Guenther Steiner receives a reprimand for breaching Article 12.2.1.k of the FIA ISC

Spread the love

Photo credit: MoneyGram Haas F1 Team

Guenther Steiner was vocal about a system reform being necessary due to his irritation about his driver Nico Hulkenberg receiving a penalty at the Monaco Grand Prix that baffled him.

The officials gave Hulkenberg a five-second time penalty and two additional points on his license for initiating a collision on the first lap at Turn 5 with Logan Sargeant at Mirabeau.

He feels that the FIA’s approach of using unpaid stewards is no longer effective and that it is time to bring in experts to help achieve greater consistency.

Ahead of the Spanish GP, he said, “I think we have to just go back to [the question]: do we need a different system for stewards?”

“Every professional sport has got professionals being referees and stuff like this. F1 is one of the biggest sports in the world, and we still have laymen deciding on the fate of people who invest millions in their careers. And it’s always a discussion because there’s no consistency.

“I think we need to step it up. I think it’s now time. I think we’re discussing this for years and years and we always go back to this.”

Furthermore, he added: “Every other sport has professionals for this: American racing, NASCAR, IndyCar. How often do you hear problems with the stewards or race director’s decisions? Very rarely, very rarely. But they’re doing it completely differently.

“There are full time people working there. I’m always saying: innocent until proven guilty. And not that I have to be prove that I was innocent, because it doesn’t work for me. That is not how I conduct life.”

Steiner suggests that the issue of stewards be brought up in the Formula 1 commission so that discussions can be framed about the best way to handle critical situations.

“For me, the first thing is, do we want professional stewards or not,” he said. “And then we need to decide is it a panel, or what is the best?

“I don’t want to decide on it [by myself] but I think we have got a lot of issues with this. We need to recognise this one, and F1, it’s one of the biggest, if not the biggest sport in the world now, and I think we need to step it up. That’s my opinion about it.

“We have referees in football, and they are full time. Thirty years ago, you had the local bakery guy being referee, but that has changed now. They changed it because it needed to be professional, and they are responsible.”

Photo credit: MoneyGram Haas F1 Team

Earlier today, the FIA released an official document summarising the hearing they had with Steiner, Haas F1 Team Manager, the FIA Media Delegate’s representative and the FIA Single Seater Director, where they investigated the choice of wording that the Haas team principal chose when talking about his frustrations with the stewards’ decisions and found him in breach of Article 12.2.1.k of the FIA International Sporting Code and subsequently reprimanded.

This article “refers to “misconduct”, which is defined in the ISC as “..the use of language….which might reasonably be expected or be perceived to…cause offence, humiliation or to be inappropriate”.

It was stated that “Mr Steiner’s word “laymen” and his reference to other sports having “professional” personnel could be, and indeed were, perceived to cause offence and in our view reasonably did cause offence not only to the Stewards in Monaco but also to other FIA personnel and many motorsport volunteers.”

“However, the Stewards accept Mr Steiner’s statement during the hearing that his reference to professionalism was meant to refer to people who worked in a role as their profession and not that the Stewards were acting unprofessionally.”

“Further, Mr Steiner stated his reference to “laymen” was meant to refer to people who worked occasionally and not meant to refer a lack of qualifications or specialisation.”

It was also stated that Steiner apologised to the stewards, saying: “If anyone was hurt by what I said or misunderstood what I said”. The Stewards accepted this apology.

He also “stated that if he had meant to insult or offend anyone, he would have used much different words.”