The first lap incident at the British Grand Prix between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton continues in its controversy. Red Bull claimed that Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff had gone to the steward’s office during the race.
Helmut Marko even compared Wolff’s antics to a football player surrounding the referee to influence the decision. Micheal Masi, the F1 race director, had recently stated that teams are invited before the stewards in case of any incident during the race.
Masi gives his view on Toto Wolff visiting the stewards’ office
As reported by Motorsport.com, Masi seems to have altered his perspective on teams visiting stewards’ offices between the red flag breaks. Masi had earlier stated,
” If we have an incident after the race, we invite the teams and the drivers to come up and appear before the stewards.”
Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 4, 2021, McLaren team principal Toto Wolff before the race Pool via REUTERS/Christian Bruna
“We had the case in Monza last year when Lewis went and spoke to the stewards to understand what happened and have a look at the whole picture. During the suspension, that ability exists, so there’s no reason not to,” said the race director.
But Masi in the latest statement issued by the FIA mentioned impromptu visits to the stewards’ office will not be tolerated. He also mentioned that teams will only be allowed to visit the stewards with ‘prior approval’ or as the result of a summons.
I don’t think the stewards should be interfered with: Christian Horner
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner also stated that teams should not interfere with the stewards. Horner was fuming after the incident when he learnt that Toto Wolff had visited the stewards during the red flag.
“I don’t think the stewards should be interfered with,” he said.
Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – April 30, 2021 Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner talks in the Team Principals Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS
“They need to be clear-headed to be able to make those decisions. I went to see the stewards because I’d heard that Toto was up there, presenting a case. You want it to be fair and balanced, and I don’t think anybody should be allowed to see the stewards.” said Horner.
Should teams be allowed to visit the stewards during the race?
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