Guenther Steiner lambasts FIA’s ‘bad job’ of stewarding following US GP controversy

Haas' petition for a right of review to look into allegations of failures to penalise track limits at the United States GP was rejected ahead of Las Vegas

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Guenther Steiner has slammed the FIA for its handling of track limit breaches following Haas‘ petition for a right to review the classification of the 2023 United States Grand Prix.

Following the Brazilian GP, Haas lodged a petition for a right to review the US GP results after several drivers were found to have breached track limits at various corners during the race.

If successful, Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg, who was classified 11th, would have found himself in the points through drivers getting time penalties added onto their times from the end of the race.

Although Haas’ petition was ultimately unsuccessful, the stewards at the US GP, led by former Renault driver Derek Warwick, called for a solution to spot track limit breaches for the 2024 season more quickly.

“I don’t regret it, we were conscious that it would be difficult to make it stick,” explained Steiner to selected media outlets. “But at least we tried you have to fight you can’t just go, ‘Oh, I will do nothing’.

“What came out is that the stewards actually said to the FIA they were doing a bad job. What they should have done [was] make sure that there was a CCTV camera at Turn 6, so I don’t have to protest.

“They should make sure they’ve got the means in place to check their own regulations, not me sitting at home or Aston Martin, checking what they are doing.

“That is not the team’s job. In half an hour, we didn’t have time to go through all that stuff because that is not our job. We are not the governing body. We are a race team we pay somebody to do this job.”

Racing rather than the show needs to be prioritised

Formula 1‘s first visit to Las Vegas since 1982 sees the sport arrive at a track based around the city’s most predominant landmarks, such as the Bellagio Hotel and the Strip.

However, the race has received criticism due to exorbitant ticket prices, which made Las Vegas GP the most expensive race to attend as a fan when it was first announced in March 2022.

Ticket prices have since plummeted, with hotel room prices also dropping to increase hotel occupancy over the weekend. 

Reigning world champion Max Verstappen has lambasted the new circuit as uninteresting and expressed his view of feeling like a ‘clown’ during the pre-race opening ceremony.

“I think with Formula 1, racing is always the most important thing. We create a lot of show around that because, in this era, people just don’t go to a place just for a race,” added Steiner.

Las Vegas GP 2023 Track Layout | Mercedes

“They want entertainment around it as well, and I think with F1, it’s always a fine line, but the race is what we come here for as a team. We have to be part of the show, but [we’re] not coming for the show. 

“As long as we do that, we’ll be fine, and for FOM and Stefano [Domenicali], he’s a racer at heart [he’ll] make it happen that the show doesn’t overtake the race.

“It’s a good point because it’s a fine line. When does the show become more important than the actual race? I think we are pretty far away from that one.”

Ed Spencer
Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
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