across the paddock: the need for transparency and understanding.
George Russell said, “It feels like the FIA plucks these numbers out of the air.”,
How will this change impact the sport, and will it deter drivers from pushing the boundaries, both on and off the track? Only time will tell.
What Are the top ten fines in the History of F1?
The following table lists the top fines and penalties.
|Year fine was Imposed||The F1 Driver/Team Fined||Circumstances||Amount|
|2023||Lewis Hamilton||Crossing the track on foot while the race was active||$50,000|
|2021||Max Verstappen||Touching Lewis Hamilton’s rear wing||€50,000|
|2021||Red Bull||Exceeded Cost Cap||$7m fine and a 10 percent reduction in aero testing for 2023|
|2013||Mercedes & Pirelli||Conducting tire tests without informing other teams||Banned from Silverstone Young Driver Test|
|2010||Ferrari||Team orders in the German Grand Prix||$1 million (half suspended)|
|2007||McLaren||Spygate scandal – stealing data from Ferrari||$100 million|
|2006||Michael Schumacher/Ferrari||Deliberate parking in Monaco qualifying||Not specified (Started at the back of the grid)|
|2006||Turkish Grand Prix organizers||Trophy presented by unrecognized Turkish Cypriot leader||$5 million|
|2005||BAR||Second fuel tank used illegally for extra weight||Two-race ban|
|1998||Hungarian Grand Prix organizers||Mass track invasion after Schumacher’s win||$5 million (75% suspended)|
|1997||Michael Schumacher||Deliberate collision with Jacques Villeneuve||Removed from championship standings|
|1989||Ayrton Senna||Not rejoining the track where he left it in Japanese Grand Prix||Disqualified from the race|
|1984||Tyrell||Using lead shots and illegal fuel||Disqualified from the world championship|
Note: Some of the fines are not monetary. Some are penalties in terms of race bans, disqualifications, or other forms of punishment.
McLaren’s fine in 2007 stands out as one of the most significant in the sport’s history. The FIA fined Mclaren $100 million. They also stripped the team of constructors’ points due to a spying controversy involving Ferrari information.
The British team ultimately paid only half that amount after the fine was reduced by the loss of revenue resulting from being stripped of their points.
The FIA’s decision to increase the maximum fine for F1 drivers underscores the evolving nature of the sport and the need for penalties that reflect its current state.
The FIA has not listed the circumstances under which they will impose the maximum fine. Past incidents provide give some context for the types of behaviors that may warrant this size penalty.