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Masi explains 'delays' with stewards decisions


Race director, Michael Masi has explained why the stewards decision making process has appeared to take longer than usual in recent weeks.

At a time Netflix' Drive to Survive series is being credited with bringing a legion of new fans to the sport, it comes as no surprise that some recent events have appeared to play to the gallery.

Several weeks ago Max Verstappen said he is not taking part in the latest series because it paints a false picture of the sport, suggesting bitterness between drivers when there is none.

On the other hand there is clearly no love lost between certain team bosses, and while one can understand the rivalry between Toto Wolff and Christian Horner, it appeared somewhat staged when Sky Sports gave live coverage of their press conference on Friday, having dropped live coverage of the team principals press conferences a couple of years back.

As if the barbs and smears weren't enough drama for the cameras, bang on cue it was revealed that Mercedes request for a right of review of the incident at Interlagos a week earlier had been denied.

Then, on Sunday, having announced almost three hours after the end of qualifying that Max Verstappen was under investigation - as were Valtteri Bottas and Carlos Sainz - the stewards decision wasn't confirmed until ninety minutes before the start of the race.

Even more curious, whilst Verstappen met with the stewards before Bottas, it was the Dutchman's penalty that was revealed last... though without a drum roll.

Amidst claims that events are increasingly appearing to be 'stage managed', Michael Masi has defended the process.

"I think you need to remember that one of the things, and I'd say all of you around this table have asked for, is for more description in decisions rather than just saying 'this person is guilty' or 'this person is not guilty'," the Australian told members of the media after Sunday's race.

"You actually want as much of an understanding as possible of the process, such as if there were any other similar types of cases.

"The stewards try and write their decision, be that last weekend, this weekend, or any of them that sort of have a level of nuance to them, they put that level of detail into them, and it takes time, to draft, rewrite etc.

"We can have decisions, and that's one part," he continued. "The other part is the teams need to be given the opportunity to present their case.

"As an example, last weekend in Brazil, effectively in total over the two days, Mercedes was presenting to the stewards for about 2.5 hours, so you've got to put that into account as well along with sessions and everything else in between.

"I think sometimes the stewards would be happy to just write 'this person has breached the rules and end of story'," he added, "but then we'll go back a few years and most of you around this table have said you want more description.

"You've also got to think of offset time frames and everything else, such as when people are available and so forth."

Referring to the yellow flag infringements at the end of Q3, he said: "You look at where the cars were on track, go through and have a look at all of the footage of every single car in the top ten, which is what I did.

"Then you look at the data and so forth. Obviously it is time consuming, and you want to make sure of what you've all got, so once we've finally got to it, determined who had done what and what was displayed and what wasn't displayed and so forth we then reported those to the stewards and they sent out the summons."


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1. Posted by Wokingchap, 25/11/2021 18:08

"@G.W.shark....haaaaaaa, love your comment, some others here could do with your sense of humour."

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2. Posted by kenji, 25/11/2021 5:13

"@ Defiant...Yes I have read the official report...a while back. It does answer your negative proposition by stating that the 'new' evidence was 'not significant'. Verstappen in no way opened his steering wheel which would've showed 'intent' but he didn't. Hence the decision not to take it any further. Constant dissing on Masi seems to be a popular pastime these days. Nobody is perfect but I would say that IMO he is eminently more qualified to act a Racing Director than any of the current crop of posters but then those posters don't have to front up and do the they? Consider this..Wolff stated that he expected that the review would not proceed so why lodge an appeal in the first place? It's my guess that he's seeking to undermine the authority of Masi and at the same time trying to intimidate him. Political headgames are all part and parcel of this [questionable ] sport. Let's see what eventuates over the next two deciding races. I don't always like the stewards outcomes but that's more to do with my team/driver bias than intimate knowledge of the sequence of events."

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3. Posted by Great_white_shark, 24/11/2021 19:29

"@workingchap Agreed, even in his current state he would be more qualified than Masi."

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4. Posted by Defiant, 24/11/2021 17:05

"I actually think the onboard footage does show intent, the lack of steering input until the edge of the track is a red flag to me. I do however understand that at speed you may hold off on steering to abruptly to prevent a slide, but that's where telemetry would come in, if Max was in fact doing that, suspension loads, wheel speed sensors etc would all corroborate that and then Merc would have fact to shut down the review. I'd have to eat humble pie and everyone would move on. However, by refusing the right to review, all Masi and his minions have done is sowed more doubt and distrust. Surely to the delight of Netflix."

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5. Posted by Defiant, 24/11/2021 16:48

"@kenji. Yes, I'm wondering if you do.

The Stewards find, in their sole discretion, that:
• With the reservations raised above, the decision is subject to the Right of Review;
• That the Footage is New;
• That the Footage was Unavailable to the Competitor at the time of the decision subject to the petition for review;
• That the Footage is Relevant; but
• That the Footage is not Significant;

The four key points required under Art. 14.1.1 are not met and the Stewards, therefore, deny the Competitor's Right of Review.

Competitors are reminded that, in accordance with Art. 14.3 of the ISC, this decision is not subject to appeal.

So, in short.... they decided it wasn't significant enough to change their original decision... hmmmmm, convenient if you ask me. "

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6. Posted by Wokingchap, 24/11/2021 14:18

"We need another Charlie Whiting."

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7. Posted by kenji, 24/11/2021 5:31

"@ you fully understand the 'right to review 'rules? AFAIK the 'review' rests on the new evidence being presented. If it is not, in the opinion of the stewards, significant, then the review is rejected. That s what I am led to believe happened. IMO after viewing the footage numerous times it appeared to layman me that there was nothing there to indicate 'intent' That's the end of the story and even Wolff admitted that the result is what he expected!!!Mercedes knew that they were on thin ice."

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8. Posted by Defiant, 24/11/2021 4:32

"He says one thing but does the opposite. So was refusing the right to review giving more clarity and explanations??? "

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9. Posted by kenji, 23/11/2021 23:43

"I think that Michael Masi has presented the current process very very well. Complexity and time mixed with sim plicity and F1 are incompatible bedfellows. People need reminding of that. It's too easy to sit behind a computer screen and lob a few uninformed flash bangs into the mix. Just more noise and chatter around the perimeter of common sense to provide the best possible result."

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10. Posted by KKK, 23/11/2021 14:06

"Just excuses. Its quite simple to cure. The problem at the moment is that there are too many regulations and rules. More rules, more desk pushers and people who make the decisions have no idea what its like to race a car."

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