To give or not to give the position back...

Incubus

Champion Elect
Jenson Button's failure to allow Massa to re-pass him, and subsequent penalty is merely the latest in a long-line of incidents involving the relatively-recent introduction of the "give-the-position-back" rule.
There has been a number of similar incidents over the past few years, and they have dully divided opinions, and left most participants feeling short-changed in one way or another.
Seems to me people have overlooked another recent widespread change to the layout of tracks, and one which in my view, is the common denominator in all of the above-mentioed incidents.
Astro-turf.
there was never any need for a rule allowing a driver overtaken by a another exceeding the track's limits, simply because a driver missing his braking point in the days of yore meant only one thing: a trip on the grass, or on the gravel-trap. When finding yourself on a grassy surface you imperatively lift off, and will therefore not gain any advantage. You can only lose a bundle of time in the process.
Today you simply keep on the throttle rejoin the track almost as soon as you've left it.
Rather than constantly trying to issue "clarifications" and guidelines that seem to be changing as the whole thing goes along, why doesn't anyone at the FIA's headquarters ever seem ro address the root-cause of the problem?
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
Well, I think the reluctance to use gravel etc. was caused by the death of Paolo Ghislimberti at the 2000 Italian GP. Don't know if that can be clarified further.

Either way, the precedents were set both at the 2005 Japanese GP [with Alonso/Klien] and at the 2008 Belgian GP [can I borrow your crowbar for this can of worms?] Neither, of course were set at tracks which were particularly new.

In some places, of course, like where Vettel passed Button and where Button passed Massa in Australia you simply cannot add grass due to the road being used for other purposes for the remaining 51 weeks of the year.

It is difficult to un-tarmac somewhere that has been tarmacked. For that reason, the "let back past" rule has largely been satisfactory if unsatisfactorily enforced on occasions.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
I seem to recall there being a discussion on run-off areas on here some time ago.

The gist of it was, it all comes down to safety and value for money for the spectators.

Gravel traps are deemed unsafe as cars can dig in and flip over.
Grass is deemed unsafe as cars are unable to slow down due to a lack of traction which means a big shunt into the tyre wall.
Kerbs are deemed unsafe as cars can take off.

In each of those cases, the chances of retirement are high which leaves the spectators feeling short-changed (apparently).

That therefore leaves a small strip of astro turf and tarmac as the only "option".

Edit: Fount it - http://cliptheapex.com/threads/gravel-traps-vs-tarmac-run-off.1450/
 

Incubus

Champion Elect
As regards to the safety concerns, I think it's reasonable to assume gravel traps have over the past 30 years or so saved more lives than previous alternatives...the problem I have with the position back rule is its fundamental flaw. It is impossible to quantify exactly how much time is lost/gained by exceeding the track's limits with all four wheels.
Might sound like a ridiculous thing to say, but technically every single decision taken by stewards on the matter is a wrong one, whichever way it goes.

On circuits where astro-turf has becone the norm, drivers are encouraged to find the track's grip limits as early as possible, without bothering to find them by gradually upping the pace in the way they used to.# Friday morning practice sessions can turn into a bit of a joke these days, with drivers trying to find the limit from the word go by exceeding them. Every other minute or so you see a driver missing the braking point, going down the (tarmacked) escape road, a quick 180 and they simply rejoin the track without pausing.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
I remember Prost being penalised for passing a car by short-cutting the Ostkurve chicane at Hockenheim back in 1993. So this is not a new phenomenon.

Tarmac or synthetic runoff areas have been established as the best for slowing cars down safely in the event of an accident, particularly a mechanical failure. It seems to me that the maximum should be done to improve safety where it possible and reasonable to do so, and I wouldn't favour a return to grass or gravel where the experts deem it inappropriate.

I really think it's something that has to be enforced consistently, and with reference to the specific circumstances of individual circuits. A sense of natural justice should help to judge whether an advantage has been gained; imposing an inflexible iron rule is unlikely to prove helpful IMO.

Of all the things that need to be fixed in F1, I would put this towards the bottom of my list.
 

Incubus

Champion Elect
I remember Prost being penalised for passing a car by short-cutting the Ostkurve chicane at Hockenheim back in 1993. So this is not a new phenomenon.

