Drivers in shock over ‘obscene’ EUR 1m fine threshold

Formula 1 drivers have shown disbelief at the revelation they could be fined up to EUR 1,000,000 by the overseeing FIA.

Earlier, the topmost boundary for financial punishments for violations stood at EUR 250,000.

“Then maybe we can also sponsor the bottles of wine (on the podium),” remarked world champion Max Verstappen.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc pointed out: “I mean, some drivers are making less than that.”

From Haas, Kevin Magnussen humorously stated: “Charles can give his watch – but I would disappear, never to be found again.”

Lewis Hamilton, the seven-time world champion, was handed a EUR 50,000 penalty in the last race in Qatar for stepping onto the active circuit after an opening lap incident.

He signalled his reluctance to settle a more substantial fine.

“If they are going to be fining people a million, let’s make sure 100 percent of that goes to a cause. That’s the only way they’ll get that million from me,” shared the Mercedes racer.

Such sentiments from drivers underscore the widening divide between them and the F1’s regulatory authority. George Russell, chief of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, indicated they weren’t involved in discussions about the “obscene” top penalty.

“It needs to be invested in grassroots but so far we’ve had no response on where that’s going,” the British pilot commented in Austin.

“With such pressing global matters and significant poverty globally – how can an organisation introduce such fines? I’m not aware of any sporting activity or career outside business sectors where one can incur such a penalty.”

Following the FIA’s intention to reconsider his EUR 50,000 fine due to his impact on young followers, Hamilton critiqued the FIA.

“No, I don’t think I was singled out,” he stated. “The FIA just need to speak to their PR agent to do a better job.”