Christian Horner has been issued an official warning by the FIA for suggesting motorsport's governing body had no control over one of its circuit marshals at the Qatar Grand Prix.
Horner was found to have breached two articles in the FIA's International Sporting Code, one of which relates to "any words, deeds or writings that have caused moral injury or loss to the FIA, its bodies, its members or its executive officers, and more generally on the interest of motor sport and on the values defended by the FIA."
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen was given a five-place grid penalty for Sunday's race for not obeying double waved yellow flags on the side of the circuit at the end of qualifying. Yellow flags signal for a driver to slow down and had been triggered by Pierre Gasly's car sustaining a puncture and the French driver slowing on the pit straight.
Red Bull were upset with the penalty and speaking to Sky Sports ahead of the race, Horner was critical of the FIA.
"We're really struggling to understand it," Horner said in the interview. "It looks like a complete balls-up.
"The FIA have effectively said, 'Play on, the circuit is safe, it's clear'. Max was in the first sector, we had so much time to look at it. The dash, everything for him, if indicated otherwise, we would of course, had informed him. Unfortunately there's a yellow flag, he just didn't see it. He saw the white one [panel], he saw the car, he even saw a green light on the right hand side.
"I think it's just a rogue marshall that stuck a flag out. He's not instructed to by the FIA, they've got to have control of the marshals. It's as simple as that.
"That's a crucial blow in the championship for us. We're now starting P7 at a track you can't overtake at. That is massive."
In a highly unusual turn of events, Horner was summoned to see the stewards after the race.
The stewards issued him an official warning for his comments, with Horner then backtracking and apologising for what he had said in a post-race interview with Sky Sports and other outlets.
The verdict said: "The Stewards heard from the Team Principal (Christian Horner). He explained that his reaction was one that was made under the pressure of competition following the penalty imposed on the driver of Car 33.
"The Stewards explained that the marshal concerned was doing his job in precisely the manner prescribed in the International Sporting Code. Mr Horner offered to apologise to the marshal concerned and to explain to the media that he meant no offense.
"He also offered to participate in the 2022 FIA International Stewards Programme in early February. "The Stewards unreservedly accept Mr Horner's offer."
The two articles Horner was found to have breached read as follows:
Article 12.2.1.f Any words, deeds or writings that have caused moral injury or loss to the FIA, its bodies, its members or its executive officers, and more generally on the interest of motor sport and on the values defended by the FIA.
12.2.1.k Any Misconduct towards:
• officers or member of the staff of the FIA,
• members of the staff of the Organiser or promoter,
• members of the staff of the Competitors,
• doping control officials or any other person involved in a doping control carried out in accordance with Appendix A.