Aston Martin have been fined 5,000 euros for an unsafe release during qualifying for the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix.
During the first qualifying session, Lance Stroll was sent out of his garage, right into the path of Lando Norris as the pair came close to contact in the pit lane, sparking an investigation from the FIA.
Stroll was eliminated in Q1 in 18th place, and team-mate Sebastian Vettel sadly did not fare too much better as he out-qualified the Canadian for the third time this season in 16th.
The news got worse for the Silverstone team, who were fined for an unsafe release following the investigation by the stewards.
“The stewards heard from the driver of car 18 [Lance Stroll], the driver of car 4 [Lando Norris] and team representatives, and examined video,” read the report.
“The team manager of car 18 admitted that, in error, the team released car 18 into the path of car 4 creating an unsafe release.”
The fine arrives amid the revelation of the British team’s sidepods and venturi tunnels, which are almost identical to those of Red Bull, leading to accusations that they might have copied the Austrian outfit’s design.
While under their Racing Point guise in 2020, they were fined 400,000 euros and docked 15 points for intimately copying Mercedes’ championship-winning W10, and Red Bull adviser Dr Helmut Marko confirmed that he has “evidence” that “data was downloaded.”
After his team’s poor qualifying performance though, Stroll affirmed that, had Aston Martin really copied the design of one of the fastest teams on the grid, both he and Vettel would have comfortably made it out of Q1.
“What position is Red Bull? We’d be two seconds faster if it was a copy,” he said, as per the Race.
“I’ve been really struggling with the balance of the car and not getting to grips with it all weekend.
“It’s a completely different aero package, ride heights, set-ups, a lot of things change, we have to see if we missed something or we could have done something differently.”
The 23-year-old would like to get the bottom of the lack of pace despite the theoretical gains they should have enjoyed as a result of the upgrades.
“I hope we missed something. Last race we were in Q3 and now we’re out of Q1 so miles off the pace. We have to figure out why,” added Stroll.
The FIA have taken a look at the documents that informed the design of the new iteration of the AMR22, and have found no wrongdoing.