ABU DHABI -- Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff and Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur have both been issued with formal warnings for swearing during an FIA news conference at the Las Vegas Grand Prix.
The incidents occurred midway through the chaotic opening night of track action in Las Vegas after a drain cover came loose and caused extensive damage to Carlos Sainz's Ferrari.
Vasseur was upset by the incident, which forced Ferrari to fit a new engine to Sainz's car, resulting in a 10-place grid penalty, and replace his chassis.
"We had a very tough FP1, it cost us a fortune, we f----- up the session for Carlos," Vasseur said.
Wolff was defending the Las Vegas Grand Prix after being asked if the drain cover incident had been a "black eye" for F1, and used the profanity in response to an interjection from a journalist midway through the session.
"You're speaking about a f------ drain cover that's been undone," Wolff said. "That has happened before, that's nothing, it's FP1, give credit to the people who have set up this grand prix, that have made this sport much bigger than it ever was."
The stewards of this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix were asked to investigate the comments for a breach of Article 12.2.1.f of the FIA International Sporting Code, which covers "any words, deeds or writings that have caused moral injury or loss to the FIA, its bodies, its members or its executive officers, and more generally on the interest of motor sport and on the values defended by the FIA."
The stewards found that both Wolff and Vasseur had used language that was "not consistent with the values defended by the FIA."
They added: "The FIA regards language of this type to be unacceptable, moving forward, particularly when used by participants in the sport who have a high public profile and who are seen by many, especially younger, followers of the sport, as role models, and that in future the FIA will not tolerate the use of such language in FIA forums by any stakeholder."
However, mitigating circumstances were found in both cases, Wolff because he "was provoked by an abrupt interjection during the press conference" and Vasseur because he "was extremely upset and frustrated by the incident that had occurred in FP1 and that language such as this, by him, was not usual."
As a result, the stewards deemed that formal warnings would be enough rather than material penalties.