ADAC Formula 4 driver Sophia Floersch not only was investigated by stewards for almost colliding with a recovery vehicle, but also has been slapped with a hefty fine for sharing a video of the incident online.
Stewards have decided not to penalize Floersch after investigating her for failing to slow down during a red flag period at Motorsport Arena Oschersleben before she almost hit an SUV that was crossing the track, according to Motorsport.com. The 16-year-old driver also has been handed a 5,000 euro ($5,700) fine for posting onboard footage of the near miss on her Twitter.
Many assumed the fine — which she initially said was 20,000 euros ($23,803) — was for Floersch ignoring red flags, but she claims the stewards determined she sufficiently slowed.
The practice session for the German F4 series was red-flagged Saturday when a car got beached in one of the gravel traps. The replay — which since has been removed from Floersch’s Twitter — shows her No. 4 driving past at least one red flag as she approaches the stranded car, before a recovery vehicle enters the track from the right side, forcing her to take evasive action and leave the track.
Although racers are supposed to be prepared to stop at any moment during red flag periods, many have criticized the ADAC for deploying a recovery vehicle in an unsafe manner.
What’s more, though she isn’t the first driver to violate their respective series’ social media rules, Floersch’s punishment doesn’t seem to fit the crime.
Three-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton similarly posted a replay of one of his Chinese Grand Prix pole lap, but Liberty Media simply asked him to remove it, and didn’t issue any further penalty. We’re not sure how the ADAC can justify handing a $5,700 sanction to a driver working her way through the junior formulas, when a racer who makes more money than the CEO of the manufacturer he drives for was given a slap on the wrist for the same offense.
Thumbnail photo via ADAC Motorsport