Brawn calls for greater transparency in penalties

On and on and on it goes… be it fans, team bosses, drivers or world champions, everyone has their own opinion on that penalty… and they are determined to share it.

As he works on the regulations aimed at taking the sport forward; making the playing field more level, curbing spending, creating great looking cars that produce wheel-to-wheel racing, F1 technical boss, Ross Brawn already has his work cut out.

However, as the furore over Sunday’s race-changing penalty continues, with much of the media putting the blame for the situation firmly at the door of the rule-makers, the Briton knows that all his work can be undone at the stroke of a steward’s pen.

As a result, the self-admitted poacher turned gamekeeper, who won F1 titles with Benetton, Ferrari and his own team, is calling for greater transparency.

“I can understand how Vettel feels,” says Brawn in his sum-up of Sunday’s race, “and I know Ferrari intends to appeal the decision.

“I also know what a difficult job the stewards have,” he continues, “as they have to reach their decision in a very short time, producing a verdict that can affect the outcome of the race.

“As such, I don’t want to give an opinion on the decision, because in my position it would be wrong to do so,” he admits. “I have a lot of respect for the work of the stewards and for their professionalism and I believe they would be the first to say that they would prefer not to see a race outcome decided via a penalty.

“At the same time, I understand how difficult it must be for fans to understand why the driver on the top step of the podium is not the one who crossed the finish line first.

“That’s why transparency is important when it comes to explaining the decisions of the stewards, especially in such a complex sport as Formula 1.

“It is in football, where despite the arrival of VAR, there is still discussion as to whether a handball should be punished with a penalty or not,” said Brawn, a keen Manchester United supporter. “Therefore, it might be useful to work with the FIA on solutions that would allow the stewards to explain their decisions to the fans and to elaborate on how they reached them.”

“I would emphatically add is that there is nothing sinister about a decision like this,” he insisted. “You might agree with it or not, but none of those who take on the role of steward each weekend has a hidden agenda and fans can be certain of that.”