Scuderia Ferrari has escaped a post-race penalty after unsafely releasing Kimi Raikkonen from the pits during today’s Australian Grand Prix.
Raikkonen had been set for a top five finish in Melbourne, only for his mechanics to fail to attach his left-rear tire at his final pit stop.
The Finn was forced to park his car up at the side of the track shortly after exiting the pit lane on lap 41, ending Ferrari’s chances of a double-points score.
The FIA stewards confirmed at the time that they would investigate the incident following the race, with stricter penalties being proposed for unsafe releases in the pit lane this year.
However, in a statement issued following the race, it was confirmed that Ferrari would face no penalty.
“The team explained that the system used to monitor pit stops gave no indication that the car was in an unsafe condition when released and the team caused the driver to stop the car immediately once the problem was apparent from the driver and the telemetry,” the stewards said.
“The team had paid close attention to the telemetry after the actions of the team members involved in the pit stop, and further that the FIA technical delegate accepted the car was not in an unsafe condition when released, the stewards took no further action.”
Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene was disappointed with how Raikkonen’s race ended after the Finn had enjoyed a strong display before the incident.
“I am sorry for Kimi, because everyone could see how strong he was in the race,” Arrivabene said. “But at the second pit stop, there was a problem with a wheelnut on which the threads had already been crossed during the first one.
“We realized there was a possible problem and we decided to stop the car immediately, because safety is the number one priority.”