Haas' boss Guenther Steiner says the FIA should have concern about the 'example' Lewis Hamilton and other drivers are setting by 'showing the finger' and swearing as his driver Esteban Gutierrez ran into more trouble with the stewards in Belgium.
Gutierrez picked up three penalty points in Spa after he was judged to be going too slowly on the racing line at a dangerous point on the circuit, prompting the unsighted Pascal Wehrlein to take to the grass in avoidance. Haas later explained the error was caused by Gutierrez's engineer becoming 'distracted' and having no time to inform him of Wehrlein's approach.
Marking his fifth penalty point in three races to bring him up to a season total of seven so far, Gutierrez now finds himself just three points shy of a race ban now.
Coming after the Mexican endured a run in with Hamilton at the Hungarian Grand Prix whilst being lapped before Daniel Ricciardo also criticised him in Germany, Steiner fears Gutierrez is being singled out for the recent incidents and the fact the original grievance came from the world champion specifically.
“I don't know if they do [take past incidents into account], they should not but it could be a perception [by the Stewards]. With the blue flags Gutierrez didn't do anything wrong, the only thing that happened was it was Lewis Hamilton and he showed him the finger.
We did the analysis and the guy he was overtaking before Gutierrez, it took only 0.2secs longer to overtake Esteban than the other guy. We got a five second penalty. Lewis was frustrated from the other guy and then showed Esteban the finger and because it wasn't the perfect blue flag overtaking it was a sense of 'Oh it is Esteban again, he did it once'.
Indeed, Steiner contests that Hamilton's 'middle finger salute' as he went past Gutierrez and swearing over the team radio does not show F1 in a positive light.
“The Stewards react to it by not giving the guy the fine for swearing on the radio and showing the finger. That is not a good example. My children should not see a guy who is world champion showing the finger.”
Furthermore, Steiner suggests the drivers in quicker cars shouldn't be solely reliant on lapped cars simply jumping out of the way for them.
“I think if you are in the much quicker car you should be able to overtake yourself and not complain. Sometimes you ask if they are racing car drivers because they are always asking them to move over. We need to get back to more like we are racers.
“If this car is so much quicker and so much better just overtake him. One day if you do not have such a quick car and you need to get out of the way. It was not that long ago when he was in the middle.”
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