Ross Brawn says there was ‘nothing sinister’ about Vettel penalty

Montreal, Canada

Canadian Grand Prix – Formula 1’s Managing Director Ross Brawn says that steward transparency is essential as the outcry against Vettel’s race-defining penalty continues.Speaking as part of his post-race debrief, Ross Brawn weighed in on the debate surrounding the penalty that cost the Ferrari driver victory in Montreal.

While saying that, due to his position, he couldn’t offer an opinion on the mistake or the ensuing penalty, he did say that he understood why fans would be frustrated: “I understand how difficult it must be for fans to understand why the driver on the top step of the podium is not the one who crossed the finish line first. That’s why transparency is important when it comes to explaining the decisions of the Stewards, especially in such a complex sport as Formula 1. It is in football, where despite the arrival of VAR, there is still discussion as to whether a handball should be punished with a penalty or not.”

“I can understand the disappointment and frustration Vettel felt (and that he is surely still feeling), as he feels he was robbed of a deserved win.”

With no official comment coming from anyone from Formula One Management or the FIA regarding the backlash against the steward’s decision, Brawn’s comments serve as the closest thing to addressing the situation so far. He said that a method of ensuring transparency might be the way forward: “I have a lot of respect for the work of the stewards and for their professionalism and I believe they would be the first to say that they would prefer not to see a race outcome decided via a penalty.”

“Therefore, it might be useful to work with the FIA on solutions that would allow the stewards to explain their decisions to the fans and to elaborate on how they reached them.”

“Having said that, I would emphatically add is that there is nothing sinister about a decision like this. You might agree with it or not, but none of those who take on the role of steward each weekend has a hidden agenda and fans can be certain of that.”

The former Ferrari boss did say he felt that the weekend marked a turning point for his old team, praising the performance of both them and Sebastian Vettel: “The most important thing from the weekend, though, is that the fans saw a vintage Vettel performance, which has perhaps been absent since last year’s Belgian Grand Prix. Ferrari was in fine form in Montréal, so it was essential that they could count on a driver of the class and talent of Sebastian being at the top of his game, and that was the case this weekend.”

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Thomas Maher

Co-owner, Chief Editor and a journalist for - Ireland's only accredited F1 & Formula E website. Enjoy my work -

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