FIA stewards had their work cut out after one of their decisions was not met with the best of responses by a team, rather the outfit responded with poo and clown emojis.
The incident involved MP Motorsports, who had a team member reportedly respond to stewards with the aforementioned emojis.
MP Motorsports have been fined £1,700 (€2,000) as well as being suspended till the end of the season.
The event transpired when MP driver Sami Meguetounif and Joshua Dufek of Van Amersfoort sparred on the track during the weekend.
The two teams compete in the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine.
With the two drivers clashing at the prestigious Spa, race stewards deemed it to be a ‘racing incident’ and decided that neither Dufek nor Van Amersfoort deserved a penalty.
MP Motorsports clearly didn’t like what they saw, but perhaps chose a more unconventional way of voicing their discontent.
The decision was conveyed to the teams on a WhatsApp group which includes team members.
One of the members certainly couldn’t tolerate the punishment, or lack of reprimand, and sent a poo emoji before deleting it. He proceeded to sending a clown emoji after that, only to delete that message as well.
A statement released by the FIA stewards read: “After stewards decision 17 (involving an MP Motorsport driver) was posted on the Notice Board WhatsApp group, a team member of MP Motorsport displayed an emoticon symbolising ‘a swirl of brown poo’ and removed it after a few minutes, to replace it with a new emoticon symbolising ‘a clown’ and removed it after a few minutes.”
The team faced a sanction as the reaction was seen to be ‘non-compliant’ with the ‘spirit of the Championship’ as it was a breach of both moral and sporting ethics.
“Any behaviour non-compliant with the spirit of the Championship, included breach of morals and sporting ethics, nuisance to the higher interests of motor sport, moral or material loss suffered by officials on the part of a member of a team/competitor, a driver, or his entourage, will be the subject of sanctions,” the statement further stated.
“The stewards determined that aforementioned comments were not appropriate as it was disrespectful of the decision taken.”
While the sanction sees MP Motorsport suspended till the end of the season, a repeat incident will see them facing another £1,700 fine.