Masi defends stewards delays on F1 decisions

FIA Formula 1 race director Michael Masi has defended the amount of time it can take for stewards to announce decisions on race weekends.

Listen to this article

At last weekend's Qatar GP, it took over 21 hours from the end of qualifying before final decisions were announced after Max Verstappen, Carlos Sainz and Valtteri Bottas were accused of yellow flag offences.

After qualifying finished at 6pm local time, summonses for the three drivers were issued between 8.37pm and 9.40pm, asking for them to appear before the stewards the following afternoon between 1pm and 1.45pm.

The decisions were then published between 3.16pm and 3.35pm – with the last coming just 45 minutes before the pitlane opened and the cars headed out to the grid for the race.

The time taken by the Brazilian GP stewards to examine the right of review requested by Mercedes into the Lewis Hamilton/Max Verstappen incident attracted comment over the Qatar weekend, while the Hamilton rear wing case in Brazil also saw a long wait before the penalty was confirmed.

Masi insists that it takes time to process decisions because of the need to include full explanations.

"All of you have always asked for is more description in decisions rather than just saying this person is guilty or this person is not guilty," he said.

"You actually want as much of an understanding as possible of the process that was gone through. Sometimes if there are any similar types of cases, as you all see that the stewards obviously try to write their decisions, be it last weekend or this weekend, any of them that have a level of nuance to them, they put that level of detail in them.

"As you are all aware that takes time to go through them, draft them, write and rewrite. That's one part, the other part is the teams need to be given their opportunity to present their case.

"So if we look at, as an example, last weekend in Brazil, effectively in total over the two days give or take round figures Mercedes were presenting to the stewards for about two and a half hours.

"So you have got to put that into account as well along with sessions and everything else in between. So it is not straightforward.

"Sometimes I think the stewards would be happy to write just, 'this person has breached the rules' and end of story, but then we will go back a few years and all of you said you want more description."

Michael Masi, Race Director and Stefano Domenicali, CEO, Formula 1

Michael Masi, Race Director and Stefano Domenicali, CEO, Formula 1

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

He added: "You need to consider that when you hand your decision down you have suddenly got appeal time limits and everything else that come into it as well, so the decision that is handed down, teams have to have their right of appeal, so it is all of those time limits."

Masi said the Qatar yellow flag hearings were scheduled for Sunday afternoon because drivers were not at the track on Saturday evening.

"It was obviously relatively late, them not being here, long day, etcetera. So do it this morning. Everyone's fresh.

Read Also:

"You've also got to think of offset time frames and everything else that you haven't taken into account in the timeframe, and when people are available and so forth, and when people get here, and curfews.

"You need to remember curfews cover this venue for example and that didn't end until 12pm so when people are due to get here that comes into the timing."

 

shares
comments

Related video

Mazepin unsure if he'll have "too fat" Haas F1 chassis for final races
Previous article

Mazepin unsure if he'll have "too fat" Haas F1 chassis for final races

Next article

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Prime

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Nico Hulkenberg: Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return Prime

Nico Hulkenberg: Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

He has more starts without a podium than anyone else in Formula 1 world championship history, but Nico Hulkenberg is back for one more shot with Haas. After spending three years on the sidelines, the revitalised German is aiming to prove to his new team what the F1 grid has been missing.

Formula 1
Jan 29, 2023
Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss Prime

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

OPINION: Fred Vasseur has spent only a few weeks as team principal for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, but is already intent on taking the Scuderia back to the very top. And despite it being arguably the most demanding job in motorsport, the Frenchman is relishing the challenge

Formula 1
Jan 27, 2023
The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Prime

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2023
Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Prime

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? Luke Smith asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Prime

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Prime

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Prime

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023