Team principals summoned amid ‘Gogglegate’

Several pit crew members were spotted without eye protection during the 2023 Abu Dhabi GP.

All 10 team principals have been summoned to the stewards at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, after it was discovered that several teams appear to have made a pit-stop infringement.

Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Pierre Gasly, Zhou Guanyu and Logan Sargeant were all noted by the stewards during the race for having not complied with the regulations during a pit-stop; however, it’s not the drivers themselves who have made an offence.

Footage has shown that not every pit crew member had their eye protection on, thus breaching the pit-lane regulations.

When performing a pit-stop, all pit crew members must wear a helmet and eye protection, meaning that a penalty could be handed to several teams.

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According to Sky Sports F1, the expectation is that a potential punishment would likely be a fine, meaning the results won’t change.

The governing body released an official statement after the race, where they summoned all team principals to see them.

The FIA stated: “A representative of each team is required to report to the stewards at 1945 hrs in relation to an alleged breach of Article 34.13 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations by your team personnel during today’s race (use of appropriate eye protection).”

With a fine being the expected punishment, it means that Max Verstappen won’t lose his 19th win of 2023.

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The Dutchman did well to fend off Charles Leclerc in the opening laps, before he cleared off into the distance as per usual.

It was the perfect way for the three-time World Champion to cap off what’s been a record-breaking season and marked an effective send off for the dominant RB19.

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Behind Verstappen, it was Sergio Perez who crossed the line in second; however, he was demoted to fourth after receiving a five-second time penalty during the race for colliding with Lando Norris.

As a result, Leclerc claimed second ahead of George Russell in third, in what proved to be crucial in the fight for second in the Constructors’ Championship.

With Hamilton having finished ninth with Carlos Sainz outside the points, Mercedes secured second in the standings by just three points.