Kevin Magnussen and his Haas team principal Guenther Steiner were livid about the penalty which cost the driver eighth place in last weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.He repeated his criticism after the race and said he expected the FIA would realise they had made a mistake.
Steiner went even further, blaming a “stupid, idiotic steward” for the decision. This echoed his words from May, when following another penalty frustration he remarked “some of the stewards are just not up to being stewards”.
However Magnussen was far from alone in receiving a penalty for not following the stewards’ instructions at turn two.
F1, F2 and F3 drivers alike were given similar instructions for how to treat the run-off area ahead of the start of last weekend’s races on Saturday. The race director’s notes advised them: “Any driver who fails to negotiate turn two by using the track, and who passes completely to the left of the first orange kerb element prior to the apex, must re-join the track by driving to the left of the white blocks and remaining to the left of the orange block in the run off.”
Nine different drivers fell foul of this rule over the next 48 hours. Here’s a summary of their penalties:
|F2||Race one||Guanyu Zhou||Went off track at turn two and did not follow the instructions given by the race director in the driver briefing notes.||Five-second time penalty and one penalty point|
|F2||Race one||Giuliano Alesi||Went off track at turn two, gained advantage and did not follow the instructions given by the race director in the driver briefing notes.||Five-second time penalty and one penalty point|
|F2||Race one||Jordan King||Went off track at turn two and did not follow the instructions given by the race director in the driver briefing notes.||Five-second time penalty and one penalty point|
|F3||Race two||Jehan Daruvala||Went off track at turn two and did not follow the instructions given by the race director in the driver briefing notes.||Five-second time penalty and one penalty point|
|F3||Race two||Bent Viscaal||Five-second time penalty and one penalty point|
|F2||Race two||Sergio Sette Camara||Five-second time penalty and one penalty point|
|F2||Race two||Ralph Boschung||Five-second time penalty and one penalty point|
|F2||Race two||Mahaveer Raghunathan||Five-second time penalty and one penalty point|
|F1||Russian Grand Prix||Kevin Magnussen||Five-second time penalty and one penalty point|
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and
Clearly, the stewards were consistent in the penalties given to all nine drivers. While Magnussen argued he did not gain an advantage by rejoining the track in the manner he did, almost all of the other drivers were also not deemed to have gained an advantage.
Time and again drivers claim what they want from stewards is consistency. Had Magnussen taken note of the eight penalties handed down in the F1 support races, he might have avoided being the only F1 driver who copped a penalty for it.
Could Steiner’s criticism attract the attention of the governing body? Three years ago Sebastian Vettel formally apologised after furiously disputing a penalty call with Charlie Whiting, the race director at the time, on the radio.
On Sunday evening in Sochi Whiting’s successor Michael Masi said he hadn’t heard Steiner’s comments but pointed out there are other avenues through the FIA which could look into them and take action.
“The FIA’s got its various judicial processes, be it at the circuit [with] the stewards, there’s various other processes and avenues that exists within the judicial and disciplinary rules that the FIA has,” he said.
“I’ve heard the about the comments that were made on the radio, I haven’t seen them directly so I’m not going to comment on what those are. At the end of the day, we’re all here to do a job be it officials, the teams, everyone. So I think there has to be a level of mutual respect.
“But with regard to the specific comments I haven’t seen them so I prefer not to comment on them until I have. If something’s been said that’s inappropriate there’s those that are in charge of the judicial elements away from the event that can look at it.”
While earlier decisions which have gone against Haas might have been borderline calls, this one clearly wasn’t. The team may regret reacting so strongly to a clear violation which received an indisputably consistent penalty.
Quotes: Dieter Rencken
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and
2019 F1 season
- McLaren Racing reports reduced £71 million loss in 2019
- Kvyat: Hockenheim podium last year was “my biggest achievement” so far
- How the FIA’s new encrypted fuel flow meter targets Ferrari’s suspected ‘aliasing’ trick
- “He smashed my office door”: 23 must-see moments from ‘Drive to Survive’ season two
- ‘I should have done a better job. There’s things that I know I can do better’