All teams are required to electronically return two sets of dry tires per driver, i.e. four in total, within two hours of the end of FP1. Also, those tires have to be physically returned to Pirelli before FP2.
On Friday night in Singapore, the FIA reported that Valtteri Bottas and Guanyu Zhou’s tires had not been returned electronically within the time stipulated by the regulations.
The team had to go to testify before the stewards and they admitted that they had made a mistake, which is why they received a fine of 5,000 euros for each car, that is, 10,000 euros.
In addition, as notified by the governing body, the Swiss team has been a repeat offender in this regard, and the FIA technical delegate, Jo Bauer , has personally reminded it on other occasions.
The stewards noted that: “The Alfa Romeo representative acknowledged the infraction and explained that the engineer responsible for this task had forgotten to do it.”
“The technical delegate confirmed with the tire supplier that although the electronic return had not taken place, the tires had been physically returned before FP2.
“Compliance with the electronic return protocol is important. The FIA relies on that procedure to control tire use to ensure that the allocated compounds are not misused.”
“According to the technical delegate, he has had to remind this team several times this season to do electronic returns. That was not disputed by the team representative.”
“Although in this case they were unable to obtain any sporting advantage due to such carelessness, as the tires had been physically returned and therefore could not be reused, a technical infringement of the regulations has nevertheless been committed,” the statement concluded.
At the 2017 Japanese GP , the Haas team was fined €5,000 for an electronic return violation, but was suspended.
At this year ‘s Hungarian GP , Williams was fined €1,000 after making a tire allocation error and Alexander Albon using a dry set that had already been returned electronically.
Therefore, the tougher penalties for Alfa Romeo may reflect the FIA’s frustration that the Swiss team has had to receive such reminders on several occasions so far in the 2022 Formula 1 season.