Whitmarsh: Harshly treated by stewards

Date published: March 28 2011

McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh believes his team were “a bit harshly treated” by the stewards, who slapped Jenson Button with a penalty in Oz…

McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh believes his team were “a bit harshly treated” by the stewards, who slapped Jenson Button with a penalty in Melbourne.

Fighting with Felipe Massa for position, Button finally overtook the Brazilian but did so off the track. Instead of handing the place back to the Ferrari driver, McLaren asked race director Charlie Whiting for clarification as Button felt “he forced me off the circuit.”

However, Whiting did not give McLaren an answer, passing the decision over to the Australian GP stewards.

And as Ferrari opted to pit Massa when it became known that the stewards were investigating the incident, Button was hit with a drive-through penalty.

“I feel a bit harshly treated because as the incident happened we asked race control for their advice, what we should do, they explained they would come back to us and they didn’t,” Whitmarsh told the Telegraph.

“The next thing we knew it had gone to the stewards, Massa had stopped and we were unable to do anything about it.

“When they say ‘We’ll get back to you’, you expect, to be honest, that they’ll get back to you. You don’t expect to read it on page three, three or four minutes later.”

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