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FIA explain controversial Vettel WeRaceAsOne reprimand

FIA explain controversial Vettel WeRaceAsOne reprimand

FIA explain controversial Vettel WeRaceAsOne reprimand

FIA explain controversial Vettel WeRaceAsOne reprimand
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

FIA race director Michael Masi has explained why Sebastian Vettel and three other drivers were reprimanded for failing to remove their WeRaceAsOne shirts ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Vettel adorned a rainbow-coloured shirt to support the LGBTQ+ community during the WRAO moment due to anti-LGBTQ+ laws being pushed by the Hungarian government dividing the country.

Lewis Hamilton stood for the community on social media ahead of the weekend whilst Vettel also wore rainbow-striped trainers and a rainbow coloured face mask.

Vettel, Carlos Sainz, Valtteri Bottas and Lance Stroll were all reprimanded for failing to follow pre-race procedure

When asked about the investigation over the WRAO shirt, the Aston Martin driver replied: "They can do whatever they want to me, I don't care. I will do it again."

Explaining the pre-race procedure, Masi said: "Earlier this year, following discussions internally with the FIA and F1, we clarified that we wanted to keep giving the drivers the ability to have the moment to show their support for WeRaceAsOne however they chose to.

"But then the national anthem for a particular country should be respected with all drivers wearing their race suits.

"So it was clarified and made very clear that once that moment was displayed and drivers showed their recognition, they would have to remove their shirt or anything else they wore and go to the national anthem in their race team uniform.

"That has been the same for a number of events now and this has been the first event where it has happened since.

"All of those drivers that kept their shirts on - it wasn't just Sebastian, it was four or five drivers - received a non-driving reprimand for failing to follow the race directors' instructions."

The reprimands handed out to the four drivers differ from an on-track reprimand due to the nature of the offence, but Masi explained in what scenario accrued off-track reprimands could lead to a competition penalty.

"It is a non-driving reprimand," he added. "You look at all penalties on the basis of what they are and reprimands are the lowest penalty other than a warning which really, is not a penalty.

"A non-driving reprimand, you need to have two driving reprimands and one non-driving to ultimately get to a grid penalty but as an example, three non-driving reprimands doesn't have that impact."

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