Charlie Whiting has admitted Michael Schumacher should not have been given a drive-through penalty in Hungary recently.
After the Mercedes driver stopped his engine after lining up in the wrong grid spot, he then sped in the pitlane to await the re-start. Stewards gave Schumacher, 43, a drive-through penalty for the speeding, but FIA race director Whiting has now admitted the punishment was wrong, according to Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport. Because the race had not officially started, Schumacher’s penalty should in fact have been only a monetary fine, the report explained.
The story illustrates how the sporting regulations define a race start. It means that, in actual fact, Schumacher should be celebrating only his 299th race start this weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, not his landmark 300th. That is because at Magny Cours in 1996, the then Ferrari driver did not actually start the race, because his engine failed on the formation lap.