Haas F1 team boss Guenther Steiner has often been blunt about his opinions and many love him for it. However, back in the Russian Grand Prix 2019, he may have taken it a little too far.
As a result, he is in danger of facing a ‘draconian punishment’ from the FIA. This was after he criticised race commissioner Emanuele Pirro on the radio, which was broadcast live.
The issue stemmed from when Haas F1 driver Kevin Magnussen was handed a five-second time penalty. The penalty demoted him from eighth to ninth place, which neither the driver, nor team boss, were happy about.
“If it wasn’t for a stupid, idiotic steward, we would be eighth,” he told Magnussen.
Magnussen replied: “Yeah, what a load of shit.”
Naturally, the criticism of Pirro was not taken lying down by the FIA, and they took action.
This is not the first time that Steiner has publicly criticised the stewards. So, motorsport’s governing body is keen to take action against the Austria.
According to Motorsport-Total.com, the FIA is considering three different punishments.
Firstly, he could be slapped with a hefty fine of 250,000 euros, the second punishment is a points’ deduction for Haas.
That would cost them in the Constructors’ Championship, the standings that decide the prize money awarded at the end of the season. However, the third is the harshest punishment, namely a “paddock ban”.
That would leave Steiner having to watch the weekend’s action from the grandstands, similar to football when a manager is thrown out of the dugout and sent to the stands.
FIA race director Michael Masi told Motorsport-Total.com: “Ultimately we’re all here to do our job, be it the officials, the teams, everyone, and there has to be a degree of mutual respect.
“If something inappropriate was said, there are those responsible for legal issues off the racetrack who can look at it.”