Chinese GP: McLaren fined for Stoffel Vandoorne pit-stop error

McLaren have become the latest team to be fined by F1’s governing body for an unsafe release of their car from a pit stop.

Amid mounting scrutiny over the sport’s pit-stop procedures and safety measures after a Ferrari mechanic suffered a double leg fracture at the Bahrain GP, McLaren released Stoffel Vandoorne’s car during Practice Two in China without its right-rear wheel properly attached.

Stewards noted that Vandoorne ‘stopped the car in a safe manner as soon as’ he realised there was a problem, but fined McLaren 5,000 euros (£4,320) for the error – although the team avoided a harsher sanction.

‘Consistent with previous decisions of a similar nature, the stewards decided that the grid penalty mentioned in the above Article [28.13(b)] would not be applied as the driver took all appropriate actions at the first available opportunity.

‘Accordingly, the stewards fined the team 5,000 euros.’

Unsafe releases in F1 2018 Team When Kevin Magnussen Haas Australian GP race Romain Grosjean Haas Australian GP race Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari Bahrain GP Practice Two Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari Bahrain GP race Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Chinese GP Practice Two

The ruling follows two incidents apiece for Haas in Australia and Ferrari in Bahrain respectively.

Haas were fined a total of 10,000 euros at the Australian GP when cross-threaded wheelnuts at near-simultaneous pit stops for both their cars failed to fully tighten all the wheels.

Ferrari were then fined 5,000 euros for releasing Kimi Raikkonen’s car with a loose wheel during Friday practice in Bahrain before being clobbered with a 50,000 euro fine for the incident two days later which saw the mechanic break his leg.

Stewards said the car was released ‘in a manner endangering team personnel and causing injury’.

How to follow the Chinese GP on Sky F1 Saturday April 14 Sky F1 digital live blog 4am: P3 LIVE! (Build-up 3.45am) 7am: Qualifying LIVE! (Build-up 6am) 8.45am: The F1 Show LIVE! Sunday April 15 Sky F1 digital live blog 5.30am: Pit Lane LIVE 6.30am: On the Grid LIVE! 7.10am: The Chinese GP LIVE!

Will Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari make it three wins in a row or can Mercedes and Red Bull respond in Shanghai? Watch the Chinese GP exclusively live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend. Get Sky Sports F1.