Steiner: Apologies if my statements were misunderstood

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Haas F1 Team boss Guenther Steiner issued a statement ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix today, after being summoned to FIA Race Stewards for comments he made regarding the governance of Formula 1.

After Saturday’s meeting, Steiner released the following email statement: “Yesterday (Saturday, June 3) I attended a Steward’s Hearing concerning comments I made during my press conference last Thursday (June 1).

“I expressed to the Stewards my disappointment and disagreement with the decision taken by the Monaco Stewards last weekend. 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,” concluded the statement.

This comes after Steiner told reporters in Barcelona on Thursday: “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. We’ve been discussing this for years and years and we always go back to this.

“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,” the Haas boss reckoned, clearly not appreciated by the FIA.

As we reported, the cause of the furore was that Hulkenberg was handed a five-second penalty for causing an opening lap collision with Williams rookie Logan Sargeant last Sunday but Steiner was adamant there had been no contact.

The FIA race stewards also ruled that as Hulkenberg was “unable to control the car and was not forced there by any other car” the clash did not get the benefit of the doubt of a first-lap incident.