Penalties were, unsurprisingly, dished out at the Austin Grand Prix yesterday, and some where highly controversial. Some felt some penalties were unfair, while others felt that it was one rule for one man and one rule for another.
“It’s just one idiot steward who always makes the decisions up there against me.” Max Verstappen
During the race, the Channel 4 commentators remarked upon how they believed the first two were purely racing incidents, instead of being worthy of being penalised.
But then came the big one.
Max Verstappen had driven sensationally well from starting 16th on the grid. He drove his backside off to end up sitting 4th, behind the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen. Being Verstappen, he kept pushing and was ultimately able to perform an overtake.
All four wheels of his car left the tarmac and crossed the white line, and this meant that he was stripped of his podium after being handed a five-second time penalty and one penalty point. The consequences of the penalty point seem especially excessive.
Penalising Verstappen this harshly is absurd.
The fact he had a penalty is bitter, but nothing compared to the controversy that exploded.
Yes, he cut the corner. So in this sense, ti is perhaps fair. But, if you are going to give a penalty to one driver, give it to all of the drivers to make the same mistake.
In Mexico last year, the same thing happened to the Duchman. In fact, one of the stewards responsible for penalising Verstappen yesterday – Garry Connelly – was the same that stripped the Red Bull driver of his 3rd place in 2016.
It must be stressed that this isn’t just about the unfairness of Verstappen’s penalty. People are actually torn between whether or not it should have been given, thus it wouldn’t be fair to slam those who agree with the stewards. He did, after all, break the ‘rules’. What is so wrong though, is that it is one rule or one man and one rule for another.
It may have been unfortunate timing but, still, let them race. Besides, where is the consistency?
“What about the other 20 times it happened during the race? Where’s the consistency?” Christian Horner