Sebastian Vettel, Carlos Sainz, Lance Stroll and Valtteri Bottas they were called to see the stewards after the race, and all received the same sanction.
The reprimand was not related to a driving issue, but it did have some significance, because if either driver receives two more driving-related reprimands within the season they face punishment on the grid.
Drivers are only supposed to wear the social message jerseys during the first part of the grid ceremonies to remove them before the host country’s national anthem. The cited pilots argued that, in the busy and rainy conditions prior to the start of the competition, they forgot to take them off.
The decision to sanction the pilots for displaying messages with social causes generated a great stir on social networks, but Still is categorical in stating that everyone knows the rules that were established since the beginning of the season.
“We clarified it earlier this year,” he said. “After discussing internally with the FIA and F1, we said that we wanted to continue giving all drivers a chance to have a moment to show their effective support for We Race as One in the way they chose, but we also established that the national anthem of a country must be respected with the pilots all dressed in their competition uniforms ”.
“It was made very clear that once that moment (the anthems) was presented, the drivers would have to take off their jersey or whatever else they were wearing and go to the ceremony in their competition uniform.”
“And that has been the case for several events, so this is the first time that a situation like this has happened since then. All those drivers who stayed with their shirts on, which was not just Sebastian, because there were four or five , all of them received a reprimand for not following the instructions of the race director ”.
“That act was observed by a number of people, including the media delegate who was there. I myself saw it on television and it went from me to the commissioners, because it was an offense and that is why a reprimand was given for being the first offense ”.
Asked by Motorsport.com whether a reprimand could trigger a penalty on the grid, which would be too strong a penalty, Masi said: “You look at all penalties based on what they are. Reprimands are a lower penalty than a warning, which is not really a sanction, it is a warning. “
“It is a caution on a non-driving issue, so it is necessary to have two reprimands on driving issues and one not involved with driving (such as the one on t-shirts) to finally reach a penalty on the grid. But as an example, three reprimands without driving don’t have that impact. “