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George Russell

Russell points to wider global issues amid F1 driver fines

George Russell believes there are more pressing matters to be focused on money-wise after the FIA raised the maximum potential fine to €1 million.

Russell Mexico
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

George Russell has questioned the need for major fines for Formula 1 drivers, highlighting more serious ongoing issues in the world.

Recently, the FIA increased the maximum potential fine from €250,000 to €1 million as it had “not been reviewed nor amended for at least the last 12 years and does not reflect the current needs of motorsport".

Although no driver has ever received the maximum fine, the decision was criticised by across the grid.

Some of the heaviest fines that have been handed out in recent years include €50,000 for Max Verstappen after touching Lewis Hamilton's rear wing in Brazil two years ago while the car was in parc ferme conditions.

Hamilton was also handed a €50,000 fine (half of which was suspended for 12 months) for walking on a live track after crashing out of the Qatar Grand Prix.

Russell has condemned the rule, asserting there are more pressing issues around the world.

“We just want transparency and understanding,” Russell told media including RacingNews365..

“I think already the fines are getting out of control. You know how Verstappen got fined €50,000 for touching a car, Lewis being fined €50,000 (for crossing the track in Qatar, although half was suspended for 12 months).

“It feels like these numbers have been plucked out of the air.

“There's a lot of greater global issues going on. So much poverty around the world. [I don't understand] how a federation can just make up these fines of six figures, seven-figure fines.”

Costs split throughout the grid

Drivers can also pick up fines for speeding in the pit lane during the race weekend, with €100 added for every km/h over the speed limit they go.

There is also a fee to be paid for the Super Licence which is based on a flat figure of €10,400 with a further €2,100 added for every point scored in the previous championship.

Russell has stated that these figures are sometimes paid for by teams if a driver has that outlined in their contract.

“It's very dependent on the personal contracts, but it's the same with the Super License,” said Russell.

“Some drivers are paying their own Super License and some drivers, the teams are covering it.

“I would say there's probably 40 per cent of the grid are making less than this maximum fine [of €1m].

"That's income and not taking into consideration the outgoings, the travelling around the world the people you need as part of your team. It's pretty obscene.”

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