The FIA reported the transgression this morning, noting that “last night team personnel of the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team, who are associated with the operation of the car, were within the confines of the circuit during the eight hour period which commenced at 01:00 on 18 July, eleven hours before the scheduled start time of P3 and ends three hours before the scheduled start time of P3 at 09:00 on 18 July.”
Usually curfew offences are related either to repairs to crash damage or the arrival of a package of new parts.
However, the team says that there was no specific issue to address, and that the extra time was required to hone the set-up on cars of both Max Verstappen and Alex Albon.
“We had changes to make overnight following driver feedback so we used one of two permitted exemptions to the curfew to achieve this,” said a spokesperson. “No dramas, just standard stuff that took a while.”
At the end of Friday practice Verstappen conceded that the team had some work to do, and that the rain in FP2 had hampered its progress.
“Not so good,” he said when asked about FP1. “So plenty to look into and, of course a little bit of a shame that it was raining in the second practice, otherwise I think we already could have had a look. But yeah, a lot of work to do.
“Not so happy, but luckily we have a night to look at it and for sure make some changes and try to do better tomorrow.”