Formula 1’s stewards are biased towards the sport’s bigger names; that’s according to Haas team boss Guenther Steiner.
As recently as the last grand prix before the summer break, Hungary, Max Verstappen escaped a penalty for impeding Romain Grosjean during qualifying.
Although the Dutchman held up the Haas driver in the wet, the stewards declared that the conditions played a role and Verstappen walked away without sanction.
Haas have not had the same luck this season.
Both drivers have been penalised or reprimanded on several occasions and while Steiner acknowledges that wouldn’t happen if they didn’t put themselves in those positions, he feels the stewards are more lenient with the sport’s bigger names.
Asked if he felt Haas received a ‘rough ride from stewards’, he told Motorsport.com: “We are easy to pick on, I guess is what you’re saying?
“Sometimes we don’t help ourselves to put ourselves in this position – if you didn’t need to go there you wouldn’t get the penalty.
“But if there is a decision to be taken, I still think that who you are counts for what the outcome is. It should all be without a name.”
Pressed on whether he felt the system was biased, he replied: “It could be. I have no evidence, so I cannot prove it, but it could be.”
Asked about Steiner’s comments, F1 race director Charlie Whiting admitted there may be some truth to the matter.
“If a driver’s got nine points on his licence that shouldn’t influence the stewards’ decision,” he said.
“If they think they shouldn’t give him three because he’ll have to take a race off, that shouldn’t come into it, but whether it plays a sub-conscious part I don’t know.”
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