Incident responsibility should be clear cut for drivers to be penalised – Steiner

Guenther Steiner wants the stewards to be sure who is to blame for an incident before handing out penalties - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Guenther Steiner, the Team Principal of the Haas F1 Team, has welcomed the decision by the stewards not to hand out too many penalties during the Spanish Grand Prix, with many incidents being deemed as racing incidents.

In particular, Steiner was happy that stewards deemed the clash between his driver Kevin Magnussen and Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat on the penultimate lap to be a racing incident.

“I think it was just a racing accident,” said Steiner. “I think Kevin just tried. When Ricciardo passed him on the blue flag, Kevin had to lift at the braking and lost a bit of momentum.

“Kvyat got him and Kevin just wanted to go past him again. I think it is just a racing accident. These things happen.”

Steiner knows that drivers will say many things over the radio, include criticising other drivers for moves on track, but he does not believe that they will influence decisions by race control.

“That’s what you have to say,” said Steiner. “The messages on the screen, like [Carlos] Sainz saying ‘he just drove into me’. He didn’t, where should he go? In the pit lane with Sainz, where should Kevin go? If he moves to the left, he goes over the white line.

“I think it’s fine. But as I said, everybody tries to shout as much as possible on the radio so race control looks at it and thinks they’ll react. I think they look at it obviously and then they think what they need to do.”

The only penalty handed out during the Spanish Grand Prix was to Stoffel Vandoorne for his part in a collision with Felipe Massa, but Steiner believes that unless a driver is obviously responsible for an incident, then penalties should not be handed out.

“I saw the three places for Vandoorne, I didn’t see that accident. I don’t want to comment,” revealed Steiner. “The other ones, I think it was the right decision. We want to see racing. If it is like all the time just penalties, it is getting racing decided.

“If it is not clear cut, for example with Kevin, why should he get a penalty? He is penalised already, he is out of the points. Kvyat didn’t have any damage, no harm, no foul in my opinion. You have to evaluate that one as well.

“Why would you penalise Kevin even if Kvyat shouts? Then at the next race he’s three places back for no good reason, he got his penalty by being out of the points. That’s it. I think I’m pretty OK with their decisions.

“I think we need real racing. Sometimes one is happy and one is unhappy.”