Masi denies setting pit lane precedent

Date published: July 31 2019

Charles-Leclerc-Ferrari-pit-stop-PA

Michael Masi has rubbished claims that the FIA have set a dangerous precedent by only penalising Ferrari for the unsafe release of Charles Leclerc in the Hockenheim pits.

Leclerc was released into the path of Romain Grosjean during the German Grand Prix.

It was a clear case of unsafe release, however, rather than penalising the driver five seconds, the stewards opted to hand Ferrari a monetary fine.

There are concerns that this will lead to open season in the pits with teams taking risks to gain any advantage.

Masi, F1’s race director, doesn’t believe a precedent has been set.

“I don’t think so,” he said. “I think it’s one of those… I think you’ve got to take each… I’m very much a firm believer, and the teams all agree, that you treat each case on its own merits.”

“As much as you can try and group things, generally, you have to treat each and every circumstance that comes up, and judge it, so yeah I think in the end that’s pretty straightforward.”

He went onto explain why Max Verstappen was penalised in Monaco whereas only Ferrari were punished in Germany.

“In Monaco, for clarification, it was labelled an unsafe release but it was actually for causing a collision in the pit lane,” Masi said. “So that’s why that was different to Germany, which was clearly an unsafe release.

“Part of the discussion we had with team managers the other day, knowing the conditions could be changeable, and also taking into account everyone coming into the pit lane to do tyres at the same time is going to be a factor, it is still quite clearly consistent with the previous penalties.

“The fact that every other team thereafter was out didn’t, even though the fast lane is as wide as it is, didn’t allow what we saw at Silverstone with the car driving on the painted area.”

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