FIA Rules consistency - race notes differences and stewarding attention

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bosyber
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FIA Rules consistency - race notes differences and stewarding attention

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I posted this originally in the Sochi race thread, because there was a lot of discussion about that Hamilton penalty with lots around it, meandering a bit between 1) people who claimed the rules were super clear about where you were allowed to start, and where not and 2) people who pointed out that that was clearly not so clear according to the letter of the docs provided, at least for this event (Mugello came up where it was a lot more explicit where to do those practice starts).

But, it's really a bit off topic there, as that whole discussion sort of is, getting a lot of stuff in.

So, reposting as a separate thread (because I couldn't find a good recent thread to add it to - if there is, let's get it in there, otherwise, I'll keep it here.

Quoting a solid post from Diesel fully, including discussion about the different race notes as my post/the article I wanted to post/quote add the Spa section too, and
Diesel wrote:
Mon Sep 28, 2020 9:23 am
Here's the section covering practice starts from the Mugello event notes
18) Practice starts
18.1 During each practice session, practice starts may only be carried out on the right-hand side after the end of the Pit Wall indicated by the yellow grid marking. Drivers wishing to carry out a practice start
should stop on the right in order to allow other cars to pass on their left. See image 1 on page 6.
18.2 During the time the pit exit is open for the race, practice starts may be carried out after the end of
the pit wall and adjacent to the orange band on the left-hand side barrier. Drivers wishing to carry
out a practice start should stop on the right in order to allow other cars to pass on their left. See
image 1 on page 6.
18.3 During these times any driver passing a car which has stopped to carry out a practice start may
cross the white line that is referred to in 19.1 below. Any driver crossing this line must move back to
the right of it as quickly as possible.
18.4 For reasons of safety and sporting equity, cars may not stop in the fast lane at any time the pit exit
is open without a justifiable reason (a practice start is not considered a justifiable reason).
And here's the section from the Sochi event notes
19) Practice starts
19.1 Practice starts may only be carried out on the right-hand side after the pit exit lights and, for the
avoidance of doubt, this includes any time the pit exit is open for the race.
Drivers must leave adequate room on their left for another driver to pass.
19.2 For reasons of safety and sporting equity, cars may not stop in the fast lane at any time the pit exit
is open without a justifiable reason (a practice start is not considered a justifiable reason).
And then the stewards reason for the penalty
Breach of the FIA International Sporting Code Article 12.1.1 (i), failure to follow the
instructions contained in the Event Notes (v3) item 19.1, practice start location at
13:35 and Article 36.1 FIA Formula 1 Sporting Regulations.

The driver performed the practice start near the end, but directly in the pit exit. Art 36.1
requires drivers to use constant throttle and constant speed in the pit exit other than in
the place designated for practice starts in the Event Notes item 19.1., which is defined
as the place ”on the right hand side” after the pit exit lights (and is not part of the track
as defined by lines) which has been known to all competitors and used without
exception.
This is the original post I moved here:
bosyber wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 10:20 am
Did anyone post this article (Motorlat based on Spa Event notes). According to those notes/the article, at Spa:
On August 30th, Leclerc ended up in the radar of the Federation, accused of driving unnecessarily slowly. No further action was guaranteed for the following reason, as written in the document promptly retrieved by our editor Sarah Otele.

“The Race Director’s Note to Teams specified a maximum time of 2:04.0 between the Safety Car lines and car 16 recorded a time of 2:06.087. However, the Team advised that the driver had crossed SC2 line hence triggering the timing for the lap, then stopped for approximately 12 seconds to perform a practice start, then completed the Reconnaissance Lap. This was independently verified by the Stewards from the on board video of Car 16. Accordingly, no breach was determined to have occurred”.

A practice start surfaces, although the investigation was strictly linked to the slow driving matter. Looking at the Belgian GP Event Notes, more information is provided about practice starts.

“18.1 During each practice session, practice starts may only be carried out on the right-hand side after leaving the pit lane. These must be done prior to the SC2 line and with all four wheels between the white line on the right-hand edge of the pit exit and the wall. (the area bordered by black in the photograph on page 6).

18.2 During the time the pit exit is open for the race, practice starts may be carried out on the track after the pit exit before the SC2 line. Drivers wishing to carry out a practice start should stop wholly within the pit exit in order to allow other cars to pass on their left (the area bordered by red in the photograph on page 6). During this time any driver passing a car which has stopped to carry out a practice start may cross the white line that is referred to in 19.1 below”.

Comparing the two events’ notes, it becomes clear that Charles Leclerc performed a practice start out of the designated area, whilst he did it metres away from the SC2 line. However, the issue was not noted by the FIA nor it was investigated, inevitably prompting the perpetuous debate on clarity over the rules.
I mean, still going with 'FIA is inconsistent' here, but it again being Leclerc not punished for something others at least get investigated for, man, doing well there in being consistent FIA (and not helping against a 'no really they are consistent, consistently unfair, and Ferrari International Assistance stuf).

