Team punished by the FIA after using poo emoji

The team have been punished by the FIA for using a poo emoji in a WhatsApp group chat.

The MP Motorsport team has received a suspended fine of €2,000 (£1,700) after a team member posted a poo emoji in a WhatsApp group following a stewards’ decision. 

The stewards overseeing the event at Spa-Francorchamps determined that the team’s action violated the International Sporting Code, which prohibits offensive, insulting, or abusive language, gestures, or signs that may cause offense or be inappropriate.

The controversy began after an incident involving MP driver Sami Meguetounif and Van Amersfoort’s Joshua Dufek during the race at the Belgian circuit. 

Dufek made contact with the left-rear of Meguetounif’s car at Les Combes, resulting in Meguetounif spinning out of the race. 

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The stewards classified the collision as a “racing incident” and stated that no driver was predominantly at fault. 

This decision, known as “stewards decision number 17,” was shared with the teams through a Notice Board WhatsApp group used for communication.

In response to the decision, the stewards noted that “a team member of MP Motorsport displayed an emoticon symbolising ‘a swirl of brown poo’ and removed it after a few minutes, to replace it with a new emoticon symbolising ‘a clown’ and removed it after a few minutes.” 

The stewards considered this behavior a violation of the International Sporting Code and the Formula Regional European Championship (FREC) Sporting Regulations.

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The stewards referred to the obligations of competitors outlined in the FREC Sporting Regulations, which state that it is the team’s responsibility to ensure compliance with all provisions of the Code and the regulations. 

Additionally, Article 16.5 of the FREC Sporting Regulations addresses behaviors that are not in line with the spirit of the Championship, including breaches of morals and sporting ethics, which may lead to sanctions.

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The stewards concluded that the comments made by the MP Motorsport team member were disrespectful towards the decision taken. 

They referred to Article 12.2 and 12.2.1.k of the FIA International Sporting Code, which defines misconduct as the use of expressions that may reasonably cause offense, humiliation, or be inappropriate.

Along with the suspended fine, which will be enforced if the infringement is repeated, the team member responsible for the message has been removed from the WhatsApp group.