Salo receives death threats for Max penalty

Date published: October 26 2017

Former F1 driver turned FIA steward Mika Salo has said he has received death threats following Max Verstappen's controversial penalty at the United States Grand Prix.

Verstappen was stripped of a podium spot after being handed a five-second penalty for exceeding track limits in his last-lap overtake on Kimi Raikkonen.

The punishment sparked outrage in the paddock and fans also voiced their displeasure over the incident.

Salo's Wikipedia page, for instance, was changed several times with edits such as:

'"As a steward of the FIA he helped Ferrari by giving Max Verstappen unreasonable penalties, which hurt the feelings of Dutch fans and made them cry to like children."

And the conspiracy theorists also changed the page with the following paragraph:

"Lately he’s being paid by Ferrari as an independent steward to make sure Ferrari will be world champion again."

But while Salo saw the funny side of the edits, the threats to his life were a step too far.

"I have received death threats, mainly from Holland," Salo told Finland's SuomiF1.

"The change in the Wikipedia article was a fun joke, but threats to me and other members of the jury should not be tolerated."

Salo also reiterated that the decision to punish Verstappen was the correct one.

"It was a punishment, but the rules are rules," Salo added.

"They clearly state that if the driver gets the benefit of rectification, he will be followed by a penalty.

"Max was ahead of Kimi Raikkonen behind, but after the curve, thanks to the correction ahead of Ferrari. The situation is clear."