Michael Masi has responded to Red Bull’s claims regarding track limits which affected both Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen in F1 Portuguese GP.
Red Bull’s Verstappen lost a win to track limits in Bahrain, and then lost his pole lap in F1 Portuguese GP and also the fastest lap in the race. Teammate Perez misjudged McLaren’s Lando Norris going off at Turn 4-5, which team reckoned was place gain going off.
Not just the drivers but all of it irked Christian Horner and Helmut Marko too. “Now we’ve lost the victory, fastest lap, and pole position,” said the Austrian to Sky Sports Germany after the race. “All good things come in threes. I hope that’s the end of it. Something has to change. Either you make a boundary with kerbs or you make gravel or something.
“If you go out, there’s an automatic penalty. [Lando] Norris overtook [Sergio] Perez, went over with all four wheels, and there were no consequences. So it’s not consistent, and that’s not racing when you juggle the rules like that,” summed up Marko.
Responding to both, FIA Race Director Masi, cleared about both the case for Verstappen and Perez. “There were a number of lap times that were deleted during the race. Also there were a few that were deleted during qualifying, and obviously we had a greater number that had less of an impact in the practice sessions that were deleted,” he stated, when asked about the Dutchman’s lap deletion.
“That shows that we were policing the track limits for everyone equally. In addition, it was consistent in with the manner in which the event notes were portrayed, particularly the additional version three that went out on Saturday morning. And that was following the discussion at the drivers’ meeting about what would and wouldn’t be tolerated.
“Regarding the race, as per the event notes, and following a review of what happened on Friday in particular, Turn 14 was being used far more than, it wasn’t an issue in 2020 but became one in 2021, so as a result, I gave all of the drivers the latitude to use the red and white kerb at that corner in a similar manner to Turn 5.
“However, they were told that if they gained a lasting advantage out of each of those, which there is a number of examples being overtaking a car, faster in a mini-sector, whatever it may have been, that it will be looked at. Having looked at it post-race, it’s very clear that Max was a) off the track, but b) that he was faster in that mini-sector than anyone, and as a result got the fastest lap of the race, which is a point.
“I must clear that all of the track limit breaches that come up are actually stewards penalties that are imposed. Whilst I look and review them and make a recommendation, the stewards are the ones that impose the penalty and deletion of the lap time. With regards to the second part, that was actually reported by Red Bull during the race, and was reviewed, and no, Lando did not overtake Sergio at Turn 4 outside of the track. It was a passing manoeuvre under brakes into Turn 5 at the end of a DRS zone,” summed up Masi.
Here’s Sergio Perez on misjudging Lando Norris’ move
Here’s Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen on their re-start duel