Max Verstappen, Valtteri Bottas and Carlos Sainz had to wait almost 24 hours before the drivers were told whether they would receive a grid penalty in Qatar. After qualifying on Saturday it already became clear that the drivers had to report to the FIA, but the grid penalties (and an acquittal for Sainz, ed.) only fell on Sunday just before the race.
“That is an unusually long time,” Christian Horner told RacingNews365, among others. The Red Bull team boss has his own explanation for it. “I think that, especially looking at what is at stake, extremely rigorous and detailed research is needed with these choices. I think they consciously wanted to make the right choice so that the outcome is watertight.”
During the race weekends in Brazil and Qatar, the FIA was very busy with various matters, including with title rivals Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton. Horner therefore understands that the motorsport safety body does not want to make hasty decisions. “That’s why, of course, they take the time to come to these conclusions.”