Tarmac or synthetic runoff areas have been established as the best for slowing cars down safely in the event of an accident, particularly a mechanical failure. It seems to me that the maximum should be done to improve safety where it possible and reasonable to do so, and I wouldn't favour a return to grass or gravel where the experts deem it inappropriate.

I really think it's something that has to be enforced consistently, and with reference to the specific circumstances of individual circuits. A sense of natural justice should help to judge whether an advantage has been gained; imposing an inflexible iron rule is unlikely to prove helpful IMO.

Of all the things that need to be fixed in F1, I would put this towards the bottom of my list.

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I used to be on 606 Galahad, so I remember you from there and I trust you won't mind me correcting you 8-)? Prost was penalised for cutting the Ostkurve, but didn't pass anyone in the process. He cut the chicane in order to avoid being smashed into by a spinning Brundle behind him, having seen in his mirrors the Ligier plunging backwards towards him. He didn't gain any time and obviously neither did Brundle. Both were penalised and both were left incandescent with rage.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
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I used to be on 606 Galahad, so I remember you from there and I trust you won't mind me correcting you 8-)? Prost was penalised for cutting the Ostkurve, but didn't pass anyone in the process. He cut the chicane in order to avoid being smashed into by a spinning Brundle behind him, having seen in his mirrors the Ligier plunging backwards towards him. He didn't gain any time and obviously neither did Brundle. Both were penalised and both were left incandescent with rage.

Ah, thanks, I thought there was another car involved but have misremembered the incident. My apologies.
 

sobriety

Pole Sitter
Grass is deemed unsafe as cars are unable to slow down due to a lack of traction which means a big shunt into the tyre wall.

Why not have 2m or so of real grass, rather than astro turf, then the expanse of tarmac run off? This would give the penalty for being cheeky, while allowing accident forces to be dissapated in much the same way as now
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Here's a radical idea...

Now that GPS is as accurate as it is, and they're using some form of position detector for DRS, why not just cut or reduce the throttle for any car which completely leaves the circuit?

Too expensive for the circuit owners to install I would guess.
 

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
stinger.jpg


These would stop any advantage going off track.
 

MCLS

Anti F1 fan
Valued Member
In Codemaster's F1 2009 on PSP, whenever a car left the track, the car would slow to a certain speed (almost like a speed limiter) until you returned to the track. It's similar to Bro's idea in a way, but I'm not sure how it could be implemented, (particulary at a cheap cost) but it would work.
 

Chad Stewarthill

Champion Elect
Contributor
Touché! :D
Actually Brogan, I like the idea of the high friction surface á la Paul Ricard that Sportsman posted in your thread.
If the run-off areas could have a surface something like that, which slowed vehicles at the same time as increasing tyre wear, it would be a good safety device at the same time as being a deterrent to running deliberately wide.
The best of both worlds?
 

Boyle

Race Winner
Contributor
I seem to remember a certain 7 time world champion cutting the chicane in 2006 (I think) at Hungary to prevent PDLR overtaking him. No penalty surprisingly...

Here's a good little roundup of incidents since 1993 - http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&t=581227

I'm sure it won't surprise you to find that most of the incidents either involve a certain M. Schumacher and others seem to favour Ferrari's chances.
 

MCLS

Anti F1 fan
Valued Member
I seem to remember a certain 7 time world champion cutting the chicane in 2006 (I think) at Hungary to prevent PDLR overtaking him. No penalty surprisingly....


Twice if memory serves correctly. The second time wrecking his car.
 

Incubus

Champion Elect
I seem to remember a certain 7 time world champion cutting the chicane in 2006 (I think) at Hungary to prevent PDLR overtaking him. No penalty surprisingly...

Here's a good little roundup of incidents since 1993 - http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&t=581227

I'm sure it won't surprise you to find that most of the incidents either involve a certain M. Schumacher and others seem to favour Ferrari's chances.

--------------------------------------------------

It's funny you should say that because weirdly enough (although it has to be a coincidence, surely) since Todt became headmaster Ferrari (well, Alonso more than Massa for some reason) in 2010 always seemed to have every stewarding decisions go against them?
 

MCLS

Anti F1 fan
Valued Member
On a similar topic, Hulkenberg cutting chicanes at Monza to stop people overtaking him last year. Don't know how he escaped penalty there
 
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