Motor racing-Steiner summoned to stewards after critical comments

FILE PHOTO: Formula One F1 - Australian Grand Prix - Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, Melbourne, Australia - March 30, 2023 Haas team director Guenther Steiner arriving at the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit REUTERS/Darrian Traynor

(Reuters) - Spanish Grand Prix stewards summoned Haas team boss Guenther Steiner on Saturday after he criticised a penalty handed to Nico Hulkenberg in Monaco and said Formula One needed professional officials.

The summons followed a report from the governing FIA after alleged breaches of articles in the International Sporting Code in a team media briefing at the Circuit de Catalunya on Thursday.

The articles refer to "any act prejudicial to the interests of any competition or to the interests of motor sport generally" as well as any words, deeds or writings causing "moral injury or loss" to the FIA.

Article 12.2.1.k also covers misconduct towards officials and FIA officers.

"I don't know what I've done this time," Steiner told Sky Sports television. "I think if I talk now I get the call a second time.

"I take these things seriously and I will tell them my opinion about it.

"Nico Hulkenberg, the penalty we got, I had an opinion on that. And obviously I voiced it. That must be what it is about."

Hulkenberg was handed a five-second penalty for causing an opening lap collision with Williams rookie Logan Sargeant in Monaco last Sunday but Steiner was adamant there had been no contact.

The German was later handed a further 10-second penalty for failing to serve the first one correctly.

Steiner had told reporters on Thursday that "F1 is one of the biggest sports in the world and we still have laymen deciding on the fate of people that invest millions in their careers".

"Every other sport has professional referees ... NASCAR, IndyCar, how many times do you hear problems with the stewards or with the race director's decisions? Very rarely," he added.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Ed Osmond)

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