F1

F1 drivers to meet FIA and stewards to discuss penalty rows

Formula 1 drivers will meet with the FIA and stewards to discuss how racing incidents should be policed following a series of controversial penalties.

The outcomes of two of the last three F1 races have been shaped by penalty decisions which attracted widespread debate. Sebastian Vettel lost a potential victory in the Canadian Grand Prix due to a penalty, while the outcome of the Austrian Grand Prix was only settled hours after the chequered flag when the stewards cleared Max Verstappen following an incident investigation.

Drivers have called for greater freedom to race without interference from stewards in the wake of the controversies. FIA president Jean Todt told RaceFans he has convened a meeting between representatives of the governing body, the stewards and drivers to take place in Geneva on July 23rd following the German Grand Prix.

Todt is keen to give drivers freedom to race, but said the sport must be policed which he believes will inevitably attract some criticism.

“If I say ‘OK, let them race’, in two races it’s such a wild situation people [say] ‘please do something’,” said Todt.

“I’ve not [got] a magic [wand]. I think simply whatever is happening people will always try an angle to criticise and to be unhappy.

“So in a way what we do is to answer to police the sport. We must make sure that it’s policed but of course if you do police, people are not always happy about the result of the policing.”

Todt admitted that the trend towards greater use of asphalt run-offs at circuit had created new problems for stewards. “It’s the way modern circuits have been designed, contrarily to natural circuits,” he said.

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