Michael Masi explains how the FIA determined Hamilton’s penalty

© Jiri Krenek for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Race Director Michael Masi says the stewards “judge the incident itself” and “not what happens afterwards as a consequence”.

Lewis Hamilton was penalized for the collision between him and Max Verstappen in the opening lap of the British Grand Prix.

Although most observers and drivers believe the crash was a racing incident, the Briton received a 10-seconds penalty and two penalty points on his super licence.

However, Red Bull is not satisfied with the severity of the penalty, as the crash caused a DNF for Max Verstappen, while Hamilton managed to win the race in spectacular fashion.

Red Bull even suggested a one-race suspension for the Briton, but Michael Masi explains why he believes the stewards’ decision was appropriate.

“I think one of the big parts that’s been a mainstay for many, many years, is that, and this came through discussions prior to my time, between all of the teams, the FIA and F1 and the team principals were all quite adamant that you should not consider the consequences in an incident,” Masi said after the race.

“So when they are judging incidents is that they judge the incident itself. And the merits of the incident, not what happens afterwards as a consequence.

“And that’s been something that the stewards have done for many years. And have been advised to do from the top down so, and I’m talking team involvement, and so forth.


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“So that’s the way that the stewards judge it because, if you start taking consequences into account, there’s so many variables, rather than judging the incident itself on its merits.”

Masi added that if the stewards would always take into account the consequences of an incident, in this case one driver being unable to continue, while the penalized driver is still able to win the race, you would never find an appropriate penalty.

“I think if you look at it on that basis, you’ll never find a penalty that would address an imbalance like that.

“If you look at it in that particular circumstance, so that’s why going back a few years, the teams, which was team principles, made a very clear distinction that they did not want consequences taken into the account.

“They wanted it based on the incident itself. So I completely understand their perspective.

“And I think that’s a general held view across all stewarding to not look at consequences for that exact purpose,” concluded the race director.

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