Christian Horner and Toto Wolff are at odds over the stewards visit during F1 British GP, where Michael Masi sees no problems with it.
Much like last year when Lewis Hamilton paid a visit to the stewards when the race was red-flagged, Mercedes F1 chief Wolff did so during British GP after he got a memo that Horner and Red Bull radioed a complaint to FIA Race Director, Masi.
Wolff stated that he wanted to put Mercedes’ point of view into the collision between Hamilton and Max Verstappen. While Helmut Marko rallied for a suspension to the media, Horner and Jonathan Wheatley were more on an extreme penalty scenario.
Hamilton was handed a 10s penalty eventually, which Masi described as apt from the four FIA stewards for the weekend, as he missed the apex and collided with Verstappen. The time penalty is the comes along a strict penalty, but not the strictest.
Post-race, both Hamilton and Mercedes were not happy with the penalty, but took it to the chin, while co-incidently, Red Bull were not pleased either, because the 10s did not matter in the end, where the Brit eventually ended up winning the British GP.
“I was told that there was a rant on the radio to Michael about all the badness in the world,” said Wolff to written media when asked about the reason for his visit to the stewards after mailing them initially. “And then I went up and gave my opinion. I think it’s fair enough. I’ve been to the stewards many times in my life.”
Horner, meanwhile, found it unacceptable for a team boss to meet the stewards, where he thought meeting Masi was still fine. “I saw Toto who was lobbying the stewards, which I heard that’s what he was going there to do,” he said to written media. “So I went to make sure that our view was represented because I don’t think it’s right that team principals should be able to go and lobby the stewards.
“They should be locked away so that they’re not influenced. For me, that was unacceptable that he had gone up there to lobby the stewards. So I wanted to make sure that there was a balanced opinion given, rather than trying to influence pressure on the stewards to make a menial sentence. I don’t think the stewards should be interfered with.
“They need to be there clear-headed to be able to make those decisions. I went to see the stewards because I heard that Toto was up there presenting a case and you want it to be fair and balanced but I don’t think anybody should be allowed to see the stewards during the course of a grand prix. I made it very clear what my opinion was [to Wolff],” summed up Horner.
While Horner did not like Wolff visiting the stewards office, Masi was fine as noted above. “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 to pool of written media. “We had the case in Monza last year when Lewis went and spoke to the stewards to understand and have a look at the whole thing. It’s during the suspension, so that ability exists, there’s no reason not to.
“The radio messages from them are not frustrating too. Obviously, that’s part of what they do. It comes about in various waves, depending on what it is. Everyone’s looking after their own little patch of turf, so to speak, which you’d expect. But from my perspective, I treat them all equally and trying to balance up what we’ve got to do and set certain priorities within your own mind of what you’ve got and need to prioritise accordingly.
“There was a couple of times with Mercedes-Benz or with Red Bull at the time where I said ‘just hang five and I’ll get back to you’, which happened earlier, which you probably didn’t hear, you only heard the one that was broadcast. Whatever sniping might happen between Red Bull and Mercedes behind the scenes is not of concern to us. We judge on what happens out there on the sporting field or on the track in our circumstance,” summed up Masi.
Here’s the radio message: https://twitter.com/F1/status/1417223971464876042?s=20
Here’s Lewis Hamilton on learning and aggression from him, Max Verstappen
Here’s what Red Bull duo and Mercedes duo said after F1 British GP