F1 Team Principals Wolff and Vasseur Warned for Inappropriate Language
Nov.11 - In a remarkable turn of events at the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, both Toto Wolff, Team Principal of Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team, and Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal of Scuderia Ferrari, have received formal warnings from the FIA Stewards for using language deemed inconsistent with the values of the FIA.
The investigation into Wolff's comments began following a report by the FIA Media Delegate regarding his conduct during the Las Vegas GP FIA Press Conference on 16 November. After a thorough review, the Stewards found Wolff's language in violation of Article 12.2.1.f of the FIA International Sporting Code. The FIA emphasized that such language is unacceptable, especially from high-profile sport participants who are often considered role models by many, including younger fans. However, Wolff's defense noted that his remarks were out of character and a response to an unexpected interruption during the press conference. Acknowledging these mitigating factors, the Stewards issued a formal warning rather than a harsher penalty.
Similarly, Vasseur faced scrutiny for his language used during the same press conference. Like Wolff, Vasseur was found to have breached the same article of the FIA International Sporting Code. His comments, reportedly fueled by frustration and upset over an incident in FP1, were also seen as uncharacteristic. The Stewards, taking these circumstances into account, decided to issue a formal warning to Vasseur.
Both incidents highlight the FIA's increasing focus on maintaining professionalism and decorum within Formula 1, especially among its leading figures. The warnings serve as a reminder to all competitors and stakeholders in the sport that the FIA will not tolerate language that undermines its values and principles.
The decisions by the FIA Stewards are independent and based solely on the regulations and evidence presented. Competitors have the right to appeal these decisions in accordance with the relevant articles of the FIA International Sporting Code and the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Rules.
This development adds an intriguing layer to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, illustrating the intense pressures and responsibilities team principals face in the high-stakes world of Formula 1 racing.
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