Guenther Steiner criticizes the FIA for favoring Max Verstappen.

Guenther Steiner, the esteemed team principal of Haas, has vehemently voiced his profound dissatisfaction with the perceived inconsistency prevailing in the decision-making process of Formula 1 stewards. This dissatisfaction was sparked by the recent incident involving Max Verstappen’s alleged impeding of Kevin Magnussen during a crucial qualifying session.

In an extensive and impassioned interview with Sky Italy, Steiner bared his frustration, emphasizing the pressing necessity for an unwavering commitment to the consistent application of rules and penalties, ensuring an equitable approach to all drivers in the highly competitive realm of Formula 1.

“They’re inconsistent. Max didn’t do it on purpose, but the rules should be the same for everyone,” Steiner stated.

Emphasizing his belief that if a Haas car had been involved in a similar incident, the stewards would not have been as lenient.

He added, “When I heard that they checked the audio of the sound of the engine and assumed Kevin didn’t slow down, and they concluded that Max didn’t do anything, I was confused because it was not true. They’re so inconsistent with their decisions, depending on who’s deciding. If the situation had been reversed, we would’ve received a penalty. I’m almost sure about this.”

The official statement released by the FIA sheds light on the accounts provided by both drivers involved in the incident. It quoted, “The driver of Car 1 [Verstappen] stated that he saw a car approaching after he crossed the line at the end of his push lap and moved to the left of the track after the exit of Turn 1.” Additionally, it stated, “The driver of Car 20 [Magnussen] stated that he had to move to the right to avoid Car 1 and hence lost time on his fast lap.”

The stewards meticulously based their astute judgment on the abundant video and audio evidence meticulously gathered. After thorough examination, they reached a conclusion that reverberated throughout the paddock. It was determined that Kevin Magnussen, unfortunately, had a brush with the kerb in the treacherous confines of Turn 1, resulting in a subtle perturbation in acceleration and subsequently translating into a slower time across the ensuing mini sectors. However, it was unequivocally established that Magnussen did not find himself compelled to undertake any significant evasive maneuvers.

It is within the context of these findings that Steiner’s poignant criticism arises, stemming from his discerning perception of the stewards’ decisions exhibiting a disconcerting inconsistency, seemingly subject to arbitrary variations contingent on the identities of the drivers involved. With unwavering conviction, he firmly believes that had the roles been reversed, Haas would have been subjected to punitive measures for impeding a fellow driver.

This unfortunate incident, once again, thrusts into the spotlight the persisting debate surrounding the imperative need for unwavering consistency in the judicious application of rules and penalties within the highly competitive realm of Formula 1, a paramount issue that continues to occupy the minds of teams, drivers, and passionate fans alike.