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FIA reach Tsunoda decision after alleged use of ableist slur

The FIA has returned its verdict into its investigation of Yuki Tsunoda for allegedly using ableist language during qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix.

Tsunoda race Spain
To news overview © XPBimages

Yuki Tsunoda has learned the outcome of an investigation into his alleged use of ableist language during qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix.

The 24-year-old was found to be guilty of breaching Article 12.2.1.k of the FIA’s International Sporting Code.

The Japanese driver has been fined €40,000 of which €20,000 is suspended for the remainder of the 2024 season on condition that no infringement of a similar nature occurs.

The RB driver appeared caught saying "are these guys fucking retarded" on team radio in relation to Zhou Guanyu overtaking him in the fast lane of the pits during Q1.

According to the official decision document, the stewards stated: “During Q1 when Car 22 was queuing in the fast lane and another car blended into the fast lane ahead of him, the driver was heard to make a statement over team radio using offensive language.

“During the hearing the driver was very apologetic and explained that because English is not his first language he was unaware until after the session what the meaning of the words used is in the English language. 

“He said that he was horrified when he learned this. He contended that his understanding of the words was different, but acknowledged that this should not be considered as an excuse for what he did.

“The Stewards appreciate the honesty of the driver, but reinforce the fact the words used are offensive and wholly inappropriate. To have used such words over a platform that is available to the public amounted to misconduct as defined in Article 20 of the International Sporting Code. 

“Considering the circumstances, the Stewards determine that a severe fine is required, but also take into account the genuine remorse of the driver and his offer to issue a public apology and for these reasons decide to suspend part of the fine imposed.”

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