'Let Them Race' - Changes in Race Stewarding Philosophy

'Let Them Race' - Changes in Race Stewarding Philosophy

Author
Discussion

HustleRussell

Original Poster:

16,791 posts

105 months

Wednesday 11th September
quotequote all
I am conflicted about the stewarding decisions made at the weekend.

I was willing Leclerc to win

However, he;
-Left the track and gained an advantage
-Moved very late in turn three afterwards
-Failed to leave a car's width when a significant portion of a competitors car was alongside (fully alongside in this case)

I like the return of the black & white diagonal flag for driving standards, but in full view of the above it looked a bit lenient on its own. I would like to see it awarded for things like the late defense- 'The stewards deemed that you moved too late into that corner on that lap, no harm done, no contact, however be aware that if you move that late again you will face a penalty up to and including disqualification from the race'. I feel that this approach would've dealt with young Verstappen quite effectively. He would've been black flagged on at least one occasion by the end of 2017 and if he came home pointless he'd have probably quickly learned his lesson.

In my opinion one could argue that the squeeze on Hamilton and the excursion across the sausage curbs at T2 could've attracted a more severe, race result influencing penalty. I don't see how the latter is so different to- dare I say it? Seb in Canada.

I do not subscribe to the 'Ferrari International Assistance' stuff because I haven't really seen it, not in the time I have been keenly following the sport.

That said, I do feel that in most circumstances Charles' indiscretions would've resulted in at least one penalty... perhaps if it hadn't been the leading car, which did happen to be the Ferrari on this occasion. At home.

I also don't know how to feel about the way the stewards awarded penalties in varying degrees considering the outcome. Surely the offense is the offense, and taking an outcome-based view will make offenses more likely and- in the extreme- encourage drivers who perhaps don't have much to lose, or want to make a point- drive in such a way so as to create an 'outcome' from an offense?

Vettel and Stroll both spun. Vettel's spin was his own fault, Stroll's spin was caused by Vettel.
Both drivers rejoined unsafely. Vettel's unsafe rejoin resulted in contact. Stroll's didn't.
Stroll's unsafe rejoin could've / should've resulted in contact had Gasly not made the absolute maximum effort to avoid it.

Same offense, either one could've resulted in contact or not depending on external circumstances.

Masi said that Leclerc would've had a penalty for squeezing Hamilton had contact been made. You can be certain that with that in mind Hamilton would be sure to make contact should the same situation arise again.

If this is the direction it is going, this will either culminate in a golden era of hard racing complete with wheel banging etc etc, or a frustrating period where certain drivers take certain liberties removing themselves and other competitors from the race.

Deesee

2,756 posts

28 months

Wednesday 11th September
quotequote all
Here’s a linky then..

Acceptable/non acceptable (for is pistonheader ‘s)

https://t.co/rJE6AuU1bC


Mr Pointy

4,108 posts

104 months

Wednesday 11th September
quotequote all
Everyone has said what we need is consistency & the changes have made any decision much more subjective & open to interpretation. The rule was you needed to leave a car's width & that was very easy to police - did Hamilton's car fit in the gap? No, therefore easy decision. Penalty for Leclerc.

Now it's completely open. Other driver has one wheel on the grass? That seems to be ok. How about half a car? Still ok? How about both wheels? Still ok? Where's the dividing line between acceptable or not? Is it now only to be defined by cars hitting each other, so now it's been made into a contact sport?

sandman77

1,569 posts

83 months

Wednesday 11th September
quotequote all
I also don’t like the way the rules are now being enforced. Can you now defend your position by running another car off the track? You only get penalised for doing so if there is contact? If that’s the case it is a much bigger risk going for an overtake.
Also - although Leclerc didn’t gain any advantage by cutting the chicane he wasn’t penalised for not sticking to the track. Hamilton should definitely have taken the lead at that time and the stewards should have taken action.

SmoothCriminal

2,539 posts

144 months

Wednesday 11th September
quotequote all
Turn 3 was down right dangerous but people seem to be skimming over that.

Before these young guns came the driver would have defended the inside like charles did and Hamilton would have sailed around the outside but now the new breed of drivers max/kmag/eclair jinx at the last minute that's not racing.

jsf

13,738 posts

181 months

Wednesday 11th September
quotequote all
SmoothCriminal said:
Turn 3 was down right dangerous but people seem to be skimming over that.

Before these young guns came the driver would have defended the inside like charles did and Hamilton would have sailed around the outside but now the new breed of drivers max/kmag/eclair jinx at the last minute that's not racing.
The rule will only be changed when someone has a nasty crash or worse.

They see the sport as entertainment, when that overrides safety its only a matter of time before the st hits the fan.

HardtopManual

1,233 posts

111 months

Wednesday 11th September
quotequote all
Let me start by saying that my favourite team is Ferrari and my favourite driver is Any Brit.

