JULY 10, 2015
FIA clamps down after Mercedes pitstop dummy
The FIA has warned teams against following Mercedes' lead in 'faking' pitstops.
After Williams and Mercedes duelled for the win at Silverstone, Toto Wolff admitted his strategists had tried to trick Williams into altering their race strategy.
"You guys think you can fool us?" the Mercedes chief's wife Susie, who works for Williams, reportedly 'texted' her husband during the British grand prix.
In a failed attempt to trick Williams, Mercedes' mechanics had gathered in the pitlane for a 'dummy' pitstop.
"It was a bit of a game that didn't work," Toto Wolff admitted afterwards. "At least it was a bit of entertainment."
But actually, it is against the rules. The sporting regulations dictate that "team personnel are only allowed in the pitlane immediately before they are required to work on a car".
Williams' highly experienced technical boss Pat Symonds had observed: "I think coming out in the pitlane is against the rules if it is not a genuine call."
Speaking to the media this week, the FIA's Charlie Whiting said Wolff had obviously "put his foot in it" by admitting the ploy.
He will now sternly warn the other teams ahead of the Hungarian grand prix.
"I have no intention of giving them a few chances and will talk to all the teams in Hungary about this and warning them that we will want to see evidence that they were actually intending to stop," said Whiting.