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Masi explains Verstappen's lap time deletion

NEWS STORY
03/05/2021

Race director, Michael Masi explains why Max Verstappen had his fastest race lap time deleted after once again falling foul of the track limits rules.

Though he had lost out to title-rival Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen could at least comfort himself in the knowledge that, courtesy of having posted the fastest lap of the race, the Briton's lead in the championship was just 7 points.

However, the Dutchman was subsequently told that his time had been deleted for exceeding the track limits at Turn 14.

Coming on top of the fact that he lost pole position for a similar offence a day earlier, and in Bahrain had to hand the race lead back to his nemesis after being adjudged as running wide - and gaining an advantage - in passing him, Verstappen couldn't believe it.

Told during the trackside interview with Paul di Resta in the moments after the race that his time had been deleted, Verstappen replied: "That's a bit odd because they were not checking track limits in 14, but whatever?"

However, though Turn 14 wasn't mentioned in the race notes sent out by race director, Michael Masi on Friday, the updated version on Saturday did include Turn 14.

"It's a shame," said Verstappen in a subsequent interview. "Stupid track limits, they should just put gravel back! It is what it is, we always try and I had the gap so we went for it."

"As per the event notes and following a review of what happened on Friday in particular, Turn 14 was being used far more," explained Masi after the race, "it wasn't an issue in 2020 but became one in 2021.

"So as a result I gave all the drivers the latitude to use the red and white kerb in a manner similar to Turn 5," he added.

"They were told if they gained a lasting advantage out of reach of those kerbs, being overtaking a car, faster in a mini-sector, whatever it may have been, that it will be looked at.

"And having looked at it post-race it was very clear Max was off-track and faster in that mini-sector than anyone and set the fastest lap of the race which is a world championship point."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Portimao, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Wokingchap, 04/05/2021 10:22

"Is there not someone with the expert capabilities of dear Charlie Whiting (R.I.P) who could replace Mr Masi? If so they should take action asap."

Rating: Negative (-2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by kenji, 04/05/2021 0:59

"@ Roli...You might want to temper your comments somewhat as corner 14 was nominated as problematic and if abused it would attract a penalty in a revised advice issued on Saturday morning and actually highlighted in same. Whilst I think that the entire track limits issue is a total mess, Verstappen/Red Bull need pull their collective heads in and just get on with it, in regards to Portimao. They mucked up."

Rating: Positive (4)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by Roli, 03/05/2021 16:13

"Masi is F1's equivalent to VAR....What a ridiculous decision, what is the point of naming 3 corners where you would be penalised and yet Max went off line on a corner that wasnt nominated. About time Masi got a job with Media Liberty, he has all the necessary attributes to bugger up F1...."

Rating: Negative (-2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by USA1, 03/05/2021 14:47

"Remember the days they had Racing and you could go through the grass if you had to and make a move 👍"

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

5. Posted by Mad Matt, 03/05/2021 11:09

"BTCC uses electronic detection at a lot of tracks so it's clearly possible. I would prefer more natural consequences but I believe that can make life dangerous for motorbike racing.

Even so, I'm convinced there's more they can do to make the consequences of going off track unpalatable. "

Rating: Positive (3)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

6. Posted by Daydah, 03/05/2021 9:49

"Moto GP have started using sensors to police track limits. Why not F1 triggering flashing lights. Make the limit the white line, not some obscure combination of kerbs and wheels."

Rating: Positive (5)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

7. Posted by yakker, 03/05/2021 9:21

"The track limits is a farce. If the track requires a limit put one in, such as a gravel trap, kerbs, whatever. Just don't build circuits with usable areas beyond the track edges, its stupid. All racers will use the area given, but then to have someone watching and say, "too far off track, penalty" and apply that penalty sometime later spoils the racing and is another case of the result is not the result until Monday, when penalties have been decided. Its CRAP."

Rating: Positive (7)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

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