McLaren strongly disagrees with Formula 1 Race Director Michael Masi’s approach to yellow flag violations following a radio complaint during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Max Verstapen’s crash on the pit just brought double-wave yellow flags to the nearby field before the race director put the safety car into use, and during this phase McLaren complained about the speed Yuki Tsunoda had through the sector. Masi replied that he felt that all drivers were not driving slowly enough and that everyone should be punished so that he collectively did not take any specific action, something McLaren team director Andreas Seidl did not understand.
“I do not think it needs clarification; I think it’s clear what you need to do as a driver when you go through a double yellow flag and you go through the incident and you see the car on the track, ”said Seidl. “And from our point of view, things happened there that were clearly not OK. Also to put it in the context of what we got a penalty, for example (when Lando Norris did not fall under a red flag in the qualifiers).
“But that’s all we can do – we can only report it. If the race director thinks no investigation is required because everyone does – which we strongly disagree with – ask Michael Masi what he is looking for there. ”
Asked for clarification on the situation, Masi said he would bring up the issue with the drivers in France the next time he speaks to them all collectively.
“The reason was that McLaren at the time had asked a question about cars braking for double yellow, and as I said on the radio, I want to have a discussion with all the drivers at the next drivers meeting about etiquette, let’s call it when double-wave yellow flags are displayed, ”Masi said.
Despite the disagreement, Seidl believes Masi is doing well in the role of race director after taking over the late Charlie Whiting in 2019.
“In general, we are very satisfied with the job Michael is doing, which is a very difficult job; but the most important thing on our part is transparency and consistency and good dialogue, which we usually have with him, ”said Seidl.
“Of course there are situations from time to time where you disagree. This is normal when you are on the competitor’s side; he’s on the FIA side. But if you look back at the time since he took over, I think he did a good job. ”