Formula 1 - Drivers win pitlane fines reprieve

Formula 1 drivers are no longer being fined for pitlane speeding offence after the FIA agreed to a change of procedure.

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Formula 1 - Drivers win pitlane fines reprieve
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Red Bull Formula One driver Mark Webber (bottom) of Australia and Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso of Spain stop in the pitlane during the first practice session at the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya (Reuters)

The Grand Prix Drivers' Association (GPDA) had raised concerns earlier this year that drivers were still being punished for breaking the pitlane speed limit - which appeared to be in breach of an agreement made with the FIA.

As part of accepting a major hike in the cost of an F1 superlicence for 2013, F1 drivers were told they would not be fined for offences in the future.

However, the situation proved complicated with F1's Sporting Regulations making it mandatory that drivers be fined $200 (£130) for every kilometre per hour they are over the speed limit.

The FIA agreed to look in to the matter, and a compromise deal has been reached whereby teams are now fined instead of the drivers for pitlane offences.

Furthermore, the scale of the fines has been adjusted. For every kilometre per hour over the limit, teams will be given a $100 (£65) fine instead - with a maximum limit of $1000 (£650) imposed.

The new structure has been in place since the Bahrain Grand Prix and it explains why Lotus was fined $1000 (£650) for Kimi Raikkonen doing 93.2 km/h in the pitlane during second practice in Spain - whereas Valtteri Bottas earned the biggest driver fine of the season so far with a $2800 (£1800) penalty for doing 73.8km/h in practice one in Australia.

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