Haas boss Steiner fined €7,500 for ‘idiotic steward’ comment

Kevin Magnussen

Haas F1 team boss Guenther Steiner has been slapped with a €7,500 ($12,190 AUD) fine for his comments during the Russian Grand Prix where called one of the race stewards ‘idiotic’.

Haas driver Kevin Magnussen was given a five-second penalty for running off the Sochi track at Turn 2 during a battle with Racing Point’s Sergio Perez.

Magnussen was ruled to have failed to correctly rejoined the circuit.

The penalty dropped the Danish driver from eighth to ninth, leading to Steiner’s comments over the team’s radio after the race.

“If we didn’t have a stupid idiotic steward we would be eighth,” he said over the radio. 

“You know who is the steward. You know him. It is always the same. He just does not get any more intelligent.”

The comments were broadcast in part during live coverage of the race.

“Thanks buddy, what a load of bullshit,” replied Magnussen.

Steiner was summoned to meet with stewards over the comments on Friday after the Japanese Grand Prix.

After admitting he made the comments in the heat of the moment, stewards found Steiner breached the rules of Articles 12.1.1 c) and f) of the FIA International Sporting Code. 

“The wording used by Mr Steiner has caused moral injury to FIA officials, was prejudicial to the interests of motorsport and therefore shall be deemed to be a breach of the rules as defined in Articles 12 1.1.c and 12.1.1.f of the International Sporting Code,” read an FIA statement.

“Such statements harm the reputation of motorsport in general, the FIA in particular, and call into question the professionalism of the officials of the FIA.

“While any factual criticism of steward panel decisions is always welcomed in private discussions with that panel, public personal attacks against individual officials are totally inappropriate and will not be accepted.

“Since no penalties have been imposed on Mr Steiner for similar behaviour in the past, a fine of the amount imposed is considered appropriate.

“However, in the event of future violations, it may become necessary to consider whether a team should be penalised, along with any individual involved, with harsher sanctions.”

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