FIA Formula 1 race director Michael Masi said he issued a reminder the stewards can deduct points from drivers and teams partly to ensure fans were aware of the rules.issue a reminder that penalties for poor driving standards may include deducting world championship points.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said the stewards should ensure any penalties given this weekend are consistent with those handed down in previous races. However Masi pointed out stewards have the option of issuing points deductions because some penalties become ineffective at the final race of the season.
“The stewards have a huge range of penalties available to them that can be imposed depending upon an incident,” Masi told Sky.
“One part that we need to remember, with the final championship round, is in some cases elements like grid penalties would mean nothing, and things like that. So we need to look at it on that basis.”
The clarification attracted particular interest owing to the championship situation, as Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton arrived at the final race tied on points. However Masi said there were other considerations behind it.
“It was a warning for everyone because there are other battles for the constructors’ championship and so forth, not just Mercedes and Red Bull, but even further down,” he said.
“So it was just a reminder to everyone that this is another one of the penalties that are available to the stewards and to make it clearly aware that it’s not just something that we’re sitting back [about]. We have looked at it all and just wanted to remind everyone both in the paddock, but also at home, that there are other elements that we can consider.”
As race director, Masi has the option of referring incidents to the stewards, but does not decide penalties. However he admitted he doesn’t want to see the championship decided by a penalty.
“It’s not my decision for it to be decided in the stewards room,” said Masi. “There’s two people directly involved from a championship perspective, being Max and Lewis, respectively and it’s up to them.
“I think everyone has said – me included, the stewards included – that the last thing any of us want is for this to be decided in the short term or weeks to come in the Court of Appeal.
“But I’m quite hopeful that between them all, both Mercedes and Red Bull, Max and Lewis, respectively, that they want to sort it out on track with an exciting race to end what has been an exciting 2021 world championship.”
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