Things ... Interpretation of regulations

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
Much has been written about the interpretation of regulations 48.12 and 48.13. In my day-job, I spend an awful lot of time interpreting the meaning of regulations, particularly how they can be applied, so I thought I'd go through and explain why there is an argument that the regulations were followed on Sunday (even if the optics didn't look great).

Regulation 48.12
If the clerk of the course considers it safe to do so, and the message "LAPPED CARS MAY NOW OVERTAKE" has been sent to all Competitors via the official messaging system, any cars that have been lapped by the leader will be required to pass the cars on the lead lap and the safety car.
Here, the use of "any" is interesting, as "all" would carry no ambiguity. In addition, the message "LAPPED CARS MAY NOW OVERTAKE" was not issued - instead a different instruction was issued. There is an argument that, since a different instruction was issued, then the rest of the regulation (below) does not apply, because of the beginning "If the clerk of the course considers it safe to do so, and the message...". This could be used as an argument that essentially a new rule was created.
This will only apply to cars that were lapped at the time they crossed the Line at the end of the lap during which they crossed the first Safety Car line for the second time after the safety car was deployed. Having overtaken the cars on the lead lap and the safety car these cars should then proceed around the track at an appropriate speed, without overtaking, and make every effort to take up position at the back of the line of cars behind the safety car.
This element is providing instructions relating to the behaviour of cars.
Whilst they are overtaking, and in order to ensure this may be carried out safely, the cars on the lead lap must always stay on the racing line unless deviating from it is unavoidable. Unless the clerk of the course considers the presence of the safety car is still necessary, once the last lapped car has passed the leader the safety car will return to the pits at the end of the following lap.
The key element in this section, that has been drawn upon is "once the last lapped car has passed the leader the safety car will return to the pits at the end of the following lap." - however, this is effectively stating that the latest it should return to the pits is the end of the following lap (as this section is effectively overruled by 15.3)
If the clerk of the course considers track conditions are unsuitable for overtaking the message "OVERTAKING WILL NOT BE PERMITTED" will be sent to all Competitors via the official messaging system
This message was also not applied.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
I can do no better than quote (again and again) this open letter to FISA by Colin Chapman from 1981 as I have many times before:

"When this will be over I shall seriously reconsider whether Grand Prix racing is what it purports to be: the pinnacle of sport and technical achievement. Unfortunately this no longer appears to be the case and if one does not clean it up, Formula 1 will end up in a quagmire of plagiarism, chicanery and petty rule interpretation forced by lobbies and manipulated by people for whom the word sport has no meaning"

Colin Chapman. April 10th 1981
 

Augustine

Browser
Can I ask a question?
I'm not a Formula 1 follower, just a lover of sports.
Did the Race Director, Michael Masi, know that Verstappen had pitted and changed to soft tyres before the decision was made to only allow the 5 cars between the two leaders to unlap themselves?
 

Hamberg

Those who know, they know
Contributor
Can I ask a question?
I'm not a Formula 1 follower, just a lover of sports.
Did the Race Director, Michael Masi, know that Verstappen had pitted and changed to soft tyres before the decision was made to only allow the 5 cars between the two leaders to unlap themselves?
Welcome Augustine, you've certainly come to the right place if you want to learn. Not by me I might add, F1 has been my first love since 1993 but my technical knowledge and history is nowhere near these guys.

I honestly don't know, he seemed in such a flap and was being so harassed it's possible he didn't know. He should know that he pitted given but I couldn't say with some certainty. Others will have a view.

What did you make of Sunday? I've found the views of non followers really fascinating.
 

Augustine

Browser
Welcome Augustine, you've certainly come to the right place if you want to learn. Not by me I might add, F1 has been my first love since 1993 but my technical knowledge and history is nowhere near these guys.

I honestly don't know, he seemed in such a flap and was being so harassed it's possible he didn't know. He should know that he pitted given but I couldn't say with some certainty. Others will have a view.

What did you make of Sunday? I've found the views of non followers really fascinating.
Hi Hamberg, thanks for the warm welcome.

