'Masi should be applauded for allowing play on in Hamilton-Verstappen duel'

12-12-2021 07:55
Interview
'Masi should be applauded for allowing play on in Hamilton-Verstappen duel'

The 2021 Formula 1 World Championship decider takes place in Abu Dhabi on Sunday afternoon. Michael Masi posted a reminder of the sporting code that allows stewards to deduct Championship points should they feel a deliberate negative act to influence the outcome of the World Championship result takes place. In an exclusive interview with GPblog, David Coulthard believes that it "doesn't change anything" and he praises the actions of Masi and stewards in Brazil and Saudi Arabia. 

Formula 1 has previously witnessed deliberate crashes that decide titles. Verstappen and Hamilton are equal on points going into the final race of the season and (in most cases) whoever finishes ahead will take home the trophy. However, if they both fail to finish the Grand Prix, Verstappen will take the victory because he has accumulated one more win through the season. 

To try and avoid such an incident, Masi reminded the two drivers that Championship point deductions can take place. But former Red Bull driver Coulthard suggests this doesn't change anything. 

“Whether you’ve included something or haven’t, it’s the job of the team principles and the race engineers to be fully across those and know what the interpretation or what the hard rule is. Yes, it can be many paragraphs making the public aware of everything, but frankly, it hasn't changed anything," Coulthard told GPblog.com exclusively.

"It’s just brought it to the forefront. It’s like a referee showing the football players before a match I’ve got a yellow card and red card, they know that. Just because you get them out doesn’t actually do anything. It just reminds everyone who is in control."

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In Brazil, Hamilton tried to overtake Verstappen but both drivers ran significantly wide. The stewards didn't decide to take any action, nor did they apply a penalty when the situation was appealed by Mercedes. In Saudi Arabia, Verstappen did a similar move and picked up a five-second penalty. Overall, Coulthard praises Masi and the FIA for their work in this intense battle. 

“There are ways in which we can question whether the decision has been made really well or whether people would’ve done things differently in different circumstances. That’s with the wonderful thing called hindsight. I think that, and I have to believe that Michael and the FIA have done their very best using a combination of hard rule and giving people a chance to defend their sins whilst keeping the show on the road," Coulthard told GPblog.

"Should they be applauded for attempting to allow play on? Absolutely. I feel in the modern world we are being stewarded and judged to the nth degree. Life is a bit more freestyle to that. We’re governed by certain rules and regulations but there’s a lot of interpretation about how we get from A to B and in the spirit of the sport I’m open to that."

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