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Steiner fined €7,500 for Sochi stewards outburst

SUZUKA, Japan -- Haas team boss Guenther Steiner has been slapped with a €7,500 fine for comments he made about the stewards after the Russian Grand Prix.

Steiner was summoned to the stewards' office in Japan to discuss the Sochi incident in which he claimed, "if we wouldn't have a stupid idiotic steward, we would be eighth. You know who is the steward. You know him. It is always the same. He just does not get any more intelligent..."

The comment was heard over Kevin Magnussen's team radio and was in response to the stewards handing the Dane a five-second time penalty for running wide at Turn 2 and failing to re-join the track through the bollards, as agreed in the drivers' meeting ahead of the race.

Haas argued that Magnussen was unable to do so given the angle he went off the circuit, and if he had attempted to do so he would have been forced to re-join in an aggressive manner.

The stewards stuck to the letter of the law, however, and dished out the penalty -- one which dropped Magnussen from eighth to ninth at the chequred flag and led to Steiner's post-race outburst.

The stewards in Russia referred the matter to the stewards in Japan as certain members of the Haas team had already departed the circuit. On Friday afternoon at Suzuka, Steiner met with the stewards of the Japanese Grand Prix before the verdict was handed down.

"The Stewards conducted a hearing with Mr. Steiner. He confirmed that his comment was related only to a single steward of the Russian Grand Prix panel and that his radio transmission happened in the heat of the moment after a hotly contested race by his drivers," the statement from the FIA read. "In retrospect, he regretted his choice of words used at the time. He did not intend for his words to reflect unfavourably on the FIA officials of the event and the championship.

"Nevertheless, the affected radio communication as transmitted at the time is an insult to the stewards of the event and calls into question both the skills and the integrity of those stewards. Such statements harm the reputation of motorsport in general and call into question the professionalism of the officials of the FIA. Public personal attacks against individual officials are totally inappropriate and will not be accepted.

"The wording used by Mr. Steiner has caused moral injury to FIA officials, was prejudicial to the interests of motorsport and therefore shall be deemed to be a breach of the rules.

"Since no penalties have been imposed on Mr. Steiner for similar behaviour in the past, a fine of the amount imposed is considered appropriate. However, in the event of future violations, it may become necessary to consider whether a team should be penalized, along with any individual involved, with harsher sanctions."