There was no “hidden agenda” or anything “sinister” in the stewards’ decision to penalty Sebastian Vettel in Canada, or so says Ross Brawn.
Vettel’s Canadian Grand Prix penalty made headlines in the wake of Sunday’s race as it denied the Ferrari driver his first win of the campaign.
Fans, and pundits, are split as to whether he deserved the penalty with the stewards’ ruling stating that he had made an “unsafe” return to the track while racing against Lewis Hamilton.
But as to what Brawn, a former Ferrari technical director turned Mercedes boss turned F1’s sporting boss, feels about the penalty, he’s not willing to share his thoughts.
Instead the Englishman says he wants greater transparency from the stewards regarding their decisions.
“I can understand how Vettel feels,” he said in his race summary, “and I know Ferrari intends to appeal the decision.
“I also know what a difficult job the stewards have as they have to reach their decision in a very short time, producing a verdict that can affect the outcome of the race.
“As such, I don’t want to give an opinion on the decision, because in my position it would be wrong to do so.
“I have a lot of respect for the work of the stewards and for their professionalism and I believe they would be the first to say that they would prefer not to see a race outcome decided via a penalty.
“At the same time, I understand how difficult it must be for fans to understand why the driver on the top step of the podium is not the one who crossed the finish line first.
“That’s why transparency is important when it comes to explaining the decisions of the stewards, especially in such a complex sport as Formula 1.
“It is in football, where despite the arrival of VAR, there is still discussion as to whether a handball should be punished with a penalty or not,” said Brawn, a keen Manchester United supporter.
“Therefore, it might be useful to work with the FIA on solutions that would allow the stewards to explain their decisions to the fans and to elaborate on how they reached them.”
Shutting down all conspiracies, Brawn insisted there was nothing underhanded in the stewards’ actions.
He concluded: “I would emphatically add is that there is nothing sinister about a decision like this.
“You might agree with it or not, but none of those who take on the role of steward each weekend has a hidden agenda and fans can be certain of that.”