Toto Wolff, Silverstone, 2018

Stewards penalties are consistent, believes Wolff

2018 British Grand Prix

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Toto Wolff says he believes Formula 1’s stewards are being consistent following Kimi Raikkonen’s penalty during the British Grand Prix.

The Ferrari driver was given a ten second penalty following a collision with Lewis Hamilton on the opening lap of the race, but the decision drew comparisons with Sebastian Vettel receiving only a five second penalty for colliding with Valtteri Bottas on the first lap of the French Grand Prix.

Asked by RaceFans if he saw any inconsistencies in the penalties applied, Wolff explained that he feels that penalties are being applied consistently.

“I think it’s the contrary. I think there is consistency with the penalties,” says Wolff. “They are what they are and there’s a certain arsenal of penalties that the stewards have available – five seconds penalty, ten seconds or a drive-through – and then they look at the precedents.

“What we need to discuss among all of us is if certain race incidents occur and they have a massive outcome in what’s happening maybe around the race win and what the consequences will be, that’s a different story. But on the penalty itself, they are like the rule book says. So it is what it is.”

Despite agreeing with the penalty awarded to the Ferrari driver for the incident, Wolff is frustrated to have had a Mercedes driver’s race heavily compromised by contact from a Ferrari at the start of a race for the second time in three races.

“I am not comfortable at all with the incident, because it’s tiresome to be taken out on the first lap,” says Wolff.

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2018 British Grand Prix reaction

Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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  • 13 comments on “Stewards penalties are consistent, believes Wolff”

    1. I dont really understand the differences between both crashes.

      1. The crashes are almost the same, but the consequences to both drivers were very different.

        1. @afonic the consequence shouldn’t be considered IMO. It’s the cause of an incident which should differentiate them. And, if anything, Vettel’s crash in France was worse and he got a less severe penalty.

    2. Crash to someone and cause damage to their car = 5 second penalty.
      Crash to someone but do not cause damage = 10 second penalty.

      Well, it’s consistent, just doesn’t make much sense.

      1. Crash to someone and cause damage to their car and screw up your own race = 5 second penalty.
        Crash to someone but do not cause damage and race on with no consequences to your own race, except for one fewer competitor = 10 second penalty.

      2. @kaiie It did cause damage. Still that’s not how it works.

        Driving through a red light is not allowed and that doesn’t depend on whether you hit a car or not.

      3. I think that the stewards are being unduly influenced by the ‘consequences’ of the contact.

        Why else would it be the case that Lewis Hamilton was saying on the radio that his car had damage shortly after the incident. I think he repeated that claim a couple of times, even when he was moving his way through the field.

        Surprise surprise, as soon as Kimi’s penalty was announced, Lewis’ car ‘got better’.

        Seems to me that Lewis has been watching too much of the world cup where the players roll around on the floor after being fouled trying to get a yellow card for the opponent – same thing seemed to me to happen during the British GP.

        Bottom line – Hamilton forced/coerced the stewards into a more severe penalty by overstating the damage to his car, which in my mind is equivalent to cheating.

    3. Wolff diplomatic statement now that the FIA is allied with Mercedes.

      1. Wolff is just doing optics. The FIA is likely in bed with both teams, let’s not forget the ludicrously favorable agreements with Ferrari…

    4. Mark in Florida
      9th July 2018, 3:08

      Yes Ferrari gets the money and Mercedes gets the decision from the the stewards. It’s fair judgements from the FIA to balance things out. Calm down I’m just kidding ! or not? Hamilton just comes off as a sore loser at times as does Vettle it’s just inherent trait in a lot of race car drivers. The battle continues to the benefit of the fans.

    5. In general, yes, but sometimes there’s an inconsistency between a certain similar type of incidents with a similar circumstance. For example, Alonso didn’t receive any penalty for his ‘off-track’ overtaking move on JEV (Jean-Eric Vergne) at the exit of T3 in Abu Dhabi back in 2013 even though it was an equally clear-cut passing move completed while being off the track entirely to the Verstappen-Raikkonen move from COTA, for example, or the Hulkenberg-Perez one from last season’s Abu Dhabi GP just to name a few. To this day, I still don’t understand how did that clear-cut driving infringement go unpenalized.

      1. Yes, or canada 2018 q2, people slowing vettel got no penalty, but he got one for slowing down sainz in q2 in austria.

    6. I do not understand Toto’s comments because
      1) Bottas took kimi out in baku … then bottas finished 2nd in that race. (No penalty for Bottas)
      2) Bottas took kimi & mad max in other race (no penalty for Bottas)
      3) Bottas took kimi out in China 2017 (no penalty for Bottas)
      But when it comes to Ferrari, always penalties & penalty points towards license
      Maybe penalty points apply to other teams just not to Merc drivers.

    Comments are closed.