“I knew they would penalize me, they don’t give me gifts”. He did not spare a bit of bitterness Max Verstappen against the Race Commissioners at the end of the Qatar Grand Prix, which ended in second position after starting from the seventh position of the starting grid due to the five penalty positions inflicted on the World Championship leader by the Commissioners due to the failure to comply with the double yellow flag waved by a Marshall on the side of the track on the main straight due to the problem that occurred at Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri, who found himself with a punctured tire at the end of Q3 in the final sector of the Losail circuit.
The Dutch driver received the verdict less than two hours before the start and was thus able to comment on the penalty received only in the post-race. Martin Brundle, who in Brazil was disappointed by the commissioners for not having penalized Verstappen during the duel with Hamilton, called the sanction against the World Championship leader in Qatar too severe. Twice in the space of a few, therefore, an ex-pilot now a commentator on television he found himself in disagreement with the work of the Race Commissioners, a sentiment shared by the drivers currently protagonists in the Circus who asked Michael Masi why rather similar situations lead to different decisions by the Stewards.
Faced with those who argue that a fixed pool of Commissioners for the whole season would ensure more consistency in the decisions taken, Michael Masi replied as reported by the newspaper racefans.net: “Having the Stewards in rotation guarantees an aspect that in the time a very wise person had pointed out to me. In the face of always different juries, there can be no doubt that there are prejudices against a driver“. Max Verstappen has in fact placed the emphasis precisely on the fact that “They don’t give him gifts”, even though he was just back from a ‘no further action’ in Brazil that raised more than one eyebrow. Sebastian Vettel is a ‘collector’ of penalties and in Bahrain no discounts were given to the German for not respecting the double yellow flags. In Qatar, at least, Verstappen also paid the same price as the German, who had assumed that the very fact that the Dutchman was on his way had prompted Race Direction to declare the track a ‘green flag’ despite Gasly’s problems, which then inevitably prompted the Marshall to do his duty by signaling the danger.
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