Drivers gobsmacked at introduction of €1 million fine

The FIA have increased how much a steward can fine a driver.

The Formula 1 drivers have been left gobsmacked following the most recent meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council, where the maximum amount a driver can be fined was increased by four times the previous amount.

Up until the Council’s announcement, the maximum a steward could fine a driver was €250,000; however, this has now been increased exponentially to €1 million.

What exactly a driver has to have done to be slapped with a staggering €1 million hasn’t been stated, although the drivers are far from pleased with the announcement.

“The ISC (International Sporting Code) had previously determined that the maximum fine that the stewards can imposed is 250,000 euros,” the World Motor Sport Council’s statement read.

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“This amount has not been reviewed nor amended for at least the last twelve years and does not reflect the current needs of motor sport, the World Council therefore approved an update to this maximum limit -as far as F1 is concerned – to 1,000,000 euros.”

Lewis Hamilton was one of the drivers to speak out against the fine, with him insisting that should a driver have to pay it, then “one hundred per cent” of the €1 million should go to a “cause”.

Hamilton actually recently received a €34,700 fine at the Qatar Grand Prix for crossing a live circuit, something the FIA are since reinvestigating amid concerns that his actions will impact younger drivers given his “role model status”.

The seven-time World Champion stressed that the only way he’ll ever pay the FIA €1 million is if the money is guaranteed to be used to support the likes of “better diversity” or to create more opportunities, rather than just to sit in the governing body’s pockets.

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“I’m not really sure what it’s referring to exactly,” said Hamilton, as reported by

“I think we need to… when it comes to things like this I really do think we need to be thinking about the message that this sends out to those that are watching.

“If they are going to be fining people a million, let’s make sure one hundred per cent of that goes to a cause,” he continued. “There’s a lot of money in this whole industry and a lot more that we need to do in terms of creating better accessibility, better diversity, more opportunities for people who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to get into a sport like this.

“So many causes around the world… that’s the only way they’ll get that million from me.”

Charles Leclerc raised the excellent point that some drivers on the grid don’t even earn €1 million, making it an amount which a few drivers could severely struggle to pay.

The Monegasque also questioned what sort of action would result in a fine that big, with it being something which has never been seen before.

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“It is a huge amount of money,” agreed Leclerc, “so again, I have no idea about what deserves a 1 million penalty, but it’s more than… I mean, some drivers are making less than that, so it’s a lot of money and… yeah… I don’t know.”

Kevin Magnussen added on Leclerc’s point of some drivers not being able to afford a fine that large, as he noted that if he were to be on the receiving end of it, then he “would disappear”.

“I don’t know what offence it is to be a million but that sounds ridiculous,” laughed Magnussen. “I mean, Charles can give his watch, but I would disappear, never to be found again.”