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Former F1 Mika Salo says he received death threats after deciding to penalise Max Verstappen in Austin last Sunday.

Although Australian Garry Connelly received the brunt of the blame, Salo was also on the stewards panel that decided Verstappen’s last-lap pass on Kimi Raikkonen was illegal.

It cost the furious Dutchman a podium, but F1 sporting chief Ross Brawn backs the stewards’ call.

“The punishment was technically correct, but hard,” he said.

Verstappen’s F1 rival Nico Hulkenberg said he feels for the 20-year-old driver.

“In a thousandth of a second you make a decision, so I can understand Max’s side,” the German told Sport1. “It was just an unfortunate situation.”

Unfortunate perhaps, but that hasn’t stopped some of Max’s fans from releasing their fury.

Austin steward Salo is quoted by De Telegraaf newspaper: “I have received several death threats, especially from the Netherlands.

“That should never be tolerated.”

F1 boss Brawn says the important thing is that the sport learns from the controversy.

“Once the dust settles, we need to look at this together with the FIA and the teams,” he said.

“Technology is becoming better and better in helping regulators across sports, including the Bundesliga or Serie A in Italy,” Brawn explained.

“In formula one, we have everything we need for excellent video technology. We then need to find ways to translate that technology into precise and consistent judgements.”


  • Roger Flerity

    I don’t care if his decision was right or wrong. There is no justification for death threats over any activity related to a a sporting event. That’s just nuts. Its an entertainment, nothing more. Strange world we live in today indeed.

  • Salvu Borg

    the stewards don the right job, took the right decision, max gained an advantage when he overtook Kimi by going all four wheels off track by at least one meter of the stewards had unrefutable evedance.

  • Leonardo Pisano Bigollo

    Maybe if Mika said to Garry and Charlie “We promised in Mexico last year we would not make a fast decision and rather would talk to the drivers” then there would not be this issue. They made a decision, didn’t talk to the drivers and gave the drivers and teams no chance of appealing that decision. Certainly death threats are not OK, but doing the right job as a steward would have stopped this happening.

  • Holym4n

    the loss of values next to corruption 🙂

  • Tiago Santos

    That’s a problem of society… that’s the lost of values.

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