Firstly, let me say that I wanted Lewis Hamilton to win. I've got nothing against Max Verstappen, I think he's a brilliant driver but I'm more familiar with Lewis and I wanted him to win.

Sunday brought to light an issue that I've struggled to understand in F1. I could have driven faultlessly all weekend, lapped everyone in the field and earned myself a 2 minute lead going into the penultimate lap. Then some other driver on the other side of the track crashes and, through no fault of mine, suddenly the safety car comes out and my 2 minute lead is wiped out! How is that fair? F1 deals in milliseconds, surely they could arrange it for every car to restart however many seconds they were behind the car in front when the race stopped.

Focusing solely on Sunday, I believe Lewis was robbed. As I understand it, Mercedes didn't pit for new tyres when the safety car came out because, to their mind, Verstappen was either going to have to drive through a number of lapped cars to even begin to challenge Hamilton if there was a final lap, or all the lapped cars were going to be allowed through and the race would run out of laps and finish under the safety car. By introducing a new element, in only allowing the 5 lapped cars between the two leaders to unlap, the Race Director essentially destroyed Mercedes' correct strategy and set up an artificial one lap sprint, where one car, with new fresh tyres, now had a significant advantage over the other.

Many people are saying that Lewis was unlucky and that Red Bull gambled and got it right but with the rules as they were written in mind, Mercedes couldn't pit for fear of losing track position if the race finished behind the safety car. Introducing that new element, of only allowing the 5 cars to unlap, benefited only Red Bull. Surely if anyone had earned the right to benefit from a new interpretation of the rules, it should have been the driver who was leading the race by 10 seconds when it was halted.

Which brings me back to my original question. If Masi didn't know that Max had pitted and was now on new soft rubber, then, grudgingly, you would have to accept that in his eagerness to finish the season on a climax, he made a mistake and it wasn't intentional. However, if he did know that Max had pitted and was now driving a far superior car, then he must also have known that that last lap shoot out was only going to have one ending, and that would be unacceptable. For me, it all comes down to what Masi knew, and when.
 

Dartman

Pole Sitter
I think the problem is every meeting attended by the teams are accompanied by lawyers, with ever increasing numbers of F1 personnel being teetotal nothing gets sorted, in the old days they all met up down the pub sorted it out, had a meeting, agreed the pub decision then went down the pub and patted themselves on the back, then over a few more drinks, considered whether they got it right, but when sober the next morning they couldn't remember what happened and the decisions of the meeting were ratified, today everthing is too serious so it's all f :censored:d up.
 

Brogan

Legend
Staff Member
There is no doubt Masi knew that Verstappen had pitted and was therefore on new tyres.

Even if he didn't, he threw out the rules to get a TV ratings finish and in doing so handed the win to Verstappen.
 

Speshal

World Champion
Valued Member
I can do no better than quote (again and again) this open letter to FISA by Colin Chapman from 1981 as I have many times before:

"When this will be over I shall seriously reconsider whether Grand Prix racing is what it purports to be: the pinnacle of sport and technical achievement. Unfortunately this no longer appears to be the case and if one does not clean it up, Formula 1 will end up in a quagmire of plagiarism, chicanery and petty rule interpretation forced by lobbies and manipulated by people for whom the word sport has no meaning"

Colin Chapman. April 10th 1981

"We cannot continue in a sport that is meant to be sport followed by entertainment and not the other way around."

Toto Wolff - December 2021
 

Il_leone

World Champion
I can do no better than quote (again and again) this open letter to FISA by Colin Chapman from 1981 as I have many times before:

"When this will be over I shall seriously reconsider whether Grand Prix racing is what it purports to be: the pinnacle of sport and technical achievement. Unfortunately this no longer appears to be the case and if one does not clean it up, Formula 1 will end up in a quagmire of plagiarism, chicanery and petty rule interpretation forced by lobbies and manipulated by people for whom the word sport has no meaning"

Colin Chapman. April 10th 1981
I think the FIA have a twitter page to remind them about this
 
Top Bottom