SHANGHAI, China -- In the latest in a number of botched tyre changes in recent race weekends, McLaren has been fined €5,000 for releasing Stoffel Vandoorne's car in an unsafe condition following a practice pit stop in China.
Both Haas cars retired from the Australian Grand Prix after wheelnuts were cross-threaded during pit stops and Ferrari made a similar mistake during practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix. On Sunday in Bahrain, a Ferrari mechanic suffered a broken leg when Kimi Raikkonen's car was released too early from its pit stop after another issue during a tyre change.
During Friday's second practice session at the Chinese Grand Prix, Vandoorne's car was released without all four wheels securely attached, and after a stewards' investigation the team was hit with a financial penalty.
"The stewards reviewed the video and audio of the pit stop of Car 2 at 15:14 and heard from the team representative," a statement said. "The stewards determined that the car was released in an unsafe condition in breach of Art. 28.13(b) as the wheel was not properly attached to the car when released.
"The driver stopped the car in a safe manner as soon as the above became apparent to him. Consistent with previous decisions of a similar nature, the stewards decided that the grid place penalty mentioned in the above Article would not be applied as the driver took all appropriate actions at the first available opportunity. Accordingly, the stewards fined the team €5,000."
Ferrari were fined €50,000 by the FIA for the incident that occurred in Sunday's race.