Haas F1 Team‘s Team Principal, Gunther Steiner, has said that some stewards in Formula 1 “are just not up to being stewards”, amid inconsistencies in the penalties which are handed to drivers.
Steiner was frustrated following a stewards’ decision to reprimand Red Bull Racing‘s Pierre Gasly, giving him a three-place grid penalty, as well as a penalty point on his racing license, for impeding Haas’ Romain Grosjean during qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix at the weekend.
He believes it was wrong for Grosjean to receive the same penalty for a similar incident during the Bahrain Grand Prix – where there was no consequence for British McLaren F1 Team driver Lando Norris – although Gasly received one in Monaco for costing the Frenchman a place in the final stage of qualifying.
In an interview with Motorsport.com, Steiner was asked whether he would voice his concerns.
“There’s no point in raising it because nobody does anything about it anyway. What can you do? How many times do I have to say? It’s like a broken record.” said Steiner.
“Some of the stewards are just not up to be stewards. I cannot raise it more because after a while…I just say it like this. I’m not going to spend more time writing letters to people anymore.”
Steiner was asked whether he wanted circumstances to be reviewed more throughly before a penalty was applied, to which he replied: “They didn’t have to give Romain a one-point penalty [in Bahrain]. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time. But the stewards felt they need to give a penalty.”
Due to the circumstances, Steiner felt that either the decision to award Gasly a penalty was incorrect, or it was a mistake to give Grosjean the same penalty for the incident in Bahrain.
He said that Grosjean had to react to the slowing Scuderia Ferrari of German Sebastian Vettel, which also meant the team ended up being caught out; both factors were recognised by Norris, who Grosjean collided with.
In contrast, Steiner added Gasly was “out in the middle of the track on a fast part of the track, standing basically still for no reason, because he wasn’t told by his team”.
“I don’t know which one [is wrong], they have to make their mind up. They cannot be the same sentence, in my opinion. It was two completely different circumstances, with consequences on one side and not on the other.
“It’s just so different. Even a blind man sees it,” said Steiner.