Haas development driver Santino Ferrucci has been banned for two Formula 2 rounds and is set to have his contract terminated by his Trident team.
Ferrucci and teammate Arjun Maini have both been critical of F2 this year due to technical issues, with Maini delivering an outburst full of expletives after the French Grand Prix about a lack of support from both the series and the team. Ferrucci was critical of F2’s decision to adopt rolling starts from the last round in Austria after clutch issues, but the pair then came together during Sunday’s sprint race at Silverstone.
The contact came during the race, but when Ferrucci later ran into the rear of Maini’s car on the cool-down lap, and after being handed a four-race ban — two rounds of the championship — his Trident team then issued a remarkable statement via Twitter.
“Trident intends to show their solidarity and support to @ArjunMaini_ 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.”
FIA Formula 2 championship officials issued penalties after determining the contact was deliberate — breaching the Sporting Regulations. After the stewards 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 was suspended from the next two FIA Formula 2 Championship rounds — meaning he would not have been permitted to participate in both Budapest and Spa-Francorchamps. He has also been given a fine of €60,000 ($70,500).
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.
Having also been observed transitioning from the support paddock to the race pit lane wearing just one glove and holding a phone in his hand by a technical delegate, Ferrucci was found in violation of 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 earned a further €6000 ($7,000) in fines.
Ferrucci, a 20-year-old Connecticut native, made his Verizon IndyCar Series debut in June replacing the injured Pietro Fittipaldi at Dale Coyne Racing, finishing 22nd and 20th in the two races at Belle Isle.