FIA The FIA

The Enforcer

Wheel-to-wheel Maestro
Contributor
I thought my 1st attempt at starting a thread on CTA was long overdue so here we go; :wave:

Before I go any further, this article is not pro or anti Hamilton so let's please try and avoid the antics and mad conspiracies I've seen on the lesser sites in the last 24hours and look at this objectively as I will attempt to do. (I know I can trust the good folk of CTA).

With the number of claims from teams, drivers, the press and us the fans over inconsistency from the FIA and race stewards, what do we feel they should now do to ensure these perceived controversies disappear?

I'll look at a couple of things that I would like to see introduced, but I look forward to the no-doubt varied suggestions from you guys & gals.

1) Blocking;

With claims of Massa blocking Hamilton during Q3, I feel that the FIA could resolve this re-occurring theme very simply by utilising basic technology that already exists. They have systems in place that track all cars current positions and by combining this with the pit exit lights it would be very simple to hold drivers at the line when a driver on a quick lap is within a pre-determined section of track. This combined with a minimum warm up and slowing down delta target time could put a large number of conspiracy theories to rest before they even happen. It would then be down to the teams and drivers to ensure they find sufficient space.

2) Steward transparency and explanation;

Do we not feel that the stewards should publish a detailed explanation and evidence behind all of the investigations and subsequent punishments handed out. We are constantly told they have access to far more information than us the viewing public, and by providing us the actual true owners of the sport with a clear picture of the decision reached, all those involved and particularly the aggrieved won’t be talking out of term.

I concede that we will never have utopia as far as this issue is concerned, but just wish the FIA would help themselves by addressing what is clearly becoming a major issue if the various chat forums are anything to go by.

Your thoughts please. :thinking:
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
Regarding point 2 - I don't know if anyone's noticed, but there are no details of any of the stewards' decisions from Monaco this weekend - http://www.fia.com/en-GB/mediacentre/f1_media/Pages/on_event.aspx

Last season, there was always a press release for every penalty that was handed out, yet this year, we seem to be kept in ignorance! Similarly, the media centre was being updated very late - the starting grid was only published online after the start of the race - by which time it was completely useless! Come on FIA, a little more communication would be helpful!
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
The problem is, whenever humans are involved in something which isn't an exact science, there will be inconsistencies.

As far as blocking is concerned, we've seen drivers penalised for far less than Massa did at Monaco last weekend; Alonso at Monza for example.

We've also seen drivers get away with far more aggressive and damaging moves than di Resta and Hamilton did at the hairpin; Webber at Singapore for example.

We've also seen inconsistency in penalties being applied for the same offence in the same race.

I don't think it's something that can automated or computerised, and that being the case, the human element will always create inconsistency.

As The Artist said, less and less seems to be published these days by the FIA.
There are a lot of documents missing from Monaco.
 

The Enforcer

Wheel-to-wheel Maestro
Contributor
As The Artist said, less and less seems to be published these days by the FIA.
There are a lot of documents missing from Monaco.

That for me is the main problem. It's almost as if the FIA feel the public either don't deserve or are unworthy of having access to this information.

I find their entire stance patronising and dictatorial. This is OUR sport, with out us the fan's there would be no sponsors, no teams and no FIA, we have a right to know how OUR sport is being run and the decisions being made.

The members of the FIA are not appointed by us the fans yet they represent our interests and I for one would like to see more given back in terms of access, information and our wishes. >:(

(I've got a hangover by the way so I'm sorry about the angry rant :coffee:)
 

Sarinaide

Banned
I was thinking that Qualification should be 2 laps (excluding outlap) for each driver on an open track, then you can have the elimination process as it is (one car out on track at a time)
 

Chad Stewarthill

Champion Elect
Contributor
Hi Enforcer, great first post.

I do like your idea about pit exit traffic lights turning red when drivers on circuit are approaching the start of a hot lap. I wonder whether it would work in practice, although it's no more complicated than the DRS system I guess.

With regard to information about stewards' decisions, didn't the FIA promise much more transparency in the wake of the 2008 season? They seem to have made a token effort for a couple of years and then gone back to more secrecy, perhaps perceiving that the public have forgotten about the issue.
 

The Enforcer

Wheel-to-wheel Maestro
Contributor
Has anybody previously participated or for that matter intends on applying to visit the FOTA fan's working group?

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/91769

I'll be trying my hardest to get a place as it's a great opportunity to get involved with the sport and exercise some of the opinions posted on here. Would also be a great opportunity to meet some fellow CTA members and put forward views of a wider community rather than an individual standing if people wanted to suggest nominated topics of interest.

To the staff / moderation team, have you considered approaching FOTA for a guaranteed place, I'm certain they would be interested in the views of a sensible, multi-cultural forum. (not that we all have to agree)
 

f1fansp

Points Scorer
There seems a lot more leeway on blocking or not getting out of the way in qualifying at Monaco due to its confines. Massa got away with even worse last year, completing baulking Button (can't remember if the latter was on a flying lap though). The pit lane lights seem a good idea, but could be problematic as it could prevent people getting onto the track in time for a run, and i'm sure there would be resistance to having a speed dictated to the drivers esp if they do out-hot-cool-hot-in lap sequences such as in Monaco, or if people put on the hard tyres and do multiple laps. Teams find it hard enough to place their 2 drivers in gaps during races when lap times are fairly constant, not sure what chance the FIA when people are doing wildly variable times in qualifying and managing 24 cars.

