Masi dismisses Alonso criticism on F1 steward bias

FIA Formula 1 race director Michael Masi has dismissed Fernando Alonso's criticism on the fairness of F1's stewarding, saying the "rules are applied equally for everyone."

Masi dismisses Alonso criticism on F1 steward bias

Alonso has been unhappy with the consistency of some of the race control decisions this season, particularly with regards to drivers leaving the track and gaining an advantage.

He was left angry after McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo overtook him off track in Austria and was also puzzled when Lando Norris got away with just a reprimand after crossing the pit entry line in the Russian Grand Prix, which is otherwise hit with a time penalty.

After Sochi the Alpine driver said: "There are different rules for different people, or different, let's say, talks the week after for different people.

"Let's see, the next one that crosses the white line on the pit entry, let's see which nationality he is and which penalty he will get."

When Alonso's comments were put to race director Masi, he said the Spaniard was entitled to his opinion but refuted there was any sort of bias among the stewards.

"I don't even engage in that side of it," Masi said. "Every driver is entitled to their views and comments, either internally or to the media, and that's fine.

"The rules are applied equally for everyone. We judge each and every incident, looking at the actual incident and what occurs."

Michael Masi, Race Director

Michael Masi, Race Director

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

Asked by Autosport if Alonso's comments added any pressure to the stewards, Masi denied that was the case.

"No, not at all," he replied. "We are very fortunate that we have a very good group of stewards throughout the year. And no, I can tell you that does not place any additional pressure whatsoever on them.”

Alonso wasn't the only driver to question how consistently the rules are applied, and in Turkey the stewards drew more criticism when AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly was hit with a five-second penalty after hitting Alonso at the start in what appeared to be a typical Lap 1 racing incident.

Nevertheless Masi - who also explained why Gasly was penalised - says he is confident the current system of rotating stewards is robust.

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"Absolutely. As we've said before, the stewards are an independent judiciary to review anything, and that's why they are independent to review it on that basis. They do look at everything, case by case," he explained.

"Yes, you can sort of compare different types of incidents, let's call it, but they are there to review each case with all of the information and data that they have available, and then ultimately make their decision.

"Each team is entitled to talk about consistency and so forth, but we have a general road of parameters, they are all well and truly aware of where those are.

"If there are things that aren't quite right, we discuss them openly. And if we need to tweak them, we tweak them."

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