A fan has been ridiculed on Twitter for positing a conspiracy theory about the FIA and Red Bull in the aftermath of the Monaco Grand Prix.
During the race in Monte Carlo, Red Bull outplayed Ferrari on strategy, putting Sergio Perez in the lead of the race ahead of Carlos Sainz, while Max Verstappen was lifted to third ahead of Charles Leclerc.
It was an unfortunate day for the Monegasque who, having started on pole, had to watch as his team-mate along with both Red Bull cars finished ahead of him.
As their drivers came out of the pits though, their rear tyres appeared to slightly scrape the yellow line in pit exit, leading to confusion as to whether they had broken any rules.
Ferrari asked the stewards for “clarification” on the matter due to the fact that race director Eduardo Freitas had written in his notes head of the weekend that drivers were to stay “to the right” of the yellow line.
This was ultimately trumped by the International Sporting Code [ISC] which dictates that drivers are not to “cross” the line.
As such, Ferrari’s protest was thrown out in a decision that was labelled “scandalous” by journalist Roberto Chinchero.
Now, a picture has emerged that has made one fan of Sir Lewis Hamilton, Verstappen’s great adversary last year, a bit upset.
On his Instagram, Formula 1 adviser Flavio Briatore posted a picture of himself along with FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali, Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei, and Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.
“They don’t even hide anymore, here is this normal? A team boss who celebrates his victory with the highest authorities of the FIA and F1,” tweeted the conspiracy theorist.
Truth be told, it is not all that uncommon for team bosses to stop by and have a chat with key officials of the sport in an unofficial capacity – they are allowed to be friends away from the racetrack – and the social media user was reminded of that.
“Yeah it’s pretty normal [to be honest],” tweeted a former Red Bull engineer.
“They’re allowed to be friends lol. They’re allowed to celebrate. Team bosses and FIA officials all congregate in the same places lol.. you’re grasping at straws,” said another.
Verstappen’s former performance engineer was brilliantly more sarcastic in his response.
“Yeah dude seriously. Imagine how much money they are paying the FIA to get this special treatment. It’s insane that Christopher Hornur can just do this and think we don’t see it,” he quipped.
Further, another user pointed out that ben Sulayem had already been to Maranello earlier in the month to visit Ferrari.
“Ben was in Maranello on May, so uhmmm…” she explained.
Finally, it was pointed out that Peter Bayer, who has left his role within the FIA as executive director of single-seaters, has been replaced by Shaila-Ann Rao – a former special adviser at Mercedes.
“Umm…awkward,” responded the user.
In summary, it is perfectly normal for drivers and team principals to be friends with the leaders of the sport, it does not mean that they are slipping money under the table, and any suggestion of such very likely stems from fans trying to fuel an agenda.