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FIA explain Verstappen yellow-flag confusion

FIA explain Verstappen yellow-flag confusion

F1 News

2 comments

FIA explain Verstappen yellow-flag confusion

FIA explain Verstappen yellow-flag confusion

FIA race director Michael Masi has explained "local officials" were responsible for displaying yellow flags after Max Verstappen was hit by a five-place penalty in Qatar Grand Prix qualifying.

After Pierre Gasly suffered a front wing failure and resulting puncture at the close of Q3 on Saturday, single yellow flags were displayed before briefly being rescinded with double-waved yellows following shortly after.

In the confusion, Valtteri Bottas was handed a three-place drop for ignoring single-yellows with Verstappen penalised for a double-yellow breach where drivers should slow and be prepared to stop.

After team principal Christian Horner described the marshal displaying double-yellows as a "rogue marshal", comments for which he received an official FIA warning, Masi attempted to clear up any confusion.

“With all yellow flags that are displayed, they are displayed from trackside," explained Masi.

"They are in the hands of the officials' control as they are at every venue in any form of the sport anywhere and if they deem that it is a single or a double, it is up to those officials to determine that.

“They judge what they see before them so that is why they are there.

"Since the inception of the light panels, the yellow flags, white flags, blue flags during practice and qualifying…effectively, the things that aren’t operated by the local official are either the safety car, which is centrally controlled, VSC [virtual safety car], which is centrally controlled, and red flags, as in red flags on the light panels.

“Those three things are centrally controlled. Everything else is for the local officials to operate.”

Confirming he had watched footage from all cars lapping at the time of Gasly's incident, Masi added the delay in the decision-making process was largely down to the time zone the sport was operating in.

“Once we finally got to it, we determined who had done what and what was displayed and what wasn’t displayed and so forth, then reported those to the stewards and obviously, they sent out their summons," said Masi.

“You’ve also got to think about offset time frames and everything else that you haven’t taken into account in the timeframe when people are available and so forth and when people get here and curfews.

“The curfew covers off at this venue, it didn’t end until 12 [noon – 9 am UK], so when people are due to get here and all the rest of it comes into the timing.”

What do you think?
Symanski

In short, drivers have to obey both the physical flags and the light panels.

They especially have to obey the yellow flags being waved as it is the marshals at the trackside who are waving them. They can see immediately in front of them what's happening, and probably one of their friends is out on track helping another driver.

Marshals are the worst paid, and most important people at a race track. Paid nothing but without them nobody goes racing. Show them some respect for what they do.

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Senior
Symanski
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Aug 2021
First Poster
Symanski

In short, drivers have to obey both the physical flags and the light panels.

They especially have to obey the yellow flags being waved as it is the marshals at the trackside who are waving them. They can see immediately in front of them what's happening, and probably one of their friends is out on track helping another driver.

Marshals are the worst paid, and most important people at a race track. Paid nothing but without them nobody goes racing. Show them some respect for what they do.

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Amateur
YB23
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Sep 2021
YB23

Considering the responsibility that one has when being a marchal at a F1 track or any other for that matter; one would atleast assume that they have been trained properly before handed over ditto responsibility. Horners unfortunate remarks obviously hint towards the lack of training and experience. We cannot expect the locally drafted stewards to have such experience and this was the very first F1 race held at that track . Given the costs involved running such event I don’t understand why FIA didn’t fly in experienced marchals to assist the local ones . My 2c …

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