Steiner reprimanded by FIA for 'laymen' comment

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Haas team boss Guenther Steiner was reprimanded by the FIA for his public comments on a penalty handed by the Monaco Grand Prix stewards to Nico Hulkenberg.

Steiner called into question a five-second penalty handed to Hulkenberg for causing a collision on the opening lap of the race with Williams' Logan Sargeant.

Steiner argued that there was no physical contact 'visible' between the two drivers, a stance which the stewards accepted.

However, the officials were less impressed with the Haas boss' characterization of their status and the Italian's suggestion that they lacked professionalism by calling them "laymen".

"We need a different system for F1 stewards in my opinion, because every other professional sport has got professionals being referees and stuff like this," Steiner told the media in Spain on Thursday.

"F1 is one of the biggest sports in the world and we still have laymen deciding on the fate of people who invest millions in their careers. It's always a discussion because there's no consistency."

In Spain, a separate panel of stewards, distinct from the one in Monaco following the recusal of official Felix Holter, concluded that Steiner's remarks referring to "laymen" and the presence of "professional" personnel in other sports could cause offense to the Monaco stewards as well as to other FIA personnel and volunteers involved in motorsport.

Steiner apologized to the panel, insisting that he had not intended on offending anyone by using certain specific words.

"I expressed to the Stewards my disappointment and disagreement with the decision taken by the Monaco Stewards last weekend," Steiner said in a statement released on Sunday morning.

"The Stewards informed me that they had no issue with people disagreeing with decisions but were more concerned about the interpretation that had been placed on some of my comments.

"I explained to the stewards that I had not intended to offend anyone and that my use of certain words could have been open to misinterpretation or misunderstood by some people.

"I told the Stewards that I apologized if my statements were misunderstood or caused hurt to anyone as that was not my intention. I repeat that apology here."

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