Michael Masi, FIA race director believes there is nothing wrong with Formula 1’s current penalty system. Even if some penalties are not proportional to the damage done, it is still a good system.
It was the talk of the village after the Grand Prix of Great Britain. The penalty the stewards decided on for the accident in Lewis Hamilton’s first lap was Max Verstappen. Hamilton attempted to pass Verstappen in Copse Corner from the inside but was unable to do so. He tapped Verstappen’s right rear wheel with the left wheel of his car. Red Bull’s driver lost control of the car and crashed into the tire stack at high speeds with a force of 51G. Verstappen was out of the race, but he was fortunate to escape injury.
Hamilton was able to go on his way. Hamilton was penalized for a time of 10 seconds and won the race. Many people thought the punishment was too light and pointed out how a driver could cause serious injuries without any consequences. Michael Masi, Race director, doesn’t have a problem with that. According to the Australian, this is the system that the sport chose. “One of the key points that has been a mainstay for many, many years [van het systeem]The bottom line is that you shouldn’t look at the consequences of an accident. This has been established before my time during discussions between the teams, the FIA and F1. Masi defends both the penalty and the stewards. “When they assess an incident, they assess the incident itself and the severity of the incident, not what the consequences are. For many years, stewards have been doing this. They’ve been instructed by the top to do this, so I’m referring to team involvement and such. When you take the consequences into account, there are so many variables, instead of judging the incident itself on its merits.”
The race was stopped immediately to remove Verstappen’s wreckage and repair the tire stack. Masi was subject to a torrent of questions and comments from the other teams during the break. Red Bull stated that Hamilton was innocent and Mercedes believed Hamilton was at fault. Red Bull also said that Hamilton’s actions were completely absurd. Masi and Totowolff spoke to each other and Masi even suggested that the race director walk to the race managers and make his case. Masi believes that this will not compromise the independence of race management. “If we have an incident after the race, we also invite the teams and the drivers to come up and appear in front of the stewards. Last year, Lewis spoke to the Monza stewards about the incident to get the full picture. During the suspension there is that possibility, there is no reason not to.”