Boss criticises FIA after Button penalty

By on Monday, March 28, 2011

Mar.28 (GMM) Martin Whitmarsh criticised FIA officials after Jenson Button served a drive-through penalty in the Australian grand prix.

The British driver took a short-cut on the inside of Albert Park's high-speed chicane on Sunday as he passed Ferrari's Felipe Massa.

"I feel a bit harshly treated," boss Whitmarsh is quoted as saying by British newspapers.

"As the incident happened we asked race control for their advice, what we should do. They explained they would come back to us and they didn't," he revealed.

"The next thing we knew it had gone to the stewards, Massa had stopped and we were unable to do anything about it. When they say 'We'll get back to you', you expect, to be honest, that they'll get back to you.

"It's frustrating and its annoying," he added.

At the same time, Button admitted to suspecting that Ferrari called Massa in for new tyres immediately after the incident so that he would not be able to simply let the Brazilian back into position.

"I don't know if Ferrari pitted Massa on purpose so I would get a drive-through, fair enough if they did. That's the way it is," he said.

"Maybe it was done on purpose, maybe not. I just don't know why he was so slow. It screwed both of us," added Button.

Overall, however, Whitmarsh admitted he was happy with the pace of the MP4-26 in Australia, with Lewis Hamilton finishing second after a dire winter season.

"Two weeks ago I would have snatched your hand off for that result," he said.

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