Binotto: Fine for unsafe release in Germany was 'proper' judgment

© XPB 

Ferrari's Mattia Binotto believes the application of a fine rather than a time penalty for Charles Leclerc's unsafe release in Germany was the "proper" judgment.

The Hockenheim stewards' decision to punish the team rather than the driver struck a chord with many teams and drivers who feared the sanction would set a dangerous precedent and encourage teams to take more risks during pit stops.

FIA race director met with the teams in Hungary and agreed that in the future, an unsafe release shall always warrant a time penalty.

However, Binotto insisted the 5,000 euro fine applied by the stewards was entirely justified.

"Several races are difficult situations, difficult situations to judge, difficult situations to act on," said the Scuderia boss.

"During the weekend at Hockenheim, I think that the drivers met with the FIA on the Thursday and discussed the approach.

"What was key was certainly to be safe respective to the mechanics in the pit lane which was a key factor and for example, in the case of Charles, the Red Bull team was ready for a pit stop and was just in front of him and I think the way that somehow Charles drove was very safe in respect of the mechanics and the pit crew.

"Yes, he had to slow down to be careful with the cars coming in but that's a racing situation, and I think that as a team, when you've got such traffic, again, I think what is key is safety first and then in a racing situation where we have been fined, I don't think there will be a much different situation or different judgement in the future.

"I think the way it has been judged was the proper one."


Beyond the punishment itself, Red Bull's Christian Horner recalled the incident as "pretty frightening".

"I slightly crapped myself when I saw Romain Grosjean heading for me at the pit wall," said Horner.

"From my point of view it looked really unsafe, pretty frightening prospect that.

"It's a tricky one isn’t it? Max got a penalty in Monaco for what was an unfair release and it was deemed that it was because he touched the car of Bottas.

"It’s a tricky one, they are slightly different incidents, but I think that what you want to see more than anything is an element of consistency.

"Otherwise, from a team point of view, from the guy that’s releasing the car, what call does he make when he’s making that release now? It’s a difficult one."

"Where there are pit lanes like in Silverstone, we actually had a good scenario where the two cars were released and there was enough room for them to go side-by-side down the pit lane."

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter