Masi reacts to Hamilton's victimisation claim

29/09/2020
NEWS STORY

FIA race director, Michael Masi has reacted to Lewis Hamilton's claim that he is being victimised by the sport's powers that be.

Speaking in the moments after the Russian Grand Prix and again at the subsequent official press conference, the world champion claimed that the sport's powers that be were "trying to stop" him.

His comments came in the wake of two time penalties, for an incident before the race, which effectively ended any chance of winning.

"From my perspective it's very simple that if Lewis wants to raise something - as I have said to him before and said to all the drivers numerous times - the door is always open," said Masi.

"I'm more than happy to discuss anything," he continued, "but I think from an FIA perspective we are there as a sporting regulator to administer the regulations.

"We have the stewards as an independent judiciary to adjudicate those, and therefore there was an infringement and it doesn't matter if it was Lewis Hamilton or any one of the other 19 drivers, if a breach has occurred of the regulations they will consider it on its merits.

"And further to that I would say adjudicate it equitably and fairly in the circumstances, taking all of the key elements into account."

Referring to Hamilton's claim that he has never been penalised for performing practice starts further down the pitlane at other events, Masi said: "The practice start location is obviously very circuit specific and detailed in the event notes.

"So at every other event Lewis has, along with all the other drivers, complied with the requirements of where they perform a practice start in accordance with the race director instructions.

"I would say that the reason why we determine where the practice start location is is for the safety of all drivers, and also so everybody is aware of what is actually happening. We determine its location for a deliberate reason."

The Australian also clarified that the 'double penalty' wasn't for performing two starts but because by stopping where he to perform them, Hamilton contravened a separate regulation.

"Actually it wasn't a second penalty," said Masi. "There was a breach of two elements of the regulations that were highlighted. One being the article within the race director's event notes, the second being Article 36.1 of the Sporting Regulations that states you must keep a constant speed through the pit exit road, the pit exit road being defined by being where the red lights are at pit exit through to the Safety Car line."

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Published: 29/09/2020
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