Lando Norris and Sergio Perez were both penalized for pushing another driver off the track. To some people, the penalities seemed too harsh but Michael Masi explained why it was correct to give them.
The race director, Masi, said that both drivers did not leave enough space for the other rival while fighting for track positions.
Norris received a five-second penalty because he pushed Perez wide in Turn 4. Christian Horner also thought that this penalty was a bit too harsh. Speaking of the Mexican driver, he received two five-second penalties for pushing Charles Leclerc wide in Turn 4 and between Turns 6-7.
“The stewards had a look at all three,” said Masi. “In the first case in Sergio’s one with Lando, he was wholly alongside Lando, and therefore, there is an onus to leave a car’s width to the edge of the track.
“The same in the reverse with Checo and Charles at the exit of Turn 4, and then Checo and Charles again at the exit of Turn 6. Their view was, and obviously, I don’t sit in the stewards’ room to deliberate, but their view was in all three circumstances that a car’s width should have been left to the edge of the track because the two cars were alongside each other.”
Masi later explained why these two incidents were treated differently from the one between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in Imola. The race director stated that the crash during the Italian GP happened on the first lap, and therefore, the circumstances were different.
“I think first corner, Lap 1, and you have to remember this from a team’s perspective as well, that all Lap 1 incidents are treated in a more lenient manner and that has been the case for several years,” Masi added. “It’s very difficult to try and compare, I know everyone likes to group everything, but it’s very difficult to compare two completely different corners.”