IndyCar: Helio Castroneves on probation for social media policy violation

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A tweet from Helio Castroneves’ official account after the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach has put the three-time Indianapolis 500 champion on probation through June 30.

According to INDYCAR, Castroneves violated Rule 9.3.8 of the Verizon IndyCar Series rulebook regarding social media policy.

The tweet in question criticized Race Control for not penalizing drivers during the race and featured a thumbs-down symbol in the center of the series’ logo. It was promptly taken down but Trackside Online managed to capture it before that point:

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Castroneves later tweeted that it was his sister, Kati, who had sent it out originally. He then apologized for the matter…

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And soon after, Kati did the same on her own account…

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It’s not the first time that Castroneves has gotten in trouble for social media mishaps.

Three years ago in the IndyCar race at Twin Ring Motegi, Castroneves was penalized for passing J.R. Hildebrand in a local yellow zone on the final lap, and was knocked from seventh to 22nd at the finish.

That annoyed Castroneves, who called INDYCAR president of competition and then-chief steward Brian Barnhart a “circus clown” on his Twitter account. He was fined $30,000.

Lauda labels Verstappen USGP penalty ‘the worst I’ve ever seen’

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Mercedes Formula 1 non-executive chairman Niki Lauda has called the FIA stewards’ decision to penalize Max Verstappen for his last-lap pass on Kimi Raikkonen in Sunday’s United States Grand Prix as “the worst I’ve ever seen”.

Verstappen charged from 16th on the grid to take third place from Raikkonen on the last lap after a stunning fight through the field, completing the fightback with a bold pass in the final sector.

However, the stewards stripped Verstappen of P3 after he appeared to put all four wheels off the circuit when riding the kerb to pass Raikkonen, causing outcry in the F1 community.

Speaking to reporters after the race in Austin, Lauda condemned the stewards’ decision, slamming them for interfering in the late fight.

“We had meetings at the start of the year to see how far stewards should go in decisions during a race because it always says ‘under investigation’,” Lauda said, as quoted by Crash.net.

“So we complained about that and we agreed all together that the stewards would not interfere – very simple.

“If the driver goes over another and upside down, only then would they weigh in. That was at the beginning of last year.

“For six months it was OK, but this decision was the worst I’ve ever seen. He did nothing wrong.”

Lauda said F1 team bosses would discuss stewarding at the next Strategy Group meeting, which is due to be held in the next two weeks.

“These are racing drivers. We are not on the normal roads and it is ridiculous to destroy the sport with these kind of decisions,” Lauda said.

“At the next strategy meeting, we will put it back on the agenda and start all over again, because we cannot do that.

“They go too far and interfere and there was nothing to interfere with. It was normal overtaking.”