Fernando Alonso escapes penalty as Ferrari fined for DRS breaches in Hungarian GP
Spaniard incorrectly received messages to enable DRS three times
By Pete Gill and James Galloway
Last Updated: 29/07/13 8:58am
The Spaniard was placed under investigation after finishing fifth in Sunday's grand prix after the FIA's analysis of DRS activation data on Alonso's car showed that he had used the overtaking aid three times when not within the permitted one-second range of a car ahead.
While Alonso's fifth place had originally appeared in doubt, the stewards' investigation ultimately found Ferrari as culpable as the "DRS enabling system was not changed by the team from the pre-race to the race setting".
This oversight meant that Alonso incorrectly received 'DRS enabled' messages and while he duly incorrectly activated the rear-wing flap on three occasions, the stewards ultimately ruled that while a mild sporting advantage had been gained - less than one second over the entire 70-lap distance - the Spaniard in turn had also "suffered a disadvantage by being unable to use DRS on every legitimate occasion".
The team were therefore fined the €15,000 sum and Alonso's fifth-place finish, which keeps him 39 points adrift of Sebastian Vettel in the title race, stands.
The stewards' full verdict
No / Driver 3 - Fernando Alonso
Competitor Scuderia Ferrari
Fact DRS was enabled when the driver was not less than one second behind another driver
in the DRS zone
Offence Breach of Article 27.5 (b) of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations.
Decision The competitor (Scuderia Ferrari) is fined €15,000.
Reason The DRS enabling system was not changed by the team from the pre-race to the race setting. The driver therefore incorrectly received "DRS enabled" messages and reacted to them (when not entitled to) on 3 occasions. As soon as the team became aware of the problem they informed the driver to only use DRS when told to do so by the team.
Whilst a small sporting advantage (less than one second over the entire race was gained, the team argued Car 3 also suffered a disadvantage by being unable to use DRS on every legitimate occasion. However, the team is ultimately responsible for ensuring the system conforms to the regulations.