Haas boss slams FIA stewards after Monaco penalty

Haas boss slams FIA stewards after Monaco penalty

The Monaco Grand Prix penalty given to Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg was deemed harsh by the German and his team principal.

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has requested that the “laymen” stewards in Formula 1 be replaced with professionals who can make decisions that are appropriate during races.

The infamously vocal team boss criticized Nico Hulkenberg for receiving a penalty during the Monaco Grand Prix, which prompted the team to demand a change to the present system.

The American team is pressing the sport to permanently hire professionals in place of the FIA’s present system of unpaid stewards, which Haas believes is out-of-date.

“I think we have to just go back to… do we need a different system for stewards?” Steiner said. “Every professional sport has got professionals being referees and stuff like this.

“F1 is one of the biggest sports in the world, and we still have laymen deciding on the fate of people who invest millions in their careers. And it’s always a discussion because there’s no consistency.

“I think we need to step it up. I think it’s now time. I think we’re discussing this for years and years and we always go back to this.”

“Every other sport has professionals for this: American racing, NASCAR, IndyCar. How many times you hear problems with the stewards or with race director’s decisions?” Steiner asked. “Very rarely, very rarely. But they’re doing it completely differently.

“There are full time people working there. I’m always saying: innocent until proven guilty. And not that I have to be prove that I was innocent, because it doesn’t work for me. That is not how I conduct life.”

Hulkenberg was given a five second time penalty and had two points added to his license for triggering a crash on the first lap.

After examining the race video, Haas concluded that there was no sign of a crash at the Turn 6 hairpin. As a result, they demanded an explanation from the FIA for the imposition of what they believed to be an unfair penalty.

Hulkenberg struggled throughout the race because of the early penalty, finishing in P17, two laps behind race winner Max Verstappen.

Future races may see a change thanks to Steiner’s concerns to the Formula 1 commission about the poor quality of stewarding and the commission’s inconsistent decision-making.

“For me, the first thing is, do we want professional stewards or not,” Steiner said. “And then we need to decide is it a panel, or what is the best? I don’t want to decide on it [by myself] but I think we have got a lot of issues with this.

“We need to recognise this one, and F1, it’s one of the biggest, if not the biggest sport in the world now, and I think we need to step it up. That’s my opinion about it.

“We have referees in football, and they are full time. Thirty years ago, you had the local bakery guy being referee, but that has changed now. They changed it because it needed to be professional, and they are responsible.”

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