Michael Masi admits the call not to penalise Kimi Raikkonen for passing Fernando Alonso off the track at the US Grand Prix was “marginal”.
But, says the FIA race director, it came down to the fact that Alonso pushed the Alfa Romeo off the track, he didn’t run wide by himself.
Alonso was annoyed with F1’s race stewards after the United States GP, saying the “rules are a little bit random” and that the fans had been deprived of a good show because of it.
The Spaniard’s complaint boiled down to his lap 16 battle with Raikkonen where the Finn gained a position off the track.
“I can understand his frustration,” Masi said. “I’ve not heard his frustration, but I can understand it.
“The call with regards to him and Kimi at Turn 1 was certainly marginal. And something we’ll have a discussion with the next drivers meeting with all the drivers about it.
“I think there were two parts to the story, obviously the overtake and looking at the forcing off track. And then the subsequent element of the overtake.
“It’s something we’ll discuss as a group at the next meeting.”
The difference between a penalty and not a penalty, Masi agreed was because Alonso had forced Raikkonen off the track, the Finn hasn’t gone off himself and gained an advantage.
Alonso and Raikkonen have their elbows out!
Neither of the former world champions want to give an inch 😅#USGP 🇺🇸 #F1 pic.twitter.com/f22lXPodkA
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 24, 2021
“Correct,” Masi said. “You hit the nail on the head. That’s why it was a marginal call.
“There were obviously the two elements of it looked at and it was determined on that basis.
“Marginally they made the decision ‘let’s just leave it as it is’.
“But there is certainly no doubt it will be discussed at the next drivers’ meeting.”
That wasn’t Alonso’s only tangle with an Alfa Romeo driver, the Spaniard going on to battle Antonio Giovinazzi.
In that chain of events, the Alpine driver had to let the Italian pass after he went off at Turn 12 and gained an advantage. And then Giovinazzi had to do the same, also running wide at Turn 12 and gaining metres of the Spaniard.
“Slightly ironic that happened,” said Masi as per The Race, adding “anyone can see the irony of that situation.
“I didn’t hear Fernando’s radio at all but obviously, he went off. My suggestion was made to the team that they give the position back, which happened.
“And then obviously, subsequently the same thing happened a couple of laps later with Antonio and Fernando. And the instruction went to Alfa Romeo for that position to be given back.”
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