Yuki Tsunoda at the dawn of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix made some statements about FIA’s race direction and stewarding in Formula 1 commenting that over the opening races of 2022 it has been “super inconsistent”.
Remember that from this year the role of race director is shared between Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas. The two replaced Michael Masi, relieved of his role after last season's controversial final championship in Abu Dhabi.
The AlphaTauri driver until now has accumulated four reprimands for driving incidents, the latest came after stewards determined he impeded Kevin Magnussen during practice in Monaco. One more and then he will receive an automatic 10-place grid penalty.
“To be honest - Tsunoda admitted to media in Baku today - I’m not trusting of the FIA, every time is super inconsistent.”
“I’ve got already four reprimands and the last time in Monaco, I still don’t know why. It’s not good to say that ‘other drivers were doing it’, but other drivers were doing even worse things and they don’t have even an investigation at some races, but other races they have something strict or something like that.
“So probably if someone crossed the white line, they get penalty at some other races”, the Japanese driver says, referring to the Ferrari protest after the Monaco GP.
The Scuderia in fact protested the result of race, which was won by Sergio Perez, claiming he and Red Bull team mate Max Verstappen crossed the white line at pit exit during the race.
Last year Tsunoda was actually penalised for a similar violation at the Red Bull Ring, which episode was cited by Ferrari in their protest, but this time no action has been taken and the protest was dismissed by the stewards.
“For me, I just stick to what the regulations say or just be safest as much as possible to not get into any trouble. I don’t think that ‘okay, Max or Checo was the crossing the line last time in Monaco, so we can do it’.
“I think Azerbaijan’s going to be a different story. Every time it’s different”, added the young Japanese star.
In conclusion, Tsunoda doesn't seem very enthusiastic about the new dual race director system and of those who occupy this position, admitting that F1 may be missing Masi's experience in this role.
“It is a completely different style of race director,” he explained. “I’m not saying it’s a fully negative thing. There’s also good things that try to make it consistent, to be fair as much as possible with all the teams. For example, that white line track limit is more clear.
“But a lot of other things – for example racing incidents or the traffic management, all those sorts of things – I think Michael Masi had more experience, if I compare.
“So we probably need to wait more time or they need more time to get used to it or have more experience and having good data to make actually good rules. So until then, I just have to survive to not get a penalty.”