Williams fined 60,000 Euro again after wheel nut falls off Pastor Maldonado's car in India
Cross threaded nut in P2 leads to second big fine in as many races
By James Galloway in Greater Noida & William Esler
Last Updated: 26/10/13 7:29am
The Venezuelan was forced to stop on the side of the circuit at Turn 14 after the wheel nut worked its way loose following a 'racing' pitstop during afternoon practice.
Williams were forced to change the design of their wheelnut and wheel-retention system after the Japanese GP where Maldonado lost his left-rear tyre at Spoon corner and the team were hit with a 60,000 euro fine. However, unlike on that occasion, in India the wheel did stay attached to the FW35 despite the nut flying off across the circuit.
After summoning Williams Team Manager Dickie Stanford, Chief Engineer Xevi Pujolar and Maldonado in the hours after practice, Indian GP stewards revealed on Friday evening what exactly had gone wrong in the incident and confirmation of the Grove team's latest fine.
"Examination of the parts concerned revealed that the wheel fastener had been cross threaded, thus not engaging the primary retaining plunger," the FIA statement read.
"This is a breach of Article 23.12 of FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations as the car was released in an unsafe condition. The secondary retaining plunger failed to keep the wheel fastener in place. This is breach of Article 14.7 of the FIA Formula One Technical Regulations.
"The Stewards noted that in this case the wheel had been retained on the car (unlike the similar incident in Suzuka two weeks ago) and that the cross threading of the wheel fastener contributed to the fastener coming off the car."
The statement added that although it represented the team's second offence, the fact the wheel didn't detach itself from the car on this occasion was taken into consideration with the penalty.
"Whilst the Stewards accept that improvements to the wheel retaining system had been implemented the team need to ensure that both the wheel and its fastener are fully retained on the car," the FIA continued. "The Stewards decide that a fine of €60,000 is the most appropriate penalty in this case taking into account this was the second offence, but on this occasion the wheel was retained."