“The stewards are an independent court”– FIA race director Michael Masi responds to Fernando Alonso’s nationality comments.
Fernando Alonso raised eyebrows before the Turkish Grand Prix when he accused the FIA of nationality bias when penalizing the drivers for violating the rules.
Alonso’s reference was to Lando Norris avoiding a penalty for crossing the white line on pit entry in Sochi, sliding across the wet tarmac on his dry tyres before making it to his pit box.
Now, FIA Race Director Michael Masi has responded to Alonso’s British bias comments. He claims that FIA stewards are independent, and no such influence is ever made.
— James (@TheSpeer7) October 10, 2021
“I don’t deal with that at all. Every driver has a right to their views and comments, whether internally or to the media, and that’s fine,” said Masi, quoted by Motorsport-Total. “The rules are applied equally to everyone.
“The stewards are an independent court that checks everything. They look at everything, case by case. Stewards are there to review each case with all the information and data available to them and then ultimately make their decision.”
The decision will be made on the merits
Masi referencing Norris escaping a penalty said that the stewards made their decision on the facts present to them at that moment, but he also said that the drivers have the right
“The stewards made their decision at that point based on what they had. That’s history. Every team has the right to talk about consistency and so on. But we have a kind of general way of parameters, and they are all well aware of where they are.”
In Turkey, Pierre Gasly spun Alonso, for which the Frenchman received a five-second penalty. But after the race, Alonso said it wasn’t his fault. But Masi feels such additions by drivers will not move stewards in their decisions.
“No, not at all,” he said when asked if Alonso’s words had influence. “We are fortunate to have a very good group of stewards throughout the year. I can say that it doesn’t put any extra pressure on them.”