Michael Masi, FIA race director, reacted to the British Grand Prix scandal. The Australian warns teams that any interference in the ongoing investigation of the stewards may result in a penalty.
British Grand Prix was controversial not only because of the racing but also because of its many other aspects. Toto Wolff, Christian Horner and their team bosses reported to the stewards after the collision between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen on the first lap. Toto Wolff and Christian Horner interfered with the ongoing investigation into Hamilton’s collision between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, leading to a 10-second penalty for Hamilton.
Wolff and Horner could have been closely followed for the British Grand Prix as FOM decided that the radio messages of both team bosses to Michael Masi would be broadcast by FOM. Red Bull sporting director Jonathan Wheatley, and Christian Horner, the team boss, complained to Masi regarding Hamilton’s behavior. After which, Masi informed them that the action was being investigated. Wolff also spoke on the radio, stating that he had sent Masi an email regarding certain FIA guidelines. Masi gave Wolff permission to visit Masi’s stewards, as he later indicated that he didn’t open his mail during the race.
Wolff stated that he believed Wolff was telling him after the incident that Christian was in a heated conversation with the race director. Motorsport.comBack to the incident. “After that I contacted the race director, who advised me to go to the stewards myself, or to contact them directly. Then I did that.”
Horner discovered Wolff was with the Stewards. Horner approached the Stewards to ensure Red Bull’s side was represented. Horner stated that Horner thought it was inappropriate for a team boss to have contact with the Stewards during an investigation. Horner stressed that the Stewards shouldn’t be disturbed in their work. “They have to be able to make decisions with a clear head. I was only there because Toto was also there to make a case. You must ensure that everyone is represented fairly and equally by the stewards.
Masi takes measures
Masi initially stated that he didn’t see the problem in the entire situation and that such incidents are more common than usual. Masi, after the British GP, said that if there’s an incident during the race, he would invite drivers and teams to speak with the stewards. “We had the case at Monza last year when Lewis [tijdens een code rood]The stewards were informed and asked to clarify what had occurred. The stewards were able to see the entire picture and better understand the situation. If you’re allowed to do so during an outage, there’s no reason to not.
Masi has apparently changed his mind. The Australian warned teams that any future visits to the stewards would not be tolerated. Masi has informed all teams that they will only be allowed to visit the stewards if necessary by the FIA. Any other person who wants to visit the Stewards will have to be granted permission.
Teams lobbying the stewards without permission will be in violation of Article 188.8.131.52.I of the FIA International Sporting Code. A team will “not have followed the instructions of officials for the safe, orderly conduct an event.” A sanction for such violations can be anything from a reprimand up to disqualification.