I didn't like Charles' moves on Lewis at the Della Roggia chicane. For me, it sours the victory - only slightly, but all the same, it wasn't 100% clean racing. If Charles hadn't put Lewis on the grass by moving in the braking zone, Lewis would have been on the inside for the right-hander and for the two Lesmos, and would almost certainly have taken the lead. So, all those people saying that the new rule interpretation is great for the spectacle, it actually robbed them of an overtake for the lead at the weekend. Albeit an overtake that would have been generally unpopular, given the venue and recent Merc/Lewis domination of the sport.

Note that this is me railing against the new rule interpretation, not the drivers. Charles knew he'd be able to get away with one or two marginal moves against Lewis, just as he knew that Lewis would rather stay behind him than crash. In a Ferrari, at Monza, Charles did the logical thing, although we were inches away from seeing Lewis launched into the air at a part of the circuit where fans stand literally feet away from the tarmac.

The surprising take-away for me after this season's incidents is that many racing fans do not see any difference between forcing your opponent off the track in the braking zone and running them out of road on corner exit. In fact, given some of the whinging we hear on the radio, neither do some of the drivers...

Andy S15

379 posts

72 months

Thursday 12th September
quotequote all
I'm all for letting them race, as that sounds like a fantastic proposal. However, there are 3 issues which worry me.

1. The fact that a penalty is decided on the outcome, not the action - this WILL see drivers deliberately making an incident look worse than it could have been

2. It seems drivers now have licence to crowd others off track on corner entry and exit. This has a good chance of making multiple corner battles quite rare from now on.

3. What the B&W flag actually means. Does it mean "do not do that exact move again" or does it mean "poor driving standards" (as it should IMO, and IIRC always has in motorsport) since CLC was able to get away unpunished with 2 further incidences of poor driving after his B&W flag warning. That already seems to add inconsistency/ambiguity into that issue after only a couple of races of this new attitude. I honestly think they got cold feet here. They'd have been mobbed after the race if they did penalise, I know it shouldn't factor into things but at the end of the day these people are human and you cannot help but have these things in mind. Can you imagine the Italian headlines?

What I do like however is seemingly a change in the attitudes of the stewards to actually explain things, a la the Ant Davidson post race Masi interview. That would have never happened a few years back.

I think personally we need to see a few more races yet to see how the drivers actually deal with it and what sort of penalties get handed out.

Edited by Andy S15 on Thursday 12th September 07:34

sgtBerbatov

1,610 posts

26 months

Thursday 12th September
quotequote all
It's Ferrari's 90th year, at Monza, do you really think they wouldn't win?

rdjohn

3,637 posts

140 months

Thursday 12th September
quotequote all
sgtBerbatov said:
It's Ferrari's 90th year, at Monza, do you really think they wouldn't win?
That is perhaps the worst reason for poor / negligent stewarding.

I don’t think the black/white flag was correct, for running the other driver of the track under braking - LEC should have left space as has been the requirement for a long time.

I do think it would have been appropriate in Austria where it took Stewards 3-hours to reach a decision. As that was the exit of a corner under full acceleration.

However the completely unacceptable position was, when, having been yellow carded, LEC was allowed to commit several other offences. When he out-braked himself and cut the chicane he should have been told to give up the place - he had clearly gained an advantage - or been given a 5-second penalty. The latter would have given him a chance, but we know that HAM would have dropped back to save his tyres and closed the gap in the last couple of laps.

I enjoyed the race - but it was not the FIA’s finest day and I tend to agree that the first time there is an accident, there will be a rapid rethink of this policy.

I don’t believe that Charlie would have been that lenient.

SturdyHSV

6,437 posts

112 months

Thursday 12th September
quotequote all
I think LeClerc having to give up the place after the chicane incident would have been a pretty easy way to appease all parties.

Onlookers (might) have accepted that after his black/white flag he then cut the track and was made to give up the place. The tifosi (and FIA hehe) would have been happy because the Ferrari with the speed advantage and DRS would have easily blatted straight back past the Mercedes on the next straight, so nothing would have really changed, but it would have seemed a little more balanced.

Also if giving up the place straight away he wouldn't have then made the slightly dodgy move cutting across to block Hamilton scratchchin

Hungrymc

4,081 posts

82 months

Thursday 12th September
quotequote all
And would have been on the attack trying to re-pass Hamilton which I'd love to have seen.... That's better racing, not this ignoring clear infringements.

Jasandjules

63,026 posts

174 months

Thursday 12th September
quotequote all
I am a touch concerned about this sudden somewhat laissez-faire approach when it followed the death of a driver at Spa. I thought we would have seem some clamping down on conduct which could result in cars flying off at 200mph...

HealeyV8

208 posts

23 months

Thursday 12th September
quotequote all
SturdyHSV said:
I think LeClerc having to give up the place after the chicane incident would have been a pretty easy way to appease all parties.

