Ross Brawn says greater transparency needed over penalty decisions

Ross Brawn, Formula 1 managing director of motorsports, says the sport could do more to ensure there is greater transparency around penalties, and how stewards have come to their decision.

There was uproar in Canada when Sebastian Vettel was handed a five-second time penalty for rejoining the track in an "unsafe manner", which led to him being demoted to second place.

Brawn, a former team boss at Ferrari, sympathises with both the stewards and fans, insisting the decision to impose a penalty which alters the race result is a "difficult job", and therefore believes greater transparency over their decisions could help fans to understand exactly why they have reached that conclusion.

"I can understand how Vettel feels and I know Ferrari intends to appeal the decision. I also know what a difficult job the stewards have, as they have to reach their decision in a very short time, producing a verdict that can affect the outcome of the race," he explained.

"As such, I don’t want to give an opinion on the decision, because in my position it would be wrong to do so. I have a lot of respect for the work of the stewards and for their professionalism and I believe they would be the first to say that they would prefer not to see a race outcome decided via a penalty.

"At the same time, I understand how difficult it must be for fans to understand why the driver on the top step of the podium is not the one who crossed the finish line first.

"That’s why transparency is important when it comes to explaining the decisions of the Stewards, especially in such a complex sport as Formula 1. It is in football, where despite the arrival of VAR, there is still discussion as to whether a handball should be punished with a penalty or not.

"Therefore, it might be useful to work with the FIA on solutions that would allow the stewards to explain their decisions to the fans and to elaborate on how they reached them."

Brawn insists the stewards are impartial and any decision they reach doesn't have a hidden agenda or bias to one driver over another.

"I would emphatically add is that there is nothing sinister about a decision like this. You might agree with it or not, but none of those who take on the role of steward each weekend has a hidden agenda and fans can be certain of that."


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