Steiner gets "moral injury" fine for Sochi comments

Haas Formula 1 team principal Gunther Steiner has been fined €7,500 for causing “moral injury” to a steward and harming the reputation of motorsport and the FIA.

Steiner gets "moral injury" fine for Sochi comments

Immediately after Kevin Magnussen had finished ninth in the Russian Grand Prix, Steiner took to the team radio to support his driver and criticise a five-second time penalty that cost him a position.

Steiner’s message, which was not played out to this extent at the time, included: “If we didn’t have a stupid idiotic steward we would be eighth.

“You know who is the steward. You know him. It is always the same. He just does not get any more intelligent.”

Read Also:

As revealed by Motorsport.com at the time, Steiner’s comments were poorly received by FIA officials and the authority to deal with the issue was delegated to the Japanese Grand Prix stewards.

Steiner was therefore summoned to see the Japanese GP panel, comprising Le Mans 24 Hours legend Tom Kristensen, Gerd Ennser, Dennis Dean and Yasuhiro Yodono, on Friday at Suzuka.

It could not be dealt with at the time because “certain members” of the Haas team had already left the circuit in Russia and there was also “a potential conflict” with one of the stewards.

According to the report, Steiner confirmed his comment was targeted at one specific member of the Russian GP panel and had no objection to the Japanese GP stewards dealing with the case, despite the chairman of the stewards – Ennser – being the same for both events. After the hearing, the stewards announced they had opted to fine Steiner €7,500 for the incident.  

The stewards reported that Steiner said he “regretted his choice of words”, which were “spoken in the heat of the moment after a hotly contested race by his drivers”.

They added: “He did not intend for his words to reflect unfavourably on the FIA officials of the event and the championship.”

However, the stewards pointed out it was “an insult to the stewards of the event and calls into question both the skills and the integrity of those stewards”.

They have determined that Steiner “caused moral injury to FIA officials” and “was prejudicial to the interests of motorsport” with his comments.  

“Such statements harm the reputation of motorsport in general, the FIA in particular, and call into question the professionalism of the officials of the FIA,” the report continued.

“While any factual criticism of steward panel decisions is always welcomed in private discussions with that panel, public personal attacks against individual officials are totally inappropriate and will not be accepted.”

Explaining the punishment, the stewards said it was considered appropriate given no prior penalties have been imposed on Steiner for similar behaviour.

“However, in the event of future violations, it may become necessary to consider whether a team should be penalised, along with any individual involved, with harsher sanctions,” the stewards warned. 

shares
comments
Japanese GP grid could be set by FP2 times

Previous article

Japanese GP grid could be set by FP2 times

Next article

Japanese GP: Bottas tops FP2 session that could decide grid

Japanese GP: Bottas tops FP2 session that could decide grid
Load comments
Was Hamilton's Hungary solo start a good or bad look for F1? Prime

Was Hamilton's Hungary solo start a good or bad look for F1?

OPINION: Different perspectives had Lewis Hamilton’s solo second standing start in Formula 1’s 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix as fabulous or farcical. But did it make the championship appear too silly for the sake of a moment of high-charged sporting drama?

Why unseen Hungary heroics could be Latifi's making Prime

Why unseen Hungary heroics could be Latifi's making

The chaotic start to the Hungarian GP set the scene for F1's less heralded drivers to make a name for themselves. Esteban Ocon did just that to win in fine style, but further down the order one driver was making his first visit to the points and - while the circumstances were fortunate - took full advantage of the chance presented to him

Formula 1
Aug 3, 2021
Hungarian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Hungarian Grand Prix driver ratings

This was race that showcased the best and worst of Formula 1, producing a first time winner and a memorable comeback to a podium finish. Avoiding trouble at the start and astute strategy calls were key to success, but where some drivers took full advantage, others made key errors that cost them dearly

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The "heart-breaking" call that led to Ocon's Hungarian GP triumph Prime

The "heart-breaking" call that led to Ocon's Hungarian GP triumph

Set to restart the red-flagged Hungarian Grand Prix in second, Esteban Ocon had some doubts when he peeled into the pits to swap his intermediate tyres for slicks. But this "heart-breaking" call was vindicated in spectacular fashion as the Alpine driver staved off race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel for a memorable maiden Formula 1 victory

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Prime

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall...

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Prime

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Prime

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed.

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021