Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has called for the Formula 1 community to not put pressure on the race stewards in the wake of their ruling on Sebastian Vettel in Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix.

Vettel was handed a controversial five-second time penalty for unsafely rejoining the track while defending the lead from Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton, costing him victory.

The incident sparked outrage in much of the F1 community, with a number of paddock figures and former drivers condemning the ruling.

Speaking after the race, Mercedes chief Wolff would not be drawn on his thoughts on the penalty, but stressed the importance of respecting the FIA-appointed stewards to avoid making their job more complicated in the future.

“I think it’s clear that you want to win on the track in a clean fashion, because incidents like this create a lot of controversy,” Wolff said.

“My view on the incident is that it’s very difficult for stewards to interpret regulations so that everybody is satisfied. I think on that particular incident, you can judge 60-40 either side.

“But what we must not do is put the stewards under pressure in a way that they will struggle more in the future to come up with decisions.

“We need consistent decision making from the stewards, and we need to support the stewards in their objective to reach that.

“Sometimes it goes for you, sometimes it goes against you. It went against us in the past.”

Wolff said he felt the penalty had been applied in line with F1’s regulations, meaning a review of the rulebook and not the stewards themselves was more appropriate should changes be desired in the wake of the incident.

“I think the penalty was what the rules say. It was according to the rules and the stewards are thinking according to the rules,” Wolff said.

“If we’re not happy with the rules, because we like harder racing, count me in. Then the stewards will take another decision because the rule will be a different one.

“Let’s look at the rules and see how we can get it right so we encourage hard racing and then the verdict will be a different one.”


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