After Max Verstappen’s grid penalty for not respecting yellow flags during qualifying, Christian Horner was angry at the marshals who, in his opinion, waved the flags unfairly. Race director Michael Masi is standing up for the marshals.
Penalties for Verstappen and Bottas
At the end of Q3, Pierre Gasly suffered a puncture, which caused a yellow flag situation. It cost Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas their second and third starting spots as both drivers did not reduce speed enough. Gasly continued to drive so as not to get in the way of other cars and according to Horner, the yellow flags were therefore unjustified. The Red Bull team boss eventually received a warning from the FIA for blaming a “rogue marshal”.
At Motorsport.com Masi once again speaks up for the marshal. “The marshals react to the situation they see in front of them. If you look at what happened to Gasly at the time, they acted on their instincts. Whether it’s then a single or double yellow flag is up to those marshals to decide. They judge what they see in front of them. That’s why they’re there.” According to Masi, it is therefore entirely appropriate that the marshal waved yellow.
Only safety car is determined centrally
Masi also explains once again in the interview that in principle all flags are determined by the marshals. “The local officials operate the yellow flags, they always have. So do the light panels these days. That’s the case on all circuits in all branches of this sport. Only the safety car is determined centrally by the race committee.”