‘It shouldn’t be a punishment to come here’: British racer Sam Bird criticises ruling to make Max Verstappen shadow race stewards at Formula E
- Max Verstappen spent the day shadowing the race stewards in Morocco
- A punishment issued by the FIA for pushing Formula One driver Esteban Ocon
- The stewards were busy throughout the second race of the Formula E season
Max Verstappen called his public service ‘constructive’ after serving the punishment at Saturday’s Marrakech EPrix. But British racer Sam Bird said the exercise had done Formula E ‘an injustice’.
Verstappen spent the day shadowing the race stewards in Morocco as part of a punishment issued by governing body the FIA, for pushing fellow Formula One driver Esteban Ocon after November’s Brazilian Grand Prix when the pair collided.
But Bird – who finished third in Marrakech – criticised the ruling.
Max Verstappen called his public service ‘constructive’ after serving the punishment
British racer Sam Bird said the exercise ordered by the FIA had done Formula E ‘an injustice’
‘To call coming to a Formula E race community service I think does Formula E a bit of an injustice,’ said the Virgin Racing driver. ‘It shouldn’t be a punishment to come here.
‘I hope he enjoyed it and I hope he will give good feedback to some of his colleagues.’ The stewards were kept busy throughout the second race of the Formula E season, which Jerome d’Ambrosio won by just 0.143 seconds after BMW team-mates Antonio Felix da Costa and Alex Sims crashed when first and second.
Verstappen said the experience had been eye-opening and praised the all-electric series.
‘It’s interesting to see it from the other side,’ said the Red Bull driver. ‘Normally you can’t spend an entire day with the stewards.
Verstappen spent the day shadowing the race stewards in Morocco as part of a punishment
‘Everybody does their own job during the weekend, and it’s good to really see what it takes to make these important decisions. Sometimes a decision might not be nice for a certain person but it has to be taken and you have to follow the rules.
‘I think it’s good to experience different things in racing rather than just sitting in the car – to be here and do this kind of work has been a constructive thing for me.
‘I’ve of course followed Formula E a bit on TV but I’ve never been in the paddock, and I really enjoyed the day.
‘First of all it was a really exciting race. The championship is clearly growing and there are a lot of manufacturers here, so I think it’s a cool series.’ The 21-year-old Dutchman has one more day of public service to do for the angry row with Ocon.