Adrian Sutil has hit out at Formula One’s stewards, claiming they have reacted to and penalized infractions in an inconsistent fashion.
Sutil received a three-place grid penalty for holding up Lewis Hamilton during qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix, but said he had been impeded in a similar fashion in Belgium but no penalties had been handed down.
“I think they just wanted to make an example now to say ‘we are consistent in penalties’,” Sutil said to Autosport.
It was the second time this year Sutil had been penalized for holding up Hamilton – he also did so while being lapped by the Mercedes driver in Canada.
Sutil also criticized the stop-go penalty given to Pastor Maldonado in Belgium, describing it as inconsequential given Maldonado’s low position in the running order. The Williams driver collided with Sutil and team mate Paul di Resta, putting the latter out of the race.
“I think the penalty for Maldonado was a joke,” said Sutil. “He was out of the race anyway after this incident and he gets, what, a drive-through? He deserved a grid position penalty.”
“The problem is that sometimes there are drivers that are kind of stupid,” he added. “They have no intelligence, and for them we need all the rules.”
Max Verstappen has picked his illegal pass on Kimi Raikkonen on the final lap of the United States Grand Prix as his favorite overtake of the Formula 1 season.
Verstappen was one of F1’s most prolific passers through 2017, making 22 overtaking moves as per Pirelli’s end of year data.
When asked to pick out his favorite in a post-season interview on his official website, Verstappen picked his bold move on Raikkonen at the Circuit of The Americas that sparked controversy when he was penalized for completing the overtake off-track.
The Red Bull driver had charged from 16th on the grid to cross the line third, only for a five-second time penalty to deny him a podium and drop him to fourth in a snap call made before the post-race ceremony.
“Of course, at first your initial reaction is something like: ‘Why? It was a great move.’ But when you look at the rules, it was not correct,” Verstappen said.
“Nothing was by the book that whole weekend. Drivers were getting off track without being penalized for it. But you always need to focus on the positives: it was still a nice race and everyone enjoyed the excitement all the way down to the final lap.
“It’s always nice to be on the podium, but to finish fourth after having started sixteenth, is still a great result.
“It wasn’t as painful as most people thought it was. In the end I made my peace with it.”
Asked if it was his best move of the year, Verstappen said: “Yes, because this year I actually didn’t have that many overtakes.
“With this car you are actually only able to overtake on the straights, which is really not that satisfying compared to last year.”