F1 teams escape penalties for Abu Dhabi pitstop infringement

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Formula 1 teams escaped penalties after a probe into potential eye protection violations during pit stops at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

During the latter stages of the 2023 season finale at the Yas Marina Circuit, Lewis Hamilton and Pierre Gasly faced scrutiny for potential pit stop infringements.

They were joined by additional post-race investigations into the pitstops of Max Verstappen, Williams drivers Logan Sargeant and Alex Albon, and Alfa Romeo's Zhou Guanyu.

Replays did not show any obvious violations in the various teams execution, but it eventually came to light that the stewards had noted that several pit crew members were not wearing the required eye protection during pit stops.

Following the race, the FIA stewards summoned all team managers to address the potential rules breach.

In the wake of the investigation and hearing, the stewards opted not to impose any penalties as it had been "in some cases insufficiently clear to determine" whether there had been a rule breach.

However, the officials reminded all teams that "the safety of team members is paramount."

The stewards' report concluded: "All teams are requested to stress the importance of eye protection for all personnel working on a car and ensure that this Article is respected by all team members in the future."

It was suggested that the Abu Dhabi race’s transition from sunset to twilight and to complete darkness may have caused visibility challenges for some pit crew members.

This may have incited the latter to open their protective visors during the final round of pitstops because of the reduced visibility.

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