Team employees sometime prove to cost more than just their wage, as was seen in Mexico when a Mercedes engineer appeared to snap part of George Russell’s front wing, which could cost the team hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Alfa Romeo are now the latest team to feel this pain, as they will be leaving Brazil with a slightly higher expenditure than expected following a fine caused by a wandering team member.
It was announced during the race that race control had spotted something in the pit lane, and after the race announced that they found a member of staff, who was not a part of the pit crew, had entered the ‘working zone’ of the pit lane.
“The stewards heard from the team representative. The stewards reviewed the video from several angles,” begun an official statement from race control after the race.
“A member of the Alfa Romeo team who is not involved in pit stops entered the pit lane working area and was in a position where he was unreasonably close to the path of the approaching Haas car which was starting its pit stop.
“The stewards determined that this was an unsafe situation.”
The team, who will become Audi in 2026, have been fined $1000 for the misstep, which will come as an unnecessary financial hit to the team, no matter how insignificant the fee is.
Alfa Romeo have now moved five points clear of Aston Martin in the constructors’ championship, and with the difference in places bringing thousands of pounds extra to the team, they will be hoping to cement their place in sixth at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Rookie driver Guanyu Zhou has explained that although he did not manage to score points, finishing in P12, he is quietly confident about the team’s chances at the Yas Marina Circuit.
“Overall, we can be quite happy about the weekend, especially when you look at how we started, comparted to where we finished,” said the Chinese driver.
“Our focus was to maximise the team’s potential, and I’m confident we’ve managed that. Still, today had been a bit difficult on my part: I got my drink system straw stuck in my helmet at the beginning of the race, before managing to remove it, but, later on, we suffered from some turbo issues, something we will have to investigate ahead of next week.
Nevertheless, it’s good to see that the team managed to bring home some more points to give us a good position for the constructors’ championship ahead of the final race.”