Steiner facing ‘paddock ban’ for criticising stewards

Michelle Foster


Haas team boss Guenther Steiner is facing a ‘draconian punishment’ from the FIA following his criticism of race commissioner Emanuele Pirro.

Haas driver Kevin Magnussen was handed a five-second time penalty at the Russian GP that demoted him from eighth to ninth.

Steiner blamed Pirro.

“If it wasn’t for a stupid, idiotic steward, we would be eighth,” he told Magnussen as the driver did his in-lap.

Magnussen replied: “Yeah, what a load of shit.”

The criticism of Pirro caught the attention of the FIA.

As this is not the first time that Steiner has publicly criticised the stewards, motorsport’s governing body is keen to take action against the Austria.

According to, the FIA is considering three different punishments.

One is a hefty fine of 250,000 euros while the second is a points’ deduction for Haas.

That would cost them in the Constructors’ Championship, the standings that decide the prize money awarded at the end of the season.

The third, though, could yet be the harshest with a “paddock ban”.

That would leave Steiner having to watch the weekend’s action from the grandstands, similar to football when a manager is thrown out of the dugout and sent to the stands.

FIA race director Michael Masi told “Ultimately we’re all here to do our job, be it the officials, the teams, everyone, and there has to be a degree of mutual respect.

“If something inappropriate was said, there are those responsible for legal issues off the racetrack who can look at it.”

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