Drivers calling for clarity over overtaking rules




How overdue has this been? I've been desperate for the past 2 years for some serious discussion to be had over overtaking rules. For me, the one rule that is important in F1 is don't hit the other driver. I don't care if you're ahead, behind, inside, outside it is everybody's responsibility to avoid collisions, not because the rules say so, but because that is what is best for each individual drivers race and safety, as well as the grid as a whole. The problems seem to come in when the FIA get involved. They seem intent on pushing sole responsibility to one driver. It is quite rare these days to see a collision lead to no penalties or 2 cars receiving penalties. "It takes 2 to tango" is a phrase I think applies here. It is very, very rare for there to be a collision in which both drivers were not able to do something to avoid it.

The incidences that have set this latest debate off is a result of Nico Rosberg's aggressive defending in Bahrain and Hamilton leaving the track before he overtook Rosberg. I think arguments can be made on both sides as to who was in the right and wrong, but I think we have seen penalties given out in the past for similar incidences, and the move would not have been possible without modern run-off areas. What is clear though, is that Drivers should have a clear mind as to what they can and cannot do, and that should be consistent from track to track, regardless of run-off areas. It is important that good aggressive driving is allowed in F1, both from attack and defense, but this will only be safe once drivers have been given clarity. I'd personally prefer a system where penalties are dealt with separately from the racing, so they can be done post-race. Stewards seem to be making decisions re-actively these days, without thinking through the wider consequences.
As for the "crowding off the track rule", I can't think of anytime it was applied other than perhaps Schumacher's defense against Barrichello in which he didn't even actually crowd him off the track. It could be argued Button accidentally crowded Lewis off the track in Canada 2011, Alonso did to Vettel last year, Schumacher definitely crowded Lewis off the track last year and Rosberg had 2 wheels off the track in Bahrain with Hamilton, and seemed to force Alonso even harder across the track.
I personally would rather leniency was exercised and am satisfied with the result in this case. I'm surprised at the comments saying that one of them should be penalised as ive only seen the overtaking off the circuit rule exercised where the driver shortens the track to gain advantage. We've seen Vettel and Raikkonen in recent times go off track to get a slingshot and Massa at Monaco repeatedly with 4 wheels off the track in Monaco not be penalised.

I can understand why drivers want clarity though as without the benefit of a run off area there may have been collisions and who would be to blame there?

But then that in itself beggars the question, if it was a wall, would Hamilton and Alonso put themselves there...
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