F1 Race Director Michael Masi has disagreed with Lewis Hamilton's claims that the rules of racing are no longer clear, following the Brazilian Grand Prix controversy between the Mercedes driver and Red Bull's Max Verstappen.
At Interlagos, Verstappen put up a stern defence against Hamilton at the left-hand Turn 4 that saw both drivers go off the track, as the Dutchman firmly closed the door on his title rival.
However, after noting the incident, the stewards opted against handing out a penalty, with a later request for a right of review from Mercedes also being declined.
This led Hamilton to suggest that the rules of racing wheel-to-wheel were no longer clear, while Verstappen suggested otherwise.
Speaking after the driver briefing in Qatar, Hamilton said: "Every driver, I think, except for Max, was asking for clarity, but it wasn't very clear. It's still not clear what the limits of that track are. It's clearly not the white line anymore when overtaking, so we just go for it."
Masi disagrees with Hamilton
But Masi disagreed with Hamilton's stance, arguing that the briefing clearly defined what is and isn't allowed going forward.
"I think it's been made clear to them what is expected," Masi told media, including RacingNews365.com, after the Qatar Grand Prix.
"I think some of them agree, some of them disagree. That's always with each and every one of them, they have agreed and disagreed all the way through.
"We've given them some overall guidance, but also been very clear on the fact that each and every case will be judged on its merits."
FIA aren't relaxing standards
When it was put to him that it appeared the FIA are relaxing their stance on hard racing incidents like what was seen in Brazil, Masi said that nothing has changed about the stewarding processes or their attitudes towards incidents.
"We're not more relaxed. We're looking at each and every incident on its merits as we have done with each and every one," he emphasised.
"There is a panel of independent stewards, contrary to what many people think, I'm not the one sitting there as judge and jury.
"We have a look, we have a panel of stewards that review each and every incident, and then, as we saw last weekend, they determine if it's worthy of an investigation. If they do, they get investigated and then determine if there's a breach or not.
"You need to look at the whole situation, the weather, the run-off, etc., etc."
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