F1 teams warned over lobbying stewards after British GP controversy

Formula 1 teams have been warned that they risk punishments in the future if team personnel speak to race stewards during live investigations without prior approval.

F1 teams warned over lobbying stewards after British GP controversy
Listen to this article

One of the controversial aspects of last weekend's British Grand Prix was the way in which both Mercedes boss Toto Wolff and Christian Horner lobbied the stewards as they looked into the crash involving Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.

Wolff had gone there on the advice of F1 race director Michael Masi in a bid to make sure that they were aware of the FIA guidelines regarding who has the right to a corner during the fight for positions.

Speaking this week about that visit, Wolff told Motorsport.com: "I think I was told after the accident that Christian, in particular, had a pretty erratic discussion with the race director.

"So I contacted the race director and he advised me to go to the stewards, or to speak to the stewards directly, which I did."

Hearing via team radio that Wolff was at the stewards, Horner marched down there too to make sure that his team's account of the accident was taken into account.

Afterwards, Horner said he felt it completely out of order that a team principal was able to speak to the stewards in such a way.

"I don't think the stewards should be interfered with," he said. "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."

Read Also:

Initially, Masi said he did not see a problem in teams speaking to stewards, and he said it was common practice.

"If we have an incident after the race, we invite the teams and the drivers to come up and appear before the stewards," he said after the British GP.

"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."

However, Masi appears to have changed his stance and has now warned teams that unprompted visits to the stewards will not be tolerated.

In a note sent to all competitors, Masi said that access to the stewards for anyone other than the necessary FIA officials would only be allowed with 'prior approval' or as the result of a summons.

Teams have been told that if they are found to be in breach of this latest guidance then they could face sanctions under Article 12.2.1.i of the FIA's International Sporting Code.

This deems that an offence will be deemed to have taken place if a competitor has failed: "to follow the instructions of the relevant officials for the safe and orderly conduct of the Event."

Sanctions for such an offence can range from a reprimand all the way through to disqualification.

shares
comments

Related video

Mercedes had Verstappen all-clear before British GP celebrations
Previous article

Mercedes had Verstappen all-clear before British GP celebrations

Next article

Ricciardo past point of frustration with McLaren F1 struggles

Ricciardo past point of frustration with McLaren F1 struggles
How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Prime

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Prime

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Motorsport.com in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi.

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon Prime

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s teammate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy Prime

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Prime

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Prime

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second-best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot.

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022