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Seidl: Messages between FIA and F1 teams shouldn't be broadcast

McLaren Formula 1 team principal Andreas Seidl thinks sensitive communication between the teams and FIA race control shouldn't be broadcast on TV, after an exchange involving Red Bull caused uproar in Saudi Arabia.

Andreas Seidl Team Principal, McLaren F1 with F1 Race Director Michael Masi

In Jeddah a conversation between FIA race director Michael Masi and Red Bull's team manager Jonathan Wheatley over Max Verstappen giving back a position to title rival Lewis Hamilton sparked plenty of controversy in a race already rife with it.

Verstappen was deemed to gain an advantage by leaving the track while battling Hamilton in Turn 1, but a swift red flag meant no action could be taken against it.

During the stoppage Masi suggested to Red Bull it could drop Verstappen down to third on the grid for the restart behind Hamilton, so the race could get back underway without Verstappen needing to yield a position on track.

While it was only a suggestion from Masi to try and rectify the situation without getting the stewards involved, using words like "offer" made it sound like a deal was being made during the exchange, which both confused and alarmed fans and observers.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner likened it to a deal being made at the local "souk" or marketplace, while Masi insisted such conversations are commonplace between race control and competitors.

McLaren team boss Seidl says the whole debate could have been avoided by not publicly transmitting exchanges between the FIA and F1's team managers, which is a new addition to the broadcast this season.

"I think the only reason why it is a debate now is because it gets transmitted," Seidl said. "Before you didn't hear that stuff. And I think that's the big difference.

"To be honest from my point of view I was never a fan to broadcast this communication, because there's also things going back and forward regarding safety, which I don't think necessarily should always be broadcast, that is my opinion on it."

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal, McLaren

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal, McLaren

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Seidl believes the fact that the messages are broadcast are also having an impact on their content, with people involved conscious it will now also reach millions of fans.

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As explored in depth here, there are more reasons why giving teams the chance to get their point across on the broadcast can have a negative effect on F1 races.

"I don't think that the communication in principle has changed," Seidl added. "I would say, in terms of what's going backwards and forwards it's even more controlled than in the past because everyone knows it gets broadcast."

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