Race director Michael Masi defends the marshal who waved the yellow flag during qualifying in Qatar. Christian Horner thought it was unfair for the marshal to do so and called him a “rogue marshal.” Masi indicates to Motorsport.com that it is precisely the marshals who determine when the yellow flag is raised.
The yellow flag situation in Qatar caused a lot of commotion. Pierre Gasly suffered a flat tire in Q3. Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas did not let go of the gas and that cost them dearly. For example, Verstappen had to go five places back and Bottas three. The Red Bull Racing team boss thought the yellow flag was unjustified.
Acting on instinct
Masi says the marshals are responding to the situation. He said they acted on instinct. “Whether it’s a single or double yellow flag, it’s up to them to decide. They have to judge what they see and that is the reason they are there”, the race director starts. It is therefore not surprising that the flag was hanging out, because a car was stationary on the track.
We always work with local marshals. “They operate the yellow flags and that is not new. That’s how it always went. Today they also operate the light panels,” explains Masi. The Australian continues: “That is the case on all tracks, not just in Formula 1, but in all classes.” The race director emphasizes that only the safety car is called in by the race management.