FIA Interpreting FIA rules and the consistent application of them

gethinceri

Lance Stroll Fan. Alfa Romeo Fan.
Contributor
As far as race day decisions go, I've now got this image of Jean Todt sat in a room dressed as Blofeld (James Bond Style) and picking up a red phone each time something happens on the circuit to instruct the stewards on a course of action.

I think that in future you should think of him wearing black tight lederhosen (the ones with the braces), baby oiled and nipple-clamped.
You'll thank me for that eventually......................................
 

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
In order to overcome the lack of consistancy as to the application of race rules I believe the first thing that should be done is to appoint a steward panel that is the same for each race event (with the exception of the ex-pro who obviously can be rotated). This should then provide some sort of consistancy in decision even if that may not be the right decision. You see the same sort of thing in Football where one ref will pick up on something with a yellow card week in, week out while another will let that slide but be hot on another area.

There is a permanent travelling group of FIA stewards who attend each race.The ex driver is rotated.
http://www.fia.com/en-GB/mediacentre/pressreleases/wmsc/2009/Pages/wmsc_111209.aspx

F1 Stewards

A smaller permanent group of F1 Stewards will sit with experienced former F1 drivers to provide a permanent panel of three FIA stewards, together with one steward representing the National Sporting Authority, to deal with F1 at each Grand Prix.

There will no longer be a non-voting Chairman and each group of stewards will elect their own Chairman amongst themselves for each race. Utilising video and radio exchanges they should aim to reach decisions very efficiently.

The current observer programme for F1 stewards will continue, and training, distribution of decisions, and an annual meeting will be encouraged to raise the quality of decisions in this permanent group.
 

Brogan

Legend
Staff Member
As we've seen, it hasn't made any difference whatsoever.

Vettel and Buemi were off the circuit when they overtook.

Without that run off area the pass would have been aborted so the pass was solely attributed to them going outside the white line.

Well done FAI(L).
 

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
HEY I am supporting the FIA here.I was simply pointing out that they do have permanent stewards.
In my opinion all four wheels of the car should be inside the white line during the entire race.
Kerb hopping and running on the grass or run off areas should result in either car or tyre damage or the driver having to return to the pits for an immediate 10 second penalty.
 

Brogan

Legend
Staff Member
Yes, I know.
I'm just pointing out that it has made no difference whatsoever when it comes to applying their own rules.

Hence FAI(L), which will henceforth be my term for them.
 

Jen

Here be dragons.
Contributor
Problem is with permanent stewards is that if they are useless they consistently useless.
True, but don't the FIA have to plant their marker in the ground and say to the stewards you are "us", get it right every time.

This is not a "vox pop".
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Valued Member
Cheers for that Sportsman. Bang goes my theory then. LOL

But as you say, and I put in my post, with a permanent panel of stewards, at least they are consistantly useless.

This nagged at me after the race on Sunday but you can at a strech see a difference between what Button did and what Vettel and Buemi did. If you look at the Button penalty, he used a part of the track that you would never use at any time even if you ran through that part of the circuit a little too wide. He took to a slip road on the right hand side of the chicane marker and used that as part of the circuit. Now in the case of Vettel and Buemi, it has become almost the standard line through that part of the corner to take to that run off bit before coming back on to the track. I would imagine that almost every car at some stage that weekend used that part of track. Much in the same way that every single car without exception put all four wheels on to the astro turf strip after coming off one of the corners (sorry can't remember which one that was). Now I agree that you have to apply the rules in an even handed way but I can see up to a point why no action was taken against Vettel and Buemi.
 

Hamberg

Those who know, they know
Contributor
I would prefer that leniency is expressed when the race result wouldn't have been altered, had the incident happened or not. I don't think in the case of Buemi and Vettel it would have been and certainly wouldn't wish Hamilton to have won that race on a technicality. There needs to be a certain allowance of common sense. I think and the white line rule is something that has traditionally been punished if a driver repeatedly goes over the lines after a warning but I may be wrong.

Button and Barrichello's actions did or would have altered the outcome (even though I'm fairly convinced Ferrari and Force India played the same tricks, but it's different in your own team I guess).

I was hoping Sauber would have a case if it was shown the breach gave them no performance advantage too - but I don't think after reading this they will even lodge their appeal:
http://scarbsf1.wordpress.com/

But you're right in terms of inconsistency, that is my frustration - but I do think it's getting better.
 

Chad Stewarthill

Champion Elect
Contributor
If one were to gain an unfair advantage by deliberately running off the circuit to the outside, rather than the more obvious inside, why would that be a technicality?

If, say, it were made clear that doing that would be punishable, then Vettel would have had the option yesterday to either
a) stay within the track confines, and not get past Button so easily, or
b) Make the pass on the outside and risk the stewards' wrath.
Either course of action could have led to a Hamilton win and, in my opinion, that would have been perfectly fair, if one accepted the initial principle; the stewards at Melbourne clearly didn't.
I sure hope that Hamilton doesn't do something similar at Abu Dhabi or Interlagos and get penalised for it, losing the championship by a couple of points as a result.
 

Hamberg

Those who know, they know
Contributor
Ah i only said technicality if it wouldn't alter the race result whether it happened or not. I didn't get the impression, and I think that was the Stewards response to Buemi, that they would have gained an advantage.

I do see your point and if they gained an advantage yes they should be penalised.

But if the rules such as that one were rigidly enforced and drivers were penalised every time they went onto a run off area, there would be a lot of penalties.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
It brings to mind Alonso with Kubica at Silverstone last year, ah. If the white line regulation was enforced to the letter, I wonder what effect it would have on driving styles.

I am in general against writing rules to cover every eventuality, but the current rulebook would benefit from more clarity. We don't know what Charlie W says to the drivers in the briefings - occasionally one hears about informal rules that have been agreed on a case-by-case basis, and I think that's a sensible way to proceed, providing that it's done in line with the intent of the rules, and that transgressors are punished appropriately.
 

Brogan

Legend
Staff Member
But if the rules such as that one were rigidly enforced and drivers were penalised every time they went onto a run off area, there would be a lot of penalties.
There would be at first, yes.
Then the drivers would start driving within the confines of the circuit.
 

Hamberg

Those who know, they know
Contributor
True Brogan, I meant through mistakes though. That is until the run off areas are replaced with gravel traps.
 

Brogan

Legend
Staff Member
Don't get me wrong, I'm not expecting drivers to act like they're on a Sunday drive.
I like a bit of side-by-side action or 2 wheels on the grass as much as the next man.

But for the FIA to specifically state that they would be clamping down this year on drivers having all 4 wheels over the white line, and then to do nothing about it, it just calls into question their ability to police the sport.

By not penalising Vettel or Buemi, they've set a precedent and no other driver can be punished for the same (single) transgression this season.
 

Hamberg

Those who know, they know
Contributor
But for the FIA to specifically state that they would be clamping down this year on drivers having all 4 wheels over the white line, and then to do nothing about it, it just calls into question their ability to police the sport.

Oh right, sorry I missed that. In that case I completely agree!
 

Pyrope

Podium Finisher
Supporter
Even just a liberal application of cement dust across the first 10 feet of any run-off area would make most drivers think twice...
 

KekeTheKing

Banned
Supporter
What's the old saying? The more things change, the more they get explained away by Bernard Ecclestone. Or something like that.

Check out this footage from the China 2008 Build-Up.


This incident is often overlooked when talking about the 2008 season. That point gained by Felipe was nearly the deciding margin in the Championship.
 
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