Horner: “Unacceptable” for F1 team bosses to be allowed to lobby stewards
Horner was left angry at the way Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff was able to speak to the stewards during their deliberations over the crash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen in last weekend’s British Grand Prix.
After Wolff was advised over team radio by F1 race director Michael Masi to go and speak to the stewards, Horner marched down there himself to make sure that his team’s views were not ignored.
But he thinks that teams having direct access to stewards amid such debates should not be allowed.
“I saw Toto, who was lobbying the stewards, and I heard he was going there to do it, so I went to make sure that our view was represented,” explained Horner about why he was spotted at the stewards.
“I don’t think it’s right that a team principal should be able to go and lobby the stewards. They should be locked away so that they’re not influenced.
“For me, it was unacceptable that he had gone up there to lobby the stewards. I wanted to make sure that there was a balanced opinion given, rather than trying to influence pressure on the stewards to make a menial sentence.”
Horner believes it is in F1’s interests for the stewards to do their deliberation in complete isolation, rather than be potentially influenced by outside parties.
“I don’t think the stewards should be interfered with,” he said. “They need to be clear headed to be able to make those decisions.
“I went to see the stewards because I’d heard that Toto was up there, presenting a case. You want it to be fair and balanced, and I don’t think anybody should be allowed to see the stewards.”
Christian Horner and Toto Wolff in the F1 team principal Press Conference
Photo by: Motorsport Images / FIA Pool
But despite Horner’s views on the matter, F1 race director Michael Masi said he has no problem with the stewards having an open door policy with teams.
“If we have an incident after the race, we invite the teams and the drivers to come up and appear before the stewards,” he said.
“We had the case in Monza last year when Lewis went and spoke to the stewards to understand what happened and have a look at the whole picture. During the suspension, that ability exists, so there’s no reason not to.”
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July 21, 2021 at 10:39AM