Masi believes drivers should reevaluate “gentleman’s agreement” themselves

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA – JULY 03: Yuki Tsunoda of Japan driving the (22) Scuderia AlphaTauri AT02 Honda during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring on July 03, 2021 in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool.

Michael Masi supposes that the F1 drivers should be the ones to control the fulfillment of “gentleman’s agreement.”

The debates regarding the “gentleman’s agreement” in qualifying sessions have been quite heated this year as the rule has been violated several times throughout the 2021 season. Fernando Alonso has even asked the FIA to control the situation. However, the FIA race director Masi thinks that this is the drivers’ competence.

“I hear about the gentleman’s agreement because I see it in the media occasionally,” he said.

“That’s the gentleman’s agreement that they have between the 20 gentlemen that are on the circuit. So they may need to re-convene and re-affirm or revise their gentleman’s agreement between them. But they’re all elite sportsmen.”

“I think one of the parts that probably has exacerbated it this year is how tight the field is in the competitive order. And so now all of those pressures come into it.”

The Australian has also spoken about numerous drivers summoned to the stewards for driving too slowly in the final two turns of Red Bull Ring during qualifying as well as about Sebastian Vettel’s grid penalty.

“With regards to what occurred yesterday, and the discussion even with all of the teams was that the overriding factor in that circumstance was not to unnecessarily impede anyone,” he commented.

“Because the nature of this circuit, let’s call it for rounding purposes a 64-65 second lap, we have a number of teams here that all want between their five and seven-second gap to the car in front.

“I think if we work out the simple mathematics, 15 cars, everyone wants a five to seven-second gap, the mathematics don’t add up. So it’s all a nature of the type of it and I said to the teams the overriding part was not to unnecessarily impede and, with regards to creating gaps, there was an element of a concertina effect.”

“We saw clearly yesterday, obviously there was the incident with Sebastian and Alonso that took place,” Masi added.

“And there was one view and if you saw it straight off, you thought immediately it was a harsher grid penalty, but looking at all of the circumstances that surrounded it which is part of the stewards role to see how it actually got there.

“They investigated a couple of other drivers and very quickly came to a conclusion that it was effectively symptomatic and consequential that one of those things led to another led to another.”

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