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SBD Global/September 24, 2013/People and Pop Culture

Red Bull Driver Mark Webber Frustrated With 10-Place Penalty For Hitching Ride To Pit Lane

Mark Webber was penalized for hitching a ride on Fernando Alonso's Ferrari.
Red Bull driver MARK WEBBER "is fuming over a grid penalty from Formula 1 stewards for hitching a ride back to pit lane on the side of FERNANDO ALONSO's Ferrari at the end of the Singapore Grand Prix," according to the AP. Both drivers received "reprimands over the incident, but it was Webber who was hit hardest given it was his third sanction of the season." Webber was cited for "walking on to the circuit without permission and slapped with a 10-place grid penalty for next month's race in South Korea." Webber had pulled off the track "with his car in flames after an engine failure on the final lap." Rather than having a "slow post-race walk back to the pits, he dashed out on to the circuit, hailed Alonso's Ferrari like it was a taxi and then clambered on to the sidepod for a quicker ride back." The penalty "did not sit well" with Red Bull Team Principal CHRISTIAN HORNER either. Horner said that the "image of Alonso giving Webber a lift was 'good TV' and did not deserve such a harsh punishment." Horner: "It should have been dealt with by a fine or a slap on the wrist" (AP, 9/23). AUTOSPORT's Jonathan Noble reported although there are "no plans to introduce a regulation that bans such 'taxi rides,' which are not strictly outlawed," motorsports governing body FIA is "keen to impose a safety clampdown." The FIA is "to remind drivers that under no circumstances are they allowed to run on to the track without marshals' permission, nor should they stop to pick someone up in the manner that Alonso did" (AUTOSPORT, 9/23).
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