Michael Masi explains why Sebastian Vettel received harsher penalty than Lance Stroll

Sebastian Vettel spins at the Italian Grand Prix

Formula 1 Race Director Michael Masi has explained why Sebastian Vettel received a harsher sanction than Lance Stroll at the Italian Grand Prix.

Vettel held fourth place during the opening stages at Monza but spun through the Ascari Chicane, and upon re-joining the track tagged Racing Point driver Stroll.

Stroll was sent spiralling across the circuit and when he re-grouped he forced Pierre Gasly to take evasive action, running through the gravel trap.

Vettel was handed a 10-second stop-and-go penalty while Stroll was issued with a drive-through penalty, and post-race the Canadian felt the two incidents warranted the same sanction.

But Masi, who took over as Race Director following Charlie Whiting’s death at the start of the season, explained the rationale.

“Basically with the difference between the two, with Sebastian’s one it was one for re-joining unsafely and then the second part of that was for causing a collision,” said Masi.

“Whereas as with Lance and Pierre, that was just an unsafe re-join of the track and therefore the difference between the two penalties handed out.”

Vettel accepted responsibility for the clash but also outlined that he did not see Stroll coming while he was in the process of trying to get his car going again.

“When in doubt be cautious,” said Masi on the correct approach. “I think the teams have a bit to play in everything. I think the honest part is when in doubt be a bit more cautious.

“They have all the GPS, all of the positioning, it was obviously broadcast live. They were given all the same pictures that we all got. There’s all of those tools at the teams disposal.

“The onus is on the driver firstly and secondly for the teams to help them.”