Red Bull’s motorsport advisor, Helmut Marko, made clear his dissatisfaction with the FIA for the suspension of five places on the starting grid of the Qatar Grand Prix on Max Verstappen and described the attitude as “incompetence” on the part of the federation.
Verstappen started the penultimate date from seventh after finishing second in qualifying on Saturday, but was penalized for not slowing down enough in an area where there was a double yellow flag caused after Pierre Gasly suffered damage to his car and a flat tire at the end of Q3.
The Dutchman was summoned on Saturday to appear before the stewards in a meeting that took place the Sunday before the race and after a few hours of deliberation the penalty was announced.
Red bull he tried to argue that the FIA had caused a confusion in the electronic alert system, which indeed happened, causing the stewards to “sympathize” with the case.
But in the document they brought up articles of the sports regulations that say that the flags used by the officials on the track have the same weight as the electronic alerts and that, since Verstappen was solely responsible for how the car was driven, according to the regulations, it also had the obligation to see the flags and slow down.
In an interview with the Spanish transmission of the chain DAZN Before the race, an unhappy Marko spared no criticism of the FIA.
“It is ridiculous. They know that the FIA cannot organize a correct alert system and they try to hide their incompetence by blaming the drivers. It is unbelievable.”
The FIA has been the subject of several criticisms throughout the year for the inconsistency of the stewards’ decisions and the measures taken, such as what happened at the Belgian Grand Prix.
At the end of the competition, Lewis Hamilton took the victory of the Qatar Grand Prix to reduce the point difference to just eight points for the last two races of the season.