Grid walk legend Martin Brundle interviews Schumacher in 2008
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Martin Brundle wants a change to the parc ferme rules that led to Max Verstappen being fined at the Brazilian Grand Prix. The Red Bull driver had to fork out €50,000 after he was spotted touching the rear wing of the Mercedes W12 following Friday’s qualifying session.
Publicity around the incident was then compounded when the FIA determined there was DRS infringement on Lewis Hamilton’s car, and the British driver was subsequently sent to the back of the grid for Saturday’s sprint race as a punishment.
Despite his apparent inspection, Verstappen was cleared of any responsibility and yet still fined for his actions.
The parc ferme is a secure area at an F1 circuit where the cars are driven back to the pits post-racing or qualifying, where drivers have long been permitted to at least look at the cars of their rivals.
After Verstappen, 24, was deemed to have taken things too far though, one F1 pundit has called for regulations to be brought in to prevent any future ambiguity.
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Martin Brundle told Sky Sports F1 that the FIA needed to act urgently and order drivers not to touch other vehicles in any circumstances.
“We have seen drivers touch other cars, tyres, people measuring them,” he explained.
“What we do see is drivers being hauled up in the air by their teams which absolutely shouldn’t happen, you shouldn’t go anywhere near a driver in parc fermé.
“It’s very easy to slip a couple of kilos – they don’t have pockets in their overalls usually, but in whatever.
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“So quite clearly the rules have been ignored a little bit in parc ferme it must be said in recent years, but quite what you would then do about it because the sporting code makes it very clear you’re not allowed to touch.
“Nobody should touch the cars. In parc ferme, the cars are sealed off. We want to measure these and weigh these before we go any further. They’ll have to tighten up on that.”
The flash points between Hamilton, 36, and Verstappen didn’t end there in Sao Paulo.
During Sunday’s race, after the Mercedes man had stormed back from 10th on the grid, he attempted to pass the Red Bull driver only to be run off the track as his rival refused to give way, but FIA officials declined to investigate the incident.
Hamilton did eventually take the lead with 12 laps to go and proceeded to notch a famous victory, but that only prompted aother trip to the stewards when he removed his safety belt during his cool-down lap.
That misdemeanour cost him €5000 with with an additional €20,000 suspended through the end of 2022.
Verstappen’s lead in the drivers’ standings is now just 14 points with three races of the F1 season remaining.
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