April 2, 2006

American Speed loses point, fined for swearing

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - American Scott Speed was stripped of
his first Formula One point and fined US$5000 for swearing at
another driver after Sunday's Australian Grand Prix.

Speed was all smiles after he crossed the line in eighth
place for Red Bull-owned Scuderia Toro Rosso to become the
first American since Michael Andretti 13 years ago to earn a
championship point.

His team, who replaced Minardi at the end of last year,
were also celebrating their first point when stewards ordered a
hearing after Speed overtook Red Bull Racing driver David
Coulthard while yellow flags were being waved.

The stewards found Speed guilty of breaching the
regulations for ignoring the yellow flags prohibiting
overtaking. He was given a reprimand and a time penalty of 25
seconds, dropping from eighth place to ninth.

Coulthard was promoted to eighth place, earning himself a
single point and taking the Scot's career total to 500.

Speed was fined for swearing during the hearing.

"A further penalty is also imposed on the driver for using
abusive language to another competitor during the stewards
hearing, this conduct being wholly unacceptable," an FIA
statement said.

"The driver is fined US$5000. The competitor is reminded of
his right to appeal."