Santino Ferrucci suspended for hitting teammate; Fined for operating cell phone from a race car

Reaction by the series followed several incidents including post-race contact; Haas F1 development driver also attempted to run a ‘Make America Great Again’ decal for this event

Trident Motorsport: “Never in these 12 years of sporting activity has anything even close to this ever occurred.”

Things got wild on the other side of the pond last weekend. American racing driver Santino Ferrucci has been penalized by the FIA. The penalty results in a suspension for the next two events as well as a hefty fine.

However, the fans nearly universally agree that’s not long enough. Especially given the combination of violations.

Phone: As the cars rolled from the garage to the front straight-away grid, Ferrucci did it with one glove on. Why? The other hand was busy with a cell phone. What did he do with it? That’s unclear. But, texting or operating a phone at all while driving a race car is never a great plan.

He was “observed transitioning from the support paddock to the race pitlane wearing just one glove and holding a phone in his hand by a Technical Delegate.”

The FIA has strict rules against wireless dives in the cockpit, even if it’s before the event. They also have a rule about the fitting of gloves to your steering wheel holders. His fine for this first incident was €6000.

Arjun Maini incident: Santino Ferrucci found himself in a fierce battle with another Haas f1 development driver, Arjun Maini. It’s important to beat your teammate when you’re trying to climb the racing ladder. However, it’s also important not to break the number one rule in racing ‘don’t wreck your teammate.’

Ferrucci forced Maini went off track in turn 4 and took the position. To make things worse, Santino Ferrucci also rear-ended Maini on the cool down lap after the conclusion of the race while the two cars were returning to the pit lane.

The wheel to wheel contact after the race resulted in little damage to Maini. However, the front wing of Ferrucci had to be crushed before they could make wheel to wheel contact. The Trident Motorsport machines suffered more damage.

Ferrucci was called to a meeting with officials after the race to cover multiple violations, he skipped that. Which really wasn’t a good idea. However, the drivers stated that he had a family emergency back in the United States and he couldn’t miss his flight.

The FIA handed a steep fine of €60,000 for the post-race altercation at the Silverstone Circuit. He will be absent from the next two events at Budapest and Spa-Francorchamps.

Team Statement

“Trident intends to show their solidarity and support to Arjun Maini and his family, for the unsportsmanlike and above all uncivilized behavior that he was forced to endure not only during this last weekend by Santino Ferrucci and father, who accompanied him.”

“The contractual implications of what has happened will be dealt with by our lawyers. Never in these 12 years of sporting activity has anything even close to this ever occurred. We apologize for the show that we have regretfully offered.”

Santino Ferrucci vs Arjun Maini at the Silverstone Circuit
Santino Ferrucci vs Arjun Maini at the Silverstone Circuit

Santino Ferrucci

“I want to send my sincerest apologies for my actions on Sunday at the FIA F2 race at Silverstone Circuit. I used extremely poor judgement at the conclusion of the race getting far too close at my team mate Arjun and swerved away only to graze his tire, very fortunately causing no damage or issue to his car.”

“There was no intent, premeditation or any type of retaliation by my actions, only anger and frustration as this has been a horrific year. I have no excuse other than the fact that I am a twenty year old Italian American with deep passion for motorsport, which is a very emotional sport. While there has been much provocation leading to my mental lapse, it is still not an excuse and I will make sure that this does not happen again.”

“I realize I have embarrassed many people and I apologize to my Sponsors, Trident, my fellow drivers, Haas F1, FIA, FIA F2, my fans, friends and family.”

“I also want to apologize to the FIA Stewards for not being able to attend the hearing. I was randomly selected for a drug test, as were others, and this delayed my return to the paddock over an hour.”

“At that point I very quickly packed and had to leave for the airport to catch an early afternoon flight back to the US to attend to an extremely urgent time sensitive family medical issue. I was notified of the Stewards meeting as I was leaving and did send an email to my team manager to forward to the Stewards explaining that I had no options but to leave.”

Santino Ferrucci - Trident Motorsport
Santino Ferrucci – Trident Motorsport

FIA Penalty Report

“Following today’s FIA Formula 2 Championship Sprint Race, it was found that Trident’s Santino Ferrucci was in breach of multiple regulations throughout the race.”

“Firstly, following his contact with Arjun Maini on the cool down lap of the race, it was determined that Ferrucci deliberately drove into the rear of his teammate – breaching the Sporting Regulations. After the stewards had heard testimony from the team that this was a premeditated incident, Ferrucci was summoned to the hearing but declined to attend.”

“As a consequence, the American driver has been suspended from the next two FIA Formula 2 Championship rounds – meaning he will not be permitted to participate in both Budapest and Spa-Francorchamps – and has also been given a fine of €60,000.”

“In another incident with his teammate, Ferrucci was found to have deliberately forced Maini off of the road at Turn 4 after the Indian driver proceeded to make a pass for position. Once again, Ferrucci declined to attend the hearing, and has been disqualified from the results of the Sprint Race.”

“Having also been observed transitioning from the support paddock to the race pitlane wearing just one glove and holding a phone in his hand by a Technical Delegate, Ferrucci also violated both the Technical and Sporting Regulations for incorrect driver safety equipment and the prohibition of wireless transmission devices within the car. For these transgressions, he has earned a further €6000 in fines.”

“Lastly, it was determined that Luca Ghiotto had failed to maintain the minimum delta time at the end of the virtual safety car period, and has been granted a five-second time penalty in the Sprint Race. Ghiotto henceforth moves down to tenth position, promoting MP Motorsport’s Ralph Boschung into the points.”

Santino Ferrucci - Haas F1 development driver (F2)
Santino Ferrucci – Haas F1 development driver (F2)

Make America Great Again

This a fascinating story it doesn’t need anything else. However, there is more to this weekend at the Silverstone Circuit.

Ahead of the weekend, the family of Santino Ferrucci requested a ‘Make America Great Again’ decal for the machine. Trident Motorsport informed the family that the FIA doesn’t allow political ads in motorsport.

However, the family pressed the issue further. Trident Motorsport reached out to the FIA for approval. That approval was denied.

On Monday, the letter from July 3rd surfaced on the internet.

“We write to further to your request to display on one of the Cars at the forthcoming Event at Silverstone Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign slogan: “Trump – Make America Great Again”.

“Article 10.6.2(a) of the International Sporting Code expressly states that Competitors taking part in International Competitions are not allowed to affix to their automobiles advertising that is political in nature,” the denial letter read.

Santino Ferrucci vs Arjun Maini (Video)


Santino FerrucciArjun Maini | Silverstone Circuit | F2 | FIA