Already struggling to make ends meet, the Hispania Racing Team threw away another $5000 after allowing Sakon Yamamoto
to leave the pits with one of his tyre warmers still on the car.
The Spanish team, at the centre of persistent rumours about the state of its financial health and struggling at the rear of the field, also drew the wrath of the officials in Korea by retrieving the errant warmer from the pit exit lane after it had flown off Yamamoto's machine.
Determining a breach of Articles 23.1(j), 30.7 and 30.9 of the Sporting Regulations, the stewards - joined this weekend by 1980 world champion Alan Jones - imposed a fine of $5000 for releasing the car with the warmer attached, but only issued a reprimand for its retrieval.
"After this difficult day for us, we are focusing on qualifying and the race, where we hope to be a bit luckier and get more experience on this new circuit," team boss Colin Kolles noted, in the only - veiled - reference to the difficulties HRT faced on a day when Yamamoto and Bruno Senna both encountered on-track problems.
The Japanese driver spun early in the afternoon session, clipping the wall and damaging the front wing before stalling and bringing out the red flag. The delay did little to help Senna, who spun and damaged his rear suspension - without hitting anything - in the morning. Subsequent damage to the gearbox delayed the Brazilian's entrance after lunch, and restricted him to just three laps.