FIA’s Michael Masi explains why Verstappen received a grid penalty

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After a collision with Lewis Hamilton at the Italian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen received a three-place grid penalty to be served at the Russian Grand Prix.

Although some are debating on who’s to blame for the crash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen at the Italian Grand Prix, the stewards have made their verdict, and they think Max is “predominantly” at fault.

FIA Race Director Michael Masi reveals the Dutch driver would have gotten a time penalty had he not retired from the race, but since he was out after the incident, the penalty was converted to a three-place grid penalty to be served at the next race.

“I think one of the things that we’ve generally agreed with amongst the teams is that a five-second or a 10-second penalty, give or take, is there or thereabouts between the two of them,” Masi said.

“You need to look at it on the basis of, if they had continued, it would have been the time penalty in the race.

“So at Silverstone… you can’t compare them at all. You’ve got two cars taken out in one incident versus one car taken out in another incident.

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“They could not continue to serve a penalty is what I’m trying to explain. So a grid penalty, as we’ve seen, is what’s applied for this year, as we’ve agreed with all of the teams. It’s applied for when someone doesn’t continue.”

Masi was also asked about the escalation of the incidents between Hamilton and Verstappen, as in this case the outcome could have been tragic were it not for the halo on Lewis’ car.

“I think from the FIA perspective, together with the stewards, we look at each and every incident on its merit, regardless if it’s Lewis, if it’s Max, if it’s whoever.

“Each incident is looked at on the merits of the incident. I think the pattern of escalation is a perception for some, depending on which way, which person you’re supporting.

“I think if you ask Christian [Horner, Red Bull team boss], you probably get a completely different perspective on it. For that one, I’m not going to get into the games.

“We have a very close, exciting championship between two fantastic drivers and that’s the part we should all be focusing on,” concluded Masi.

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