Monte Carlo Rally leader Sébastien Ogier has been fined €400 for completing the Saint-Clément – Freissinières stage without his helmet strap fastened, but escaped any sporting penalty.
Ogier was only sixth fastest on SS10, struggling as the penultimate Rally1 car to start the stage as the icy surface became more polished and treacherous for those further down the order.
On-board camera footage facing Ogier revealed the seven-time World Rally Champion had his helmet on correctly, but the yellow strap was not fastened through the D-ring, therefore making it slightly insecure.
This is breach of Article 53.1 of the 2021 FIA World Rally Championship sporting regulations.
A stewards’ bulletin stated: “All protective equipment including helmets [are] to be worn correctly on a special stage until the stop control for safety reasons.
“The stewards recognize that this was an oversight and that no competitor would deliberately contest a special stage without their helmet secured properly.”
Martijn Wydaeghe, an 11th-hour replacement for Nicolas Gilsoul in the co-driver’s seat of Thierry Neuville’s Hyundai, was also handed a €400 ($487) fine for the same offense on the same stage.
Carlos del Barrio – who is navigating Dani Sordo for the final time this weekend – was also later found guilty of the same offence as Ogier and Wydaeghe, and was thus handed the same consequence.
The penalties were accepted by Toyota’s sporting director Kaj Lindström and Hyundai’s team manager Alain Penasse respectively.
Ogier leads the event ahead of Sunday’s final four stages by 13 seconds over his team-mate Elfyn Evans.