Formula 1 race director Charlie Whiting has moved to clamp down on teams deliberately running out of fuel after their qualifying laps in a bid to gain a competitive advantage.
Lewis Hamilton was told to turn his engine off on his slowing down lap after qualifying in Montreal because McLaren feared he would not have enough fuel for the mandatory FIA sample. Although this was not a breach of the F1 regulations, it did go against a directive from Whiting who advised teams that their drivers had to complete their slowing-down laps quicker than a set time. McLaren and Hamilton were reprimanded and given a $10,000 fine.
With rival teams questioning the situation – Ross Brawn even labeled the fine as "cheap" considering the advantage Hamilton had in running less fuel than anyone else – Whiting has said he will not tolerate a repeat. In a note sent to teams on Sunday morning, Whiting said that in future, action would be taken against any team that deliberately tried the tactic.
"Any team whose car stops on the slowing down lap after the race will be asked by the stewards to explain why this happened, " Whiting said. "If they are not satisfied that the reasons were beyond the control of the driver or team, and feel that this has been done deliberately to gain a competitive advantage, appropriate action will be taken."