Sep.26 (GMM/Inautonews.com) The FIA handed back Red Bull’s paddock curfew ‘wild card’ in Singapore.
The dominant team was penalised ahead of the night race because a staff member was in the paddock during the working-day blackout period.
Dr Helmut Marko, however, protested that the unidentified staff member in question was wielding a mere guest pass and had no operational connection with either the team or the cars.
Indeed, it is believed he was connected to the sponsor Infiniti.
“After interviewing the person and hearing the explanation it is now clear that this person is not a member of the team,” an official of the governing FIA is quoted by Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport.
The FIA also lifted similar sanctions against the Mercedes and Virgin teams, who argued that they thought marketing staff were exempt from the curfew.
But Auto Motor und Sport quoted an insider as insisting that team bosses agreed in Melbourne earlier this year that marketing staff “are clearly included in the ban”.
A spokesman for Mercedes GP confirmed that a female member of the team’s marketing staff broke the curfew by half an hour.
Meanwhile, Toro Rosso’s curfew penalty – imposed after boss Franz Tost entered the Singapore paddock too early – stands.