Williams hit with whopping 51,000 fine after Maldonado's wheel falls off in Suzuka

By Phil Duncan


Williams have been slapped with a 51,000 fine after Pastor Maldonado's wheel came off during practice for the Japanese Grand Prix.

The Venezuelan driver spun after his left-rear wheel worked its way loose during the afternoon session. 

Williams were called to the race stewards to explain the incident, and were subsequently fined for a breach in regulations.

Recovery: Pastor Maldonado's Williams is carted back to the pit-lane after he crashed in the second practice session

Recovery: Pastor Maldonado's car is taken back to the pits after he crashed in the second practice session

An FIA statement read: 'Examination of the parts concerned revealed that the wheel fastener had not been completely fastened, thus not engaging the first retaining plunger.

'This is a breach of article 23.12 of the FIA Formula 1 sporting regulations. 'The second retaining plunger failed to keep the wheel in place. This is a breach of article 14.7 of the FIA Formula 1 technical regulations.'

Maldonado was involved in two incidents during both practice sessions on Friday. After his wheel came off in the morning session, he then crashed into a barrier, meaning he starts the weekend on the backfoot in what has been a miserable season for the Williams team.

'It was a frustrating day today as I didn't get the amount of time on track that I would have liked,' Maldonado said.

Eyes on the prize: Maldonado has endured a disappointing season for Williams

Eyes on the prize: Maldonado has endured a disappointing season for Williams

'My FP1 session ended early after a problem with my left-rear tyre, and at the beginning of FP2 I was struggling for grip and lost the back end of the car and went off the circuit which ended my running.

'Tomorrow is another day though and FP3 will give us a chance to improve the set-up based on what we learnt today and get some low fuel running in to optimise our car for qualifying, which will be important as overtaking here can be difficult.'

The comments below have not been moderated.

William need some real leadership, please get Ross Brawn in. Something needs to be done. And quick.

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I think every team apart from "Red Bull" will glad when this season is over. It's been a very poor season for F1 in general.

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Oh I do agree, IMO it's being a very boring season, lets hope 2014 will be better

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I expect the teams and drivers will blame Pirelli again.....

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