Button escapes penalty for DRS infringement

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Jenson Button has escaped penalty for mis-using DRS during first practice for the Italian Grand Prix yesterday, with the FIA deciding to acquit McLaren after the error occurred due to a technical problem.

The Drag Reduction System (DRS) works by opening a flap on the rear wing of the car in order to make it faster in a straight line (via ‘drag reduction’), thus giving the driver an advantage. However, the system is only allowed to be used in the designated zones on track, which for this weekend are located between turn seven and turn eight and also along the main straight.

However, due to a technical problem, Button’s system became jammed open outside of the zone heading through the Ascari chicane during FP1, warranting an investigation by the stewards who cleared the team of any wrong-doing.

“The stewards accept the evidence tabled by the team that, despite the DRS being shown as deactivated at the end of the first DRS zone (braking area for Turn 8) the hydraulic activation arm jammed against its carbon fibre cover, preventing deactivation of the wing element,” a statement read.

The stewards did however fine Ferrari following an error in the pit lane during FP1.