“Wing-gate” is upon us again it seems. During the Brazilian GP questions were raised over the legality of the rear wing on Lewis Hamilton’s car due to it’s extraordinary increase in straight line speed from the cars previous outing. Following the Friday practice session a fan video appeared showing Max Verstappen examining Hamilton’s disputed rear wing and he was called to the stewards.
The rear wing was deemed illegal by the Stewards and subsequently Hamilton was disqualified from qualifying. However, Max Verstappen found himself in breach of the FIA International Sporting Code.
Article 2.5.1 states “inside the parc ferme, only the officials assigned may enter. No operation, checking, tuning or repair is allowed unless authorised by the same officials or by the applicable regulations”.
The stewards examined the fan footage and additional video from CCTV in the pit-lane and onboards from other cars and issued Verstappen with a fine.
Today a ’spyshot’ reveals Lewis Hamilton is probably guilty of the same regulations breach following the 2022 Spanish GP. The Red Bull rear wing was clearly an upgrade brought to Spain by the team to lose weight on the RB18 and Hamilton was most likely looking for clues as to how it is constructed.
Lewis is therefore likely to face a trip to the stewards office this weekend in Monaco before he sets foot in the car.
Back in Brazil Verstappen explained he told the stewards “it was simply a habit to touch this area of the car which has been a point of speculation in recent races between both teams”
The stewards verdict crucially observed “Considering the fact that no direct harm was caused in this case, in the opinion of the stewards, and that no earlier precedent of penalties for this exists — on the one hand it is a breach of the regulation and has potential for serious consequences on the other, the stewards determine to take action in this case and order a fine of €50,000.”
Of course the picture revealed by one of Motorsport.com’s senior writers twitter account will need to be scrutinised by the stewards.
Whether Red Bull try to claim Hamilton damaged the car is yet to be seen, but were they to do so he might face a much tougher penalty than his rivalVerstappen did in Sau Paulo.