Haas will investigate whether it feels Esteban Gutierrez was unfairly penalised for ignoring blue flags during the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Gutierrez was given a five-second time penalty for ignoring blue flags as he was being lapped by Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Hamilton appeared to raise his middle finger at Gutierrez as he finally made his way past – with his team-mate having closed the lead gap to under a second as a result – but Haas team principal Guenther Steiner believes the gesture could have impacted on the penalty.
“I don’t know what he was annoyed about, because he didn’t keep him back that long,” Steiner said when asked about the gesture. “Esteban got penalised by five seconds and we still need to check the data and the timing but I think the five seconds were given because the gesture was done, not because he was holding him up.
“Every racing driver is the same, they all want to go and Esteban cannot go into fresh air, he cannot jump. So it’s a little bit of give and take. I think the good thing is we wouldn’t have got in the points without the five seconds. I think Lewis’ result wasn’t changed with the hold-up, so in the end was it needed? Maybe not, but it happens. For me the five seconds were given because of the gesture.”
However, Steiner made clear he is unsure if there were any examples of drivers ignoring blue flags longer than Gutierrez.
“We have to check the time and we will do a proper evaluation, seeing how long other people were ignoring blue flags and compare it with how long he was ignoring blue flags to see if he was actually ignoring them longer than anybody else. Maybe there was somebody else ignoring them longer but Lewis Hamilton didn’t give them a gesture so maybe that guy wasn’t penalised.
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“It’s difficult for the stewards, I’m not saying it’s easy. It’s very difficult because it’s a judgement call, it’s not only numbers. I have not got the knowledge but for sure we are going to look at some numbers, how long other people ignored blue flags and if there was anybody longer is there a good reason why they didn’t get five seconds?
“We don’t make a big fuss out of it because between finishing 12th or 13th is not a big difference at the end of the day.”
And Steiner joked the incident added entertianment to the race, adding: “We always want interesting racing so I think we should get a bonus for holding him up because at least the two raced then!”
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