Fines IMO should only be handed out for wilfulness, gross neglect, etc. But not for honest mistakes. Otherwise they don't serve the intent.
At the same time I think fines are reactionary b******* and make the wrong people rich. They need to be proactive and put a system in place that avoids unsafe releases, because if someone gets hurt, it's meaningless for any victim if it was intentional or not. And if the FIA collects a fine of lets say € 20000, who pays the bills for hospitalisation or worse?
Now that we've got fly by wire throttles, they could have a system where the throttle pedal is automatically deactivated until all four wheelnuts are torqued up to the required amount. It wouldn't be that difficult to implement - just have the wheelnuts complete a circuit when they are properly in place.
Like you said I prefer any technical solution above penalties.
If the issue is to get engineers find a viable solution that would improve racing across all series, and if the authorities can't see beyond the let's hand out fines mantra, then they might continue to fine the team and hold them liable for any damage caused. Or instead of a fine. why not dock WCC points from the team? Even if a team has zero points, take 5 points away, in case of repetition another 10 points. I am pretty convinced that teams will find a solution pretty quickly, as loss in WCC points means less money for the teams.
After all it seems that according the Q&A with Charlie Whiting, the fine is there to put pressure on the team to avoid such dangerous situations. But again, don't wield the rule book to punish, but to make teams proactive
A solution I propose, put 4 holes with pressure sensors that match with 4 bolts on the wheel that need to fit. Force the drive train into idle as long as there isn't enough pressure (which also kicks in when a car is losing one or more tires because of an accident). Yes it will slow down pit stops, and it may lead to slight delays if not properly fitted (with holes that are cut out like a cone - including the matching bolts - that might be a non issue though). And I dare teams to see the upside. The faster the pit stops, the more sponsors are unhappy, because the cars are not long enough stationary. It also may make us viewers happier, because it doesn't require the camera team to show us tons of replays, just so sponsors get enough air time, and instead of just being able to follow the stop watch, we have more time to enjoy and potentially discuss pit stop procedures.
To me that would be win, win & win.
Edited by HP, 17 July 2014 - 00:04.