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Author Topic: Does F1 need racing penalties?  (Read 239 times)

Offline John S

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Does F1 need racing penalties?
« on: July 11, 2018, 12:18:37 PM »
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  • If so what should they be for, and how do we ensure consistency?

    If not will it lead to chaos on track?

     Jolyon Palmer gives his thoughts in extract below from a longer piece about Lewis & Kimi's shunt at Brit GP on
    Most of what he says makes sense until you factor in Max/Kevin/Romain/Pierre et al who love to dive bomb or wiggle an awful lot.
    People love close, hard racing. It's what everybody watches the sport for. They love safety cars, too. And this year has really highlighted that a safety car can turn a boring race into a thriller, with a strategy roll of the dice and the tightening up of the field.

    Yes, a collision like the one on Sunday is unfair on Hamilton, and the French clash was unfair on Bottas. But sometimes that's racing. The wider question is whether F1 needs penalties at all for incidents such as these.

    There wasn't any malice in the mistakes made by either Raikkonen or Vettel. They were racing hard for position and got it slightly wrong.

    It was the same when Romain Grosjean crashed with Carlos Sainz at Copse on Sunday. It was a much faster corner, and a much bigger accident. But the decision to judge it a racing incident was the right verdict, even though it was technically Grosjean's moment of oversteer that meant he drifted into a vulnerable Sainz.

    Fundamentally, what is the difference between that and the Raikkonen and Vettel clashes? The driver on the inside was technically left enough room to make it around the corner but a small error, or excess speed, meant they ran wider and hit the car on the outside.

    The collision produced a thrilling race at Silverstone and some more entertainment in France as well. Should people be complaining about it?

    Maybe, in the same way as a footballer isn't sent off any more for a "genuine attempt to play the ball", a driver shouldn't be penalised for a genuine attempt to overtake or defend that leads to a mistake and contact.

    I still fully endorse a penalty for any move that was dangerous or cynical. The equivalent of a red card in football. Indeed, perhaps these penalties could be harder.

    For example, if a driver was to force another driver off the road, particularly in a straight line, they could be dealt with more strictly as this is an obvious and deliberate attempt at unfair driving. It could be the same for clearly moving twice in defence, as Verstappen has been guilty of a number of times, and which is clearly outlawed in the rules.

    And of course, penalties should be used for incidents such as pit-lane speeding or not getting out of the way of blue flags. In these instances, things are black and white.

    In days of old, penalties weren't handed out at all for collisions during legitimate racing situations. There was high drama, and it was all good for the sport.

    It's a difficult call because Mercedes, Hamilton and their fans will feel aggrieved, particularly with the importance of this race for the Briton. But if the shoe is on the other foot, they will happily take it at the next race

    Courtesy Jolyon Palmer,, Tues 10th July.

    « Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 12:20:09 PM by John S »

    Racing is life - everything else is just waiting. (Steve McQueen)

    Offline Jericoke

    Re: Does F1 need racing penalties?
    « Reply #1 on: July 11, 2018, 03:08:04 PM »
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  • There have to be penalties or else honest 'racing incidents' will give way to deliberate bumper cars.  Penalties in sports is never about intention, but about consequences.  If you do something unfair that affects someone else, there must be a way to restore fairness.

    F1 isn't the only sport that has to deal with incidental contact.  While agree we don't want to legislate contact out of the sport, in an era of safety and cost controls, we can't allow a driver to risk the lives or multimillion dollar/euro/pound machines of others.

    I think that the solution would be to require F1 cars be able to withstand a bump.  Protect the floors.  Make the the suspension out of something stronger than papier mache.  Require wings to be round so they won't cut a tire.  We would still have incidents of cars spinning out, like Kimi and Hamilton, but we wouldn't have issues like Vettel and Bottas.