Teams are meant to hand back one set of tyres from their allocation after the first 40 minutes of opening practice of a grand prix weekend. This procedure can be disrupted and delayed in the event of a session being red flagged, following the Felipe Massa’s accident.
But Williams was found to have run one of its nominated sets on Lance Stroll’s car at 11:09am and 11:21am local time – the best part of an hour after Massa’s crash.
After looking into the matter the FIA decided that a fine was required when taking into account a number of other offences from Williams, despite the team apologising for the incident by admitting that it had made a mistake.
An FIA statement reads: During P1 car number 18, driver Lance Stroll, used the set of tyres which the team has nominated prior to the start of P1 for only been used during the first 40 minutes (respectively 9 minutes added to these due to the red flag).
“The set in question got re-used at 11:09hrs for 6 laps and again at 11:21hrs for 4 laps. As this is not in compliance with Article 24.4 g i) (3rd paragraph), I am referring this matter to the stewards for their consideration.”
Williams did a similar fault at the 2015 Malaysian Grand Prix, where Felipe Massa used tyres in a practice session that should have been returned. This resulted in the Grove-based team being handed a suspended €10,000 fine.