what did you miss: fia wants to avoid ‘silly, menial’ penalties in f1

06:31    04 Jul 2019

Sebastian Vettel
According to Formula 1 race director Michael Masi, the organising body FIA is hoping to avoid marring the Championship with “silly, menial” penalties.

Stewards' decisions have been in the spotlight in recent weeks, most notably the five-second time penalty that cost Sebastian Vettel victory at the Canadian Grand Prix last month, and the decision not to penalise Max Verstappen for his clash with Charles Leclerc this past Sunday.

Masi said it was important to understand that the interpretation of the F1 rules was evolving.

"Even with incidents and bits and pieces in practice, we're very much trying to do our best that silly, menial things - as much as they are - that maybe two or three years ago would have earned a penalty, these days don't have an impact or as much of an impact," said Masi.

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"I hate people going back a number of years, because the rulebook's evolved, the manner in which they've been interpreted has evolved with everyone being involved in that discussion.

"When we start talking about precedent and incidents occurring three years ago, what may have been a breach then because of the way it's been interpreted has evolved and may have become lessened in some ways. It's a balancing act."

Masi added, "F1, the FIA, teams and the drivers are very much all partners in making sure this is a success, and as strong as possible.

"But at the end of the day, from a regulatory side we've got a rulebook and a set of rules to apply.

"There's various other process and discussions to go through if they [the rules] change, and when they change, and how they change.

"But that's part of our role in ensuring those rules are applied."

Lionel Messi accuses referee of bias

Argentina forward and captain Lionel Messi has accused a referee of bias following his side’s 2-0 defeat to Brazil in the semifinals of the 2019 Copa America on Wednesday.

The Barcelona forward felt a number of decisions went against his national team in Belo Horizonte as goals from Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino in each half put Brazil through to a final against Chile or Peru.

Messi was particularly aggrieved Argentina were not awarded a penalty by Ecuadorian referee Roddy Zambrano immediately prior to Brazil’s second goal.

The 32-year-old told reporters: “They [Brazil] were not better than us. They found the net early and the second goal came from a penalty they didn’t award.

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“The officiating was crazy. There were clear penalties, on [Nicolas] Otamendi, on ’Kun’ [Sergio Aguero].

“He [the referee] was on their side. In every divided ball or dispute, he inclined the pitch their way. It’s not an excuse, but the truth is that, in this Copa, they kept on blowing for stupid things, for handballs, penalties.

“But today, they didn’t even go to VAR when there were clear plays that should have been looked at.”

Despite the result, Messi was proud of his teammates and believes there is a bright future ahead for this Argentina team.

“It was the best match we did in the Copa, against a Brazil that has spectacular players in all its lines,” he explained.

These guys made a huge sacrifice. They deserve respect. Argentina has the material to keep growing.”


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