Former Renault team principal Flavio Briatore has hit out at the FIA for having employees who “aren’t up to the job”, following the delay in announcing Sergio Pérez’s penalty at the Singapore Grand Prix.
Pérez drove flawlessly at last weekend’s race at the Marina Bay Circuit, where he overtook polesitter Charles Leclerc within the first 30 metres of the race and controlled the entirety of it from the front.
However, the Mexican was investigated by the FIA after the race, due to an investigation into whether he dropped too far beyond the Safety Car on multiple occasions.
Bizarrely, the race stewards didn’t look into the incident during the race and instead announced their decision two hours after Pérez crossed the line.
In that time, the podium and post-race press conference had taken place, all whilst there was the chance that the Red Bull driver could be stripped of the win.
The outcome of the steward’s decision saw Pérez awarded with a reprimand, a five-second time penalty and two penalty points onto his superlicence.
It meant that instead of winning the race by seven seconds, he only won the race by two.
Briatore was left aggrieved by the way the FIA handled the investigation, after believing that perhaps Leclerc would’ve driven more aggressively if it was announced during the race that Pérez would get a five-second time penalty.
The Italian admitted that the way it was dealt with “can’t happen”.
“If I were at Ferrari I would have broken my computer,” Briatore said.
“Everyone has their way of governance, but what I can say is that what we saw on Sunday isn’t good for the sport or the show.
“They even had the podium ceremony, but let’s say there was more than a five-second penalty, Ferrari would have won the race two hours later. That can’t happen.
“Was it easier for the FIA to make their ruling given Leclerc finished seven seconds behind Perez? Absolutely, but if they had made a decision right away then perhaps Leclerc would have driven a different race.”
Many people are starting to become increasingly frustrated with the way the FIA are handling investigations, with no consistency appearing apparent.
Briatore believes that there are more issues in races today than there were when he held a team role, with him putting it down to there being more “professionals back then”.
“They [FIA] have people who aren’t up to the job,” said Briatore.
“There’s a problem at every race, even yesterday [Sunday].
“If there was an infraction, why must they wait hours to make a decision when they have everything they need to do so in minutes? It’s the FIA’s fault, not F1. They absolutely must change because a race and event can be ruined, which impacts the championship.
“The FIA must be run by professionals, this is key. The president must decide, it’s important to have a federation that is up to task of governing F1.
“Why didn’t this happen before? Simple, because there were professionals back then.”