Onlookers (might) have accepted that after his black/white flag he then cut the track and was made to give up the place. The tifosi (and FIA hehe) would have been happy because the Ferrari with the speed advantage and DRS would have easily blatted straight back past the Mercedes on the next straight, so nothing would have really changed, but it would have seemed a little more balanced.

Also if giving up the place straight away he wouldn't have then made the slightly dodgy move cutting across to block Hamilton scratchchin
In my opinion this is the best penalty in these circumstances it allows close racing and doesn't ruin the event, the car penalised can always try to overtake later.
Because 5 second , drive through etc penalties are so devastating, stewards some times bottle the decision based on circumstances

Daston

5,553 posts

148 months

Thursday 12th September
quotequote all
Although things have improved with the FIA they still have a long way to go. Early in Lewis' F1 career (when Ferrari assistance was high) Hamilton did exactly the same thing as Charles and missed the bus stop at Spa and maintained position in front of Kimi. He was made to give up the place which he did and then proceeded to do Kimi in the next corner which some how gave him a penalty (cant remember if Kimi ended up going off or was that Massa).

So at the very least Charles should have been made to back off so the gap was around the same and not gain nearly a second.

Kraken

1,109 posts

145 months

Thursday 12th September
quotequote all
Rules and also the interpretation of them change over periods of time. You can't compared two incidents with over a decade between them. At Imola it was clearly stated to the drivers the route they must take when rejoining the track. At Spa they now clearly state the route you must take there as well.

heebeegeetee

26,747 posts

193 months

Thursday 12th September
quotequote all
I’m also very concerned about this.

By allowing Max to do what he did at Austria, it does, as I believe Jolyon Palmer said, pretty much put to an end the skillfull move around the outside.

I also believe that the new leniency in cars moving in the braking area will result in a car being launched, and then we’ll go back to how the rules were before.

I think this reinterpretation of the rules will in fact lead to less racing and more uncertainty, the complete opposite of what was intended.

kiseca

7,560 posts

164 months

Thursday 12th September
quotequote all
I like Charles and wanted to see him win but it was a tainted result.

I seem to be in a minority - I know David Coulthard disagrees with this - but being able to crowd out a driver on the exit of a corner is already, for me, stepping over the line. I don't like it. It's not as dangerous as crowding out under braking, certainly, but any contact will carry some potential danger and more significantly, for me it kills the racing.

Charles / Max in Austria is a great example. Max tried that overtake on Charles twice. Both times Charles kept the racing line and left the inside line for Max under braking. Both times Charles was able to remain side by side around the corner.

The first time, Max gave Charles space on the exit. They both accelerated away, Charles out-dragged Max to the next corner and kept his position.
The next lap, Max moved to the outside and forced Charles off the track. Charles couldn't keep up, Max won the place.

I don't know for sure, but it seems plausible that Max learnt from the first attempt, and the second time around simply didn't give Charles the opportunity, (though it could also be argued that learning from experience is out of character for Max..), but also maybe the relative positions simply made it an option for Max that wasn't available on the first attempt but was on the second. Doesn't really matter either way.

For me, the first attempt made for great, exciting racing. The second attempt was less so. I prefer the first example, and not because Charles came out on top, but because it was two racers giving eachother respect and room, a great show of skill and determination from both drivers, and it kept the battle going. The second attempt was a manoeuvre straight from indoor karting. Anyone could have done that. It also killed the battle instantly.

Edited by kiseca on Thursday 12th September 14:26

//j17

3,282 posts

168 months

Thursday 12th September
quotequote all
Re-introducing the driving standards flag is a good thing - if it's used correctly. I don't believe it was in the Italian GP.

In other forms of motorosport you'd expect to see a driving standard flag shown to a driver for a minor infractions, like repeatedly exceeding track limits. On Sunday F1 used it to 'punish' dangerous driving, which is a whole different ball game.

It seems in F1 it's now OK to force another car off the track and potentially in to a high speed accident, provided you only do it the once. Mean while if you commit the absolutely heinous crime of clipping the solid white line leading out of the pits, maybe avoiding a bit of debris, it's a bang to rights drive through penalty. Personally I'd say clipping the white pit exit line once, provided you don't endager cars on the track proper is where you SHOULD use the driving standard flag and trying to play chicken at 100MPH is the one that should get at least a drive through!

ash73

16,506 posts

166 months

Thursday 12th September
quotequote all
Reminds me of when they relaxed the safety car rules and there was a fatal incident just a few weeks later at Suzuka. I think they need a reset in the next driver briefing, before someone gets hurt. But it's great to see drivers adapting quickly and taking the maximum within (or a smidgen outside) the rules.

As well as no movement in braking zones, I think they should be required to leave a car width on entry AND on exit if there's an overlap. I don't like the inside car running the outside car off the track on the exit, claiming he "took the racing line". I'd rather see them side by side through the corner and exit.