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F1 personnel face sanctions for future stewards' visit without invitation

F1 personnel face sanctions for future stewards' visit without invitation

F1 personnel face sanctions for future stewards' visit without invitation

F1 personnel face sanctions for future stewards' visit without invitation

FIA race director Michael Masi has warned all F1 team bosses and drivers they face the threat of sanctions if they visit the stewards at future grands prix without invitation.

Masi's decision comes following a contentious British Grand Prix weekend and the perceived "lobbying" of the stewards by Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, according to Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

Wolff was himself incensed by Horner's comments to Masi over the radio in the wake of Max Verstappen's collision with Lewis Hamilton on lap one of the Silverstone race.

Horner made it clear Hamilton should be heavily penalised for a race-ruining and highly expensive incident given the damage to the car.

Upon hearing Horner's words, Wolff also radioed to Masi, alerting him to an email he had sent highlighting diagrams of the rules of engagement at a corner.

Masi instructed Wolff he was too busy to open his email and instead to speak to the stewards directly, prompting Horner to pay his own visit in order to put the case for Red Bull.

Masi has since written to all teams clarifying that access to the stewards across a race weekend is strictly limited, and that admission is only permitted via prior approval or if summoned directly in relation to an incident.

In the email communication, seen by GPFans Global, Masi wrote: "Following several internal discussions, together with conversations with a number of team sporting directors following the British Grand Prix, we would like to clarify the manner in which a competitor, their duly authorised representatives and/or drivers are permitted access to the stewards’ office at any time during an event.

“Access to the stewards’ office is strictly limited to the stewards, the stewards’ secretary and the stewards' operator.

"Admission to the stewards' office by a competitor is only permitted with the prior approval of the stewards or following a decision of the stewards to summons a competitor and/or driver.

“Any competitor or person associated with a competitor who does not comply with the requirements outlined above may be considered to have breached Article 12.2.1.i of the International Sporting Code. We trust that the above is clear.”

Under the relevant article, a variety of sanctions are possible under the regulation, which includes a fine, points deduction or even disqualification.

Masi stated after Sunday's event he has no qualms with representations being made to the stewards by a team representative or driver, as occurred at Silverstone, and by Hamilton during last year's Italian Grand Prix.

In that instance, Hamilton entered a closed pit lane following a heavy crash involving Ferrari's Charles Leclerc.

"We had the case in Monza last year when Lewis went and spoke to the stewards to understand what happened and have a look at the whole picture," said Masi.

"During the suspension, that ability exists, so there's no reason not to."

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