Formula 1 Race Director Michael Masi says verbally attacking volunteers within the sport is “not accepted” after rebuking Christian Horner for his comments in Qatar.
In an interview pre-race with Sky Sports F1 Horner expressed his frustration at what he perceived as a “rogue marshal” displaying the double waved yellow flags during the closing stages of Q3.
Max Verstappen was handed a five-place grid penalty for ignoring those yellow flags, dropping from second to seventh, before ultimately recapturing his initial position in the race.
Stewards summoned Horner post-race in breach of Article 12 of the International Sporting Code that relates to the integrity of the FIA and its officials.
Horner was issued an official warning, apologised, and volunteered to participate in February’s International Stewards Programme.
Speaking after the race, Masi explained that “Christian was very apologetic”, including apologising to the marshal personally, and “didn’t mean to offend anyone” but outlined that criticising volunteers is not tolerated.
“I think you should not attack any person, especially when you have thousands of volunteers marshals around the world that give up a huge amount of time globally,” Masi said.
“Without them it [the sport] won’t happen, that’s the part a lot of people miss and I will defend every volunteer official, at every race track around the world, that that is not accepted.
“It was a safety activity, they acted on the best interest of keeping everyone safe on track and I don’t think anyone should be criticised for acting on their instinct.”