Newly crowned Champion Dennis Hauger has been found in breach of the 2021 FIA Formula 3 Sporting Regulations Article 39.8 after he came back into the pits and changed all four tyres during today’s Race 3 at the Sochi Autodrom.
Hauger pitted and changed all four tyres several laps after spinning during an incident at Turn 7. The PREMA Racing driver reported vibrations in the car and ultimately decided to pit as a precautionary measure. The team, in the interest of time and keeping the car on the lead lap, decided to change all four tyres, rather than examining them for damage.
The Technical Delegate examined the tyres after they were removed but found no evidence of damage on the front tyres or of severe vibration in the steering wheel.
As such, the Stewards determined that the tyre change did not meet the grounds set by the regulations, with no “clear and genuine safety reason” and no “punctured or damaged tyres” found during the inspection.
As a consequence, he has been given a 10 second stop and go penalty, which, since it could not be served during the race, has been converted to a 30 second time penalty in the final classification.
All lap times set by Hauger after his pit stop on Lap 11 have also been deleted, per Article 11.9.3.h of the FIA International Sporting Code. The Stewards determined that since the change to new tyres breached the regulations (for which he has been penalised), any times subsequently set with those tyres are not valid lap times. This means that PREMA’s Arthur Leclerc inherits two points for Fastest Lap.