Points deduction rule reminder was issued for fans as well as drivers – Masi

2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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FIA Formula 1 race director Michael Masi said he issued a reminder the stewards can deduct points from drivers and teams partly to ensure fans were aware of the rules.

Ahead of the championship-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend, Masi used his race directors’ notes to issue a reminder that penalties for poor driving standards may include deducting world championship points.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said the stewards should ensure any penalties given this weekend are consistent with those handed down in previous races. However Masi pointed out stewards have the option of issuing points deductions because some penalties become ineffective at the final race of the season.

“The stewards have a huge range of penalties available to them that can be imposed depending upon an incident,” Masi told Sky.

“One part that we need to remember, with the final championship round, is in some cases elements like grid penalties would mean nothing, and things like that. So we need to look at it on that basis.”

The clarification attracted particular interest owing to the championship situation, as Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton arrived at the final race tied on points. However Masi said there were other considerations behind it.

“It was a warning for everyone because there are other battles for the constructors’ championship and so forth, not just Mercedes and Red Bull, but even further down,” he said.

“So it was just a reminder to everyone that this is another one of the penalties that are available to the stewards and to make it clearly aware that it’s not just something that we’re sitting back [about]. We have looked at it all and just wanted to remind everyone both in the paddock, but also at home, that there are other elements that we can consider.”

As race director, Masi has the option of referring incidents to the stewards, but does not decide penalties. However he admitted he doesn’t want to see the championship decided by a penalty.

“It’s not my decision for it to be decided in the stewards room,” said Masi. “There’s two people directly involved from a championship perspective, being Max and Lewis, respectively and it’s up to them.

“I think everyone has said – me included, the stewards included – that the last thing any of us want is for this to be decided in the short term or weeks to come in the Court of Appeal.

“But I’m quite hopeful that between them all, both Mercedes and Red Bull, Max and Lewis, respectively, that they want to sort it out on track with an exciting race to end what has been an exciting 2021 world championship.”

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2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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25 comments on “Points deduction rule reminder was issued for fans as well as drivers – Masi”

  1. So in Silverstone they gave a penalty for the incident and did not took consequences in account said masi.
    Now they will give penalty’s and look at the consequences and not at the incident.
    Very consistent indeed….

    1. Absolutely. This Masi guy in making up rules and bending the rulebook every weekend.

    2. Do you get paid per comment or do you have no life.

      1. Brutal.

      2. @Prab totally unnecessary comment but typical of the arrogance and nastiness of some of Hamilton’s fans on here

        1. I am a racing fan, not a Hamilton fan.

          But he deserves it.

    3. If the stewards had any guts Max should have got a penalty in Silverstone for attempting a block pass at high speed whilst taking the outside line.
      Hamilton only got a penalty because they looked at the outcome.
      Masi and his stewards are under a strange kind of pressure, some political and some self induced.

      They have shown that they owe some drivers and explanation or two.

    4. It’s pretty clear what he’s talking about. He’s not saying that they’ll replace a 10 second race penalty with a dsq. He’s saying that there are penalty situations that would be ineffective at the last race of the season. Eg should a serious incident warrant a one race ban that mid season would be a big punishment, but at last race of the season be meaningless.

      Or the actual example he gave – taking someone out to win the title in exchange for a 5 place grid drop at the first race of next season isn’t fair. But mid season a 5 place grid drop would be fair.

      1. But I can totally understand why Max fans would want the stewarding to be consistent with Brazil.

  2. Absolute joker, needs to quiet down. He doesn’t ensure the penalties already available have been applied appropriately all season. Now he’s just trying to act like mr big man on campus.

  3. It should be points deductions for anything intentional, and usual penalties for anything accidental. And it’s up to Masi and the stewards to decide if an incident is intentional or not.

    1. It’s nearly impossible, in most cases, to prove an incident is intentional. The only definitely intentional collision I remember seeing is when Vettel bumped Hamilton after he thought he had brake checked him. If they back themselves into a corner with an “only intentional” rule, they’d be left having to prove intent. That’s a recipe for appeals and legal challenges which leave the championship decided by lawyers.

  4. We need to remember that Massi is a Liberty man.

    1. Does that mean an entertainment industry type as race control?

    2. Should a race director be a former F1 driver (who has not an actual family interest in the game, of course)?

  5. It’s never wise for the referee to gather such attention.

  6. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    11th December 2021, 15:27

    The only reason to give a grid penalty for an offense during a race, if it happens at a moment in time during which the stewards have their hands full, or near the end of a race. If we get a ‘this will be investigated after the race’ somewhere during the first half of the race for Ves/RBR, we just know Garry is going to try and get points reducted from Verstappen. As otherwise a normal time penalty would suffice and be in-line with previous races.

    1. @barryfromdownunder
      They can still give time penalties after the race too, which in effect might be a point deduction or not depending on the relative race times, in fact that would be the normal way to penalise most racing incidents. Grid penalties are normally handed down for causing major crashes as far as I recall?

  7. Massi is poor at his job in my personal opinion.

    1. The type of guard who aprehends those stealing office pins and fails to spot the group hauling sack loads of cash

  8. Having created the wrong precidence all season , this edict is the least they could do to set the record straight.

    That said how many point are they thinking of deducting. Since the amount of points will have a baring on the ‘risk / rewards’ which so under pins the way these drivers think.

    If Max takes out Hamilton but manages to completes the race, does he lose the points he gains plus 1? Or
    does he lose a fixed amount of points, eg 10 points, as he goes on to finish 1st.

    Would this be any different to his 10 seconds penalty in the last race?

  9. They already penalise the fans quite enough. We don’t need reminding! :-)

  10. The same procedure should have been applied all year in that case, including points deduction for Louis in Silverdtone.

    1. And Max in Monza, Brazil and Jeddah.

  11. Personally, I’m just hoping there is no need for those in the race. A clean race by all will crown a worthy champion, no matter which it is, in my opinion. If these penalties have to be applied (or even considered) for an incident in this race, it goes down as a failure of all involved: drivers, bosses, stewards and race director. It would also push this season over the edge from “scrappy” to “farcical”.

    Fingers crossed for a good race tomorrow.

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