The FIA race stewards did not consider issuing a black flag to disqualify Sebastian Vettel from Sunday's Italian Grand Prix at Monza following his unsafe rejoining of the circuit in the early part of the race.

Vettel spun at Ascari on Lap 6 before driving back onto the circuit and into the path of Racing Point driver Lance Stroll, making contact with the car and sending it into a spin.

Vettel was hit with a 10-second stop/go penalty for the incident, acting as the most severe punishment a driver can receive short of a black flag that would disqualify them from the race.

Stroll was also punished for unsafely returning to the circuit moments after Vettel's incident, receiving a drive-through penalty for forcing Pierre Gasly off the circuit. The Canadian said after the race that he thought the penalties should have been equal.

Asked by Crash.net to explain why the penalties were different, Masi said the contact caused by Vettel with Stroll justified the harsher penalty.

"With Sebastian’s one, it was one for rejoining unsafely, and then the second part of that was for causing a collision," Masi said.

"Whereas as with Lance and Pierre, that was just an unsafe rejoin of the track, and therefore the difference between the two penalties handed out."

Asked in a follow-up question by Crash.net if a black flag had been considered for Vettel, Masi said: "No. Not to my knowledge. It’s not something that the stewards brought up."

Masi went on to explain that a black flag could only be issued after the race as drivers cannot be disqualified without a hearing, as per the FIA's International Sporting Code.

"You’ve got to something seriously severe to be disqualified from a race," Masi said.

"Furthermore, you can’t actually disqualify under the International Sporting Code without the ability to give somebody the opportunity of being heard.

"So even in that case, a black flag would not be displayed in the race. It would be in a hearing afterwards."

Vettel also received three penalty points on his FIA Super Licence, taking him up to nine in total for the 12-month period. Any driver accruing 12 penalty points in 12 months receives an automatic one-race ban.

 

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