Ferrari has been handed a 15,000 euro fine after it emerged following Sunday's race that Fernando Alonso had improperly activated the DRS system on his F138 on three occasions during the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The DRS option is only supposed to be used when a car is within one second of a vehicle ahead of it on the road, but a report from the FIA technical delegate after the race in Hungary revealed that on three occasions this hadn't been the case.

The matter was referred to the race stewards who duly investigated, and they found that Ferrari had failed to switch the DRS from its pre-race to race setting before the start of the Grand Prix, meaning that Alonso was not being properly informed by the system of when he could and could not use DRS for the rest of the afternoon.

Related Articles

As a result of the enquiry, the stewards concluded that there had indeed been a breach of Article 27.5.b of the sporting regulations. However, Ferrari were able to demonstrate that they had informed Alonso about the problem as soon as it had been discovered, and had told their driver only to use the system when specifically instructed by the pit wall for the remainder of the event - thereby actually disadvantaging Alonso for the rest of the race.

That mitigation meant that the penalty was limited to the 15,000 euro fine, while Alonso escaped sanction altogether as he had not knowingly done anything wrong and under the sporting regulations it is the team's responsibility to ensure the system is working correctly before the start of the race, not the driver.

Meanwhile Romain Grosjean has been handed a further penalty for a race incident which saw him collide with the McLaren of Jenson Button, with 20 seconds added to his time in the final race results.

He'd earlier been given a drive-thru penalty during the race, after an ambitious overtaking move on Felipe Massa saw all four wheels of his Lotus leave the defined track area in the move, from which he gained clear advantage. Grosjean said he felt that the penalty in that case has been too harsh - and he was backed up in the matter by none other than Massa himself.

"I think it's wrong if he took the penalty for what he did with me," Massa said. "It was not really wrong. I don't think he went four wheels outside, I thought it was only two. No complaints from me."

But when it came to the clash with Button, Grosjean took the blame and subsequently offered his apologies to the Briton. "With Jenson I was a bit too much on the left. The track goes narrow uphill and I was wider than that so I want to apologise," he told Sky Sports F1 after the race. "We were fortunate that none of us got [any damage], so that was good."

Button had been sanguine about the incident: "I think it's pretty straightforward," he said. "I couldn't go anymore left. That's it really. Unless I'm on the grass, which is obviously not where I want to be when I'm braking for a corner, he had no way of not hitting me. He obviously didn't realise how narrow the circuit was at that corner."

Grosjean's penalty does not affect his final position, and he remains in sixth place in the results, one spot ahead of Button who came home in seventh.

"I've no problem with the time-added for the incident with Jenson and I apologised to him afterwards," said Grosjean. "This could have been the one for me, but we will just have to wait a little bit longer and keep improving like we have been recently to make it happen."