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Brawn: Nothing sinister behind decision to penalise Vettel

  • Published on 11 Jun 2019 18:27
  • comments 8
  • By: Fergal Walsh

There was nothing sinister behind the stewards' decision to penalise Sebastian Vettel during the Canadian Grand Prix, according to Ross Brawn.

Formula 1's managing director spoke about the controversial decision that denied Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel their first win of the season in Montreal after it was deemed Vettel rejoined the track unsafely. 

"I can understand the disappointment and frustration Vettel felt (and that he is surely still feeling), as he feels he was robbed of a deserved win," Brawn wrote in his post-race debrief. 

"The most important thing from the weekend, though, is that the fans saw a vintage Vettel performance, which has perhaps been absent since last year’s Belgian Grand Prix."

Brawn suggested that it would be a good idea for the FIA to provide fans with insight as to why certain decisions are made.

"I have a lot of respect for the work of the stewards and for their professionalism and I believe they would be the first to say that they would prefer not to see a race outcome decided via a penalty," he said.

"At the same time, I understand how difficult it must be for fans to understand why the driver on the top step of the podium is not the one who crossed the finish line first.

"That’s why transparency is important when it comes to explaining the decisions of the stewards, especially in such a complex sport as Formula 1.

"It is in football, where despite the arrival of VAR, there is still discussion as to whether a handball should be punished with a penalty or not.

"Therefore, it might be useful to work with the FIA on solutions that would allow the stewards to explain their decisions to the fans and to elaborate on how they reached them."

But Brawn says that there was nothing controversial behind the decision to hand Vettel a penalty, with the Briton sanctioning that no steward has a hidden agenda against a particular driver or team.

"Having said that, I would emphatically add is that there is nothing sinister about a decision like this.

"You might agree with it or not, but none of those who take on the role of steward each weekend has a hidden agenda, and fans can be certain of that," Brawn asserted.

Replies (8)

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  • The only reason this was such a big deal was the names involved. This wasn't anywhere near as controversial as they have made it appear. We've definitely seen worse. The other thing that has made this a huge drama was Sebastian's massive overreaction and corresponding antics after the race. Agree with the decision or not, it (1) it wasn't a straightforward decision, and (2) it should have been a straightforward but Seb made another mistake under pressure.

    I also understand the fans frustration, because the rules in theory prevented a battle (although I don't agree with that because Lewis was still trying to overtake on track, probably to make it feel more like a real win). Additionally, I understand Sebastian desperation for a win, and absolute necessity to take the attention away from his mistake and put it all on the stewards.

    • + 0
    • Jun 11 2019 - 21:46
    • Feelings would be different if it was the other way around. if Hamilton was penalised

      • + 0
      • Jun 11 2019 - 22:53
    • I agree with the point about it being treated differently because of the drivers involved. However when a decision involves the championship contenders it’s always going to be in the spotlight.
      As for Vettels overreaction, he’s got form for that. It isn’t that long ago he clashed wheels with Lewis because he thought he brake tested him. Who would have thought a 4 times world champion would be highly strung 😃

      • + 0
      • Jun 11 2019 - 23:21
    • @f1fan0101 I opposed the imposition of the penalty, but not because it wasn't against the rules. Rather, because it was marginal and I wanted to see the race flow. It wouldn't be different if it were Hamilton I don't hate the guy. In fact, I opposed the penalty he got in 2008 of 25 seconds. But I get it's difficult for people to think about this without going to the extremes or assuming others are equally polarized

      • + 0
      • Jun 11 2019 - 23:23
  • I fell like this will still be talked about when we get to france

    • + 0
    • Jun 11 2019 - 22:53
    • boudy

      Posts: 1,168

      agreed, it was interesting to see. My initial thought was to see the race flow also but than i remember all the penalties other drivers got for similar (or even lesser) issues (Remember when verstappen cut the corner when he lost his brakes an Vettel was following). With that in mind I think the penalty is just. However would he have gotten the penalty if other drivers were involved. If Vettel came of the gas whilst on the grass he would have lost momentum and come back on the circuit slower giving Hamilton the opportunity to overtake but he didn't and Hamilton had to brake/slow down to not have contact. The fact that Hamilton had to do this was the issue. The rules need to be changed around this issue, but for everyone and not just the top two teams. Stewards did a good job here, but i don't like it.

      • + 1
      • Jun 12 2019 - 07:56
  • Bob60

    Posts: 1

    Should off team told Vettel let Hamilton pass him. As Vettels car fastest on straight and with DRS retake Hamilton. Which would off stoped time penalty and made for more interesting race

    • + 0
    • Jun 13 2019 - 10:33
    • It wouldnt have reset the time penalty. He would have been dropped to third

      • + 0
      • Jun 13 2019 - 21:34

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