Sun. Nov 28th, 2021

FIA race director Michael Masi has explained the reasoning for Nikita Mazepin’s penalty during the Portuguese Grand Prix.

The Haas driver was handed a five-second time penalty for impeding then-race leader Sergio Perez at turn three by swinging across the apex and almost causing a collision.

Mazepin’s team principal Guenther Steiner offered his own explanation for the mix-up and Masi confirmed the penalty was not given for the accumulation of blue flags bypassed.

“With Nikita’s penalty, it was not so much the number of blue flags that were ignored, it was more so the incident that was shown on the broadcast with Sergio at turn three and the near-collision that was caused under blue flags,” said Masi.

“So it wasn’t actually for the number of panels, it was more for not getting out of the way at the earliest opportunity and nearly causing an incident as a result.”

It was not the first time over the weekend at Portimão the Russian had been accused of impeding another driver after a run-in with Williams driver Nicholas Latifi in qualifying which led to the Canadian calling his rival a “dumbass”.

On that occasion, however, no action was taken, with Masi pointing to a lack of a complaint from Williams.

“The team didn’t actually bring it to my attention,” added Masi.

“Normally if there is someone that is impeded – and there were a couple of requests to review matters during qualifying – we need to remember there is impeding and there is unnecessarily impeding which is what is highlighted in the sporting regulations. ‘

“Regarding this incident, Williams did not bring this to race control’s attention at all.”

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