“I think it’s very inconsistent”: Haas team principal’s impassioned rant about Nico Hulkenberg’s penalty in the 2023 F1 Monaco GP

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has called out the inconsistency of the stewards in F1 and the consequences that arise because of it. Steiner was vocal about the stewarding even last season as well when he called out the persistent use of black and white flags for his drivers.

Haas driver Kevin Magnussen had been a victim of these flags, seeing multiple races of his get compromised. This season in Monaco, Nico Hulkenberg was handed a penalty in the race for causing a collision. However, there is no footage that indicates any contact between him and Williams driver Logan Sargeant.

Furious at the way the stewarding is conducted, the Haas team principal called out the inconsistency and said, as quoted by Racingnews365:

“This has consequences. Lap one, we get a penalty for what I think is not a collision, then there are other people running into each other during the race and they get a black and white flag. So I think it’s very inconsistent.”

“Then we look at the accident in Miami between de Vries and Norris in lap one, that was no collision? If a collision is because you attack somebody, and he reacts to it, why would you get a penalty for that?”

He added:

“I still don’t understand it. And I was told in the video that you can see a collision, I looked at numerous pictures and I cannot see a collision. If somebody wants to tell me there is a collision, how can you be sure?”

“And if you don’t know if it is one or not, what is it then? Innocent until proven guilty? Not ‘guilty until proven innocent’ in my opinion.”

Haas team principal advocates a more professional system

The Haas team principal has called for a more professional system to be put in place as he feels there is still a lot left to be desired in the way the stewards were conducting themselves. He said:

“We need a different system for F1 stewards in my opinion, because every other professional sport has got professionals being referees and stuff like this. F1 is one of the biggest sports in the world and we still have laymen deciding on the fate of people who invest millions in their careers. It’s always a discussion because there’s no consistency.”

He added:

“In American racing – NASCAR and IndyCar – how many times do you hear problems with the stewards or the race director’s decisions? Very rarely. But they’re doing it completely different because there are full-time people working there.”

Nico Hulkenberg’s suffered massively because of the early race penalty as the driver’s early progress was completely nullified because of that.

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