Haas F1 team principal Gunther Steiner says Mercedes’ Toto Wollf wanted “a little bit of publicity” with his FIA call about blue flags which was broadcasted during the Spanish Grand Prix.
During the Spanish Grand Prix world feed broadcast, a radio message between Toto Wolff and race director Michael Masi was aired, making it the first FIA communication broadcasted in Formula 1.
Gunther Steiner says the message broadcast was just a “little bit of publicity” for Toto Wolff, as he claims the Mercedes principal is trying to make sure “he’s [showing] who’s in command.”
“I didn’t hear the message, they just told me in the debrief, that Toto said something,” Steiner said.
“But I don’t know exactly why and what for he said that. So I cannot comment, because I don’t know the circumstances, but I think Nikita did a good job today to get out of it.
“Maybe Toto being Toto just wanted to make sure that he’s here [showing] who is in command, and that everybody should move when he’s coming along, you know?
“He put himself [on the radio] and he didn’t let his guys do the work. He wanted a little bit of publicity, I guess.”
Formula 1 race director Michael Masi revealed the race control message broadcast was an initiative which was discussed with the teams last year, with those becoming more regular throughout the season.
One of the innovations that the FIA has worked together with F1, it actually came about through a discussion an F1 Commission meeting last year, is so they could hear as part of the broadcast the communications between the FIA and the teams.
“It is a regular part of what we do operationally. And from that perspective, [the race] was the first time that it started.
“The F1 Group, through their broadcasts, has been doing some trials in the background, of seeing what that looks like.
“All the teams were advised and this weekend’s the first time it’s gone live to air.”