Formula 1 teams have been warned not to repeat Mercedes' attempts to wrong-foot Williams during the British Grand Prix by setting up a fake pit-stop.

Having lost the lead to the Williams' of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas during the opening stint of the Silverstone race, Mercedes attempted to prompt a reaction from the team by sending its mechanics into the pit-lane to imitate an impending stop, only for both Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton to continue on.

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff later admitted it was a deliberate ploy - which proved unsuccessful anyway -, prompting his wife and Williams test driver Susie Wolff to apparently send him a message asking 'you think you can fool us?'

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However, the move did raise questions about its legality, following a tightening of the rules regarding people in the pit-lane when it isn't necessary, with the regulations stating 'team personnel are only allowed in the pit lane immediately before they are required to work on a car and must withdraw as soon as the work is complete.'

It was an indiscretion that didn't escape the FIA's F1 race director Charlie Whiting, who handed down a warning to Mercedes for the infraction and will speak with teams in Hungary to inform that it will not be tolerated going forward.

"Going into the pit lane like this, ie for no valid reason, is not allowed but the difficulty would be proving it was a clear breach," Whiting is reported as saying, according to the BBC. "I will talk to all the teams - at the next race in Hungary - about this and warn them that we will want to see and hear evidence that they were actually intending to stop."

"At the time, what Mercedes did was OK as no-one knew that they were not actually going to stop. In fact we still don't really know.

"However, in view of the fact that they were alleged to have said that it was a 'dummy' stop, they may have put their foot in it rather."


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I don't remember any objections when Schumacher / Ferrari were doing the same, as I recall it was looked on as gamesmanship !!! how views change.... , if the FIA are serious about handing out penalties they need to start thinking about race bans and points deductions, starting with 2 minutes sat in the pitbox instead of faffing about with fines !!!! drive thru's and grid position penalties .... all the top teams / drivers can easily afford any fine handed out, Mclaren are still here after 100 mil euro fine, and they don't get much more expensive than that, and all the front runners can usually make up for lost positions thru strategy anyway, very rarely does it hurt them that much in my view .... and I do mean ALL drivers and teams, I'm not leaving anyone out OK

I didn't know that Richard so thankyou, but I do stand by my comment that fines are a waste of time