Transparency and uniformity is the key. Forgetting last year, although people mentioning the 'racing incident' at Singapore 2010 is pertinent, I don't see how Hamilton/DiResta's moves were possibly worse than Kobayashi's on Sutil, as the differing punishments suggest - and he gained the place; we need consistency over the season, and its farcical if there's none within one race.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
A delayed welcome from me Mr Enforcer - as I've seen Stevi floating around on here too it looks like the so called 'clique' are all here LOL

I think the whole thing could be settled by setting up and independent body that acts as the stewards for each Grand Prix. A council of 5 as it were. At the start of the year they could brief the drivers on exactly what they considered to be a breach of the current regulations (with diagrams and fun power point presentations) and then apply them for the whole season (no mid-season rule changes!). Make it a detailed breifing highlighting specific circuits if they suspect they'll be a problem their (i.e Monoco and blocking or Monzo and cutting the chicane). Could film the breifing and make it avalible to the public too and then we'd all know where we were - in fact they should fil all briefings they have with drivers including hearings after the race and make them avaliable for the publiv. On top of which the FIA leaves itself clear of being accused of any bias.

seems simple to me.
 

The Enforcer

Wheel-to-wheel Maestro
Contributor
to you Rasputin, good to see you in utopia.

That exactly the type of suggestion I think the FIA should be seriously listening to and implementing. I was only watching a preview of the Senna film the other day and the footage from the drivers briefing was incredibly interesting to watch. Time they started giving us fans more access and information and the added bonus would be the end, or major reduction in 'Tin-Foil Hat' conspiracy theorists.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
I think the FIA promised an explanation of decisions and it's a shame that hasn't come to pass. I don't think it's advisable to go too far down that route, though, otherwise it just gives the conspiracy theorists more ammunition - they are unlikely to change their minds even when presented with ample evidence, in my experience.

Keeping the same set of stewards for every race would undoubtedly improve consistency, but may not improve justice (e.g. you simply get stuck with a set who are consistently harsh, or consistently lenient). I'm not sure if that's an improvement, really.

At the end of the day common sense must play a part, and I think now more than ever, with ex-drivers on the panel, the stewards need to retain the ability to use their own judgement, rather than thinking that some sort of regulatory bible can be written that will cover every eventuality.
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
Galahad....

I'd agree that if there is too much transparency, then it will give the conspiracy theorists more and more material to start to weave a little web.

However, the FIA seems to be steadfastly refusing to give ANY information any more!

They are supposed to give a technical report and a stewards report on their site: http://www.fia.com/en-GB/mediacentre/f1_media/Pages/post_event.aspx

The technical report was always interesting reading, as it gave us information on which cars had been fully scrutinised, and gave information on when engines had been changed and the like.... Yet, we now don't see any of this information any more!
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Regarding the ex-drivers, if they're from different series or have been out of the sport for a long time, are they really qualified to pass judgement any more than the normal stewards are?

Yes they may have racing experience but driving a tin top is very different from open wheel racing.

Jason Plato for example would probably consider most collisions to be part and parcel of the race ;)
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
Galahad....

I'd agree that if there is too much transparency, then it will give the conspiracy theorists more and more material to start to weave a little web.

However, the FIA seems to be steadfastly refusing to give ANY information any more!

They are supposed to give a technical report and a stewards report on their site: http://www.fia.com/en-GB/mediacentre/f1_media/Pages/post_event.aspx

The technical report was always interesting reading, as it gave us information on which cars had been fully scrutinised, and gave information on when engines had been changed and the like.... Yet, we now don't see any of this information any more!

I agree 100%. But there may be good reasons why driver's briefings and so on are kept secret - you don't want drivers to be nervous of speaking their minds in that sort of forum where safety is concerned, for example.

Regarding the ex-drivers, if they're from different series or have been out of the sport for a long time, are they really qualified to pass judgement any more than the normal stewards are?

Yes they may have racing experience but driving a tin top is very different from open wheel racing.

Jason Plato for example would probably consider most collisions to be part and parcel of the race ;)

I don't have a list of the ex-driver stewards, but the only one I can remember without F1 race experience is Tom Kristensen I think, who tested F1 for a number of teams, raced in single-seaters up to F3000, and whose current experience with Audi sportscars is possibly more relevant than, say, Cheever or Warwick, who aren't racing anything?
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Keeping the same set of stewards for every race would undoubtedly improve consistency, but may not improve justice (e.g. you simply get stuck with a set who are consistently harsh, or consistently lenient). I'm not sure if that's an improvement, really.

I did think about that but my way of thinking is that if you keep the same set of stewards for every race then they will learn more about the in's and out's of racing from having to deal with it every fortnight. Surely this can only make the stewards more knowledgable on the cars, drivers and what can and can't be done which would lead to better decisions being made.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
I did think about that but my way of thinking is that if you keep the same set of stewards for every race then they will learn more about the in's and out's of racing from having to deal with it every fortnight. Surely this can only make the stewards more knowledgable on the cars, drivers and what can and can't be done which would lead to better decisions being made.

Then I suppose you have to put up with more inconsistency while they're 'learning'. Most of the stewards on the FIA rotation are very experienced and have been doing F1 (as well as other series) for years. I take your points, but I don't think there's a simple answer, and I also don't think things are actually all that bad. Any sport where there is an element of subjectivity is going to suffer from the same problems.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
As much as panel of stewards the same for every race sounds attractive there is a risk they could be "influenced" (witness what's going on at FIFA at the moment and all the accusations about the Olympic Selection Committees), they could become too close to the sport and lose objectivity and they would, almost certainly, be criticised for favouritism by one section of fans or the media no matter how impartial they try to be.

Cricket has a good system now for test match umpires where there is a central pool and the umpires are drawn from neutral locations. Maybe look at the drivers nationalities, where the teams are based and the major sponsors and draw a rolling panel of stewards from "neutral" countries from within the FIA membership?
 
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