Charlie Whiting has defended the decision to let Michael Schumacher keep his Valencia podium.
After Mark Webber spotted the Mercedes with its DRS rear wing being deployed within a yellow flag zone, Red Bull pushed hard for Schumacher to be penalised. The stewards conducted a detailed post-race investigation but ultimately ruled that Schumacher deserved the first top-three podium finish of his comeback career.
“The stewards noted that the driver (made) a significant reduction in speed on entering the double waved flag zone,” the report read.
But Auto Motor und Sport reports that the officials found that Schumacher had indeed used his DRS amid the waving yellow flags.
“It’s not about the DRS position,” FIA race director Charlie Whiting insists. “There is no rule that says the DRS has to be open or closed under yellow flags. The decisive element is whether the driver has slowed or not. And compared to the lap before, Schumacher had taken out a lot of speed,” said the Briton.
Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport said that, in fact, Schumacher was slower at that moment than the whistle-blower Webber.