F1 teams face penalties for invading stewards after Horner/Wolff debacle

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FIA race director Michael Masi has warned Formula 1 teams could now be penalised if personnel visit the stewards' room without permission during races.

This comes after the rather silly scenes in the immediate aftermath of Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen colliding at last Sunday's British Grand Prix where both Red Bull and Mercedes were in fervent radio calls with Masi arguing their respective cases.

Now though it has been revealed that Toto Wolff, who had sent an email to the race director within minutes of the clash, and Christian Horner didn't only barrage the FIA with radio, they both also went dashing to race control.

“I was told there was a rant on the radio to Michael [from Red Bull] about all the badness in the world, then I went up and gave my opinion," Wolff explained.

“I think it is fair enough. I have been to the stewards many times in my life.”

Horner then followed the Austrian, stating: "I saw Toto, who was lobbying the stewards, which I heard he was going to do.

"So I went to make sure our view was represented because I don’t think it’s right that team principals should go and lobby the stewards. They should be locked away so they are not influenced.

"For me, that was unacceptable that he had gone up there to lobby them, so I wanted to make sure there was a balanced opinion given rather than put pressure on the stewards to give them a menial sentence."

In response, the FIA race director has now told teams that personnel must get "prior approval", which Wolff did get, to visit the stewards' during an investigation or risk a sporting penalty ranging from a reprimand up to disqualification.

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With tension between the top two teams building though, Masi is calm about the potential role the FIA might have to play.

“You’ve got such a close championship which is fantastic for Formula 1, you’ve got two magnificent drivers fighting it out for the World Championship,” he told Formula1.com

“As a regulator, you’re always going to come out like any referee in any sporting competition so there’s always going to be an element of it.

“But whatever sniping is happening between Mercedes and Red Bull behind closed doors is not of concern to us.

“We judge it on what happens out there on the sporting field or on the track.”


As for his reaction to the respective behaviour of Wolff and Horner on Sunday, he added: “No, no frustration, obviously that’s part of what they do, it comes about in various waves depending on what it is.

“There were a couple of instances there, be it with Mercedes or Red Bull, where I said just hang five and I’ll get back to you, which you probably didn’t hear, you only heard the ones you heard on the radio.

“Everyone is looking after their own patches of turf so to speak, as you’d expect, but from my perspective, I treat them all equally, balance up what we’ve got to do and set certain priorities in my mind of what you’ve got before you and need to prioritise accordingly.”