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FIA explains delay to Verstappen-Leclerc decision

FIA explains delay to Verstappen-Leclerc decision

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FIA explains delay to Verstappen-Leclerc decision

FIA explains delay to Verstappen-Leclerc decision

F1 race director Michael Masi has explained the circumstances which left Max Verstappen with a three-and-a-half-hour wait to celebrate his victory at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Verstappen delivered a spellbinding performance in Spielberg to fight back through the field after a sluggish start, overtaking Leclerc for the victory with three laps to go, although forcing the Ferrari man off-track in the process, having taken the inside line.

The stewards were quick to open an investigation, but did not deliver their verdict until gone 7pm local time in Spielberg.

"The primary part was we didn't get going [with the hearing] until 6pm, [due to] the various media commitments, the [television] pen and the post-race press conference," said Masi.

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"The hearing itself, give or take, was about an hour with all parties involved. The stewards deliberated, looked at other cases, precedents, and spoke between themselves.

"By the time you write the decision and then make sure there are no typos or anything in it and so forth, and then summon the teams back, delivering the decision to them, it quickly [adds up].

"So it was just one of those things, they were considering absolutely everything."

Masi does not believe that the process as it stands could be changed to make similar examples in the future being decided quicker.

"It's just one of those nuances in this sport," he said. "We can't blow a whistle and freeze everything, make a decision, and play on.

"We try wherever possible to have the podium be the podium, but when it's the last two or three laps of the race, it does make it quite difficult.

"If it was something that happened on lap three I would have thought that if the stewards felt they had everything, they would have made a decision and it would have been 'play on'."

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