Would this be better in a different thread about the FIA being consistent/not yet again (how often have we had this discussion in the last 30 years, sigh - after 2008 we went off having 1 steward that went to all races, introduced to get the rulings more consistent, but with Spa and other things that year being seen as a Mosley stooge who was anti McLaren/Hamilton, now I see people asking for such a steward again, presumably w/o recalling, or just trusting Todt to be more impartial?! All very F1 with the revolving door rules)
So, only one set of examples from the FIA having trouble staying clear and consistent. Now, let's try and keep it to a clean discussion on how this sort of thing keeps happening, rather than Lecler is being helped/Hamilton was stupid/is being persecuted and things like that, because they are dead-ends for any discussion.

Clear solutions: 1) clearer, and consistent event notes. This should work for clear cut procedure things like the practice restart, you'd think.

But, for collisions and such, there is just no way the stewards have time to compare previous rulings, and virtually impossible to ask of them that they look at previous events where similar things were not investigated at all, I'd say, even though from a 'legal' view that's probably exactly what should happen. And if a time or other sporting penalty was given, which influences the event, well, there's a practical reason that cannot be appealed, because there is no way to fix an injured party after the fact.

About Leclerc's hit of Stroll - for now, let's just say 'first lap incident hence not looked at' - as with all the numerous arguments around that sort of thing, objectively comparing one racing incident to another and assigning blame, especially here on the forum, but also clearly for the stewards, is really hard because there are a lot of parameters.

But even with things like track limits, it seems to be hard. In other sports there is a single, clear rule for when something is in,on, or over the line (tennis, soccer, etc), but then in F1 we had Vettel not getting penalised because the bulging side-wall of his tyre seemed like it could have been on the line still, according to some images. Is it hard to decide, or sometimes just reaching (personal opinion coming in, there momentarily sorry). That sort of things can and should be defined, by a letter of the law. With the new 18'' tyres, the sidewall is probably not bulging as much, but in any case, just making it about the rolling surface of the tyre would seem sensible.

Is it even worth discussing this or should we just learn to live with it?

notsofast
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Re: FIA Rules consistency - race notes differences and stewarding attention

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The job of the steward should be pretty straightforward.

1. Apply the rules as written.
2. In case of ambiguity, give the driver the benefit of the doubt, and instruct the race director to clarify the rules before the next race.

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SiLo
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Re: FIA Rules consistency - race notes differences and stewarding attention

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I really think they should be consistent and not change things from race to race. All circuits the white lines are the edge of the track, use the curb if you want but four wheels over and it's a laptime deleted.

Practice starts from the start/finish straight at the end of practice for 5-10 minutes.

Leave space for other cars, if their front wheel is in front of your rear wheel, leave space. I honestly believe this "far enough alongside" stuff is rubbish. If their front wheel is in-front of your rear wheel, that should be enough to have to leave them space, because at that point there might be a big accident if you dont. Case in point, Verstappen pushing Perez off the track in Monza, I think he should have got a penalty for it.

I think first lap incidents should not be more lenient than any other lap. I know in the case of crowding then there needs to be some, but in a lot of cases people get away with things that they should not. These are the best drivers in the world, why are we reducing standards for them?
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Phil
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Re: FIA Rules consistency - race notes differences and stewarding attention

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I think there should be less steward intervention and only if rules are breached in a clear and cut manner. Less micro managing.
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SiLo
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Re: FIA Rules consistency - race notes differences and stewarding attention

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Phil wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 11:40 am
I think there should be less steward intervention and only if rules are breached in a clear and cut manner. Less micro managing.
Less interfering with safety cars too. We really need to use the VSC more its a great way to neutralise a race.
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NathanOlder
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Re: FIA Rules consistency - race notes differences and stewarding attention

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SiLo wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 11:43 am
Phil wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 11:40 am
I think there should be less steward intervention and only if rules are breached in a clear and cut manner. Less micro managing.
Less interfering with safety cars too. We really need to use the VSC more its a great way to neutralise a race.
Totally agree. I mean, they had to use a full SC for Kmag's car in Monza which just needed pushing out the way. Then they used a VSC for the repair job to the bollards Grosjean took out, which required multiple marshalls working on the track. They had men working on the track and only needed a VSC. How does pushing a car out the way require any more ? Its not like accidents couldnt happen where they repaired bollards in Sochi, Sainz smashed his car to bits in that exact spot.
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SiLo
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Re: FIA Rules consistency - race notes differences and stewarding attention

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The VSC should be used for almost everything bar big crashes. Look a the Nurburgring 24hrs. They have specific sections where you slow to a specific speed and that's it. They had a tow truck lined with cones on the track and nobody complained!
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Just_a_fan
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Re: FIA Rules consistency - race notes differences and stewarding attention

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NathanOlder wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 1:44 pm
SiLo wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 11:43 am
Phil wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 11:40 am
I think there should be less steward intervention and only if rules are breached in a clear and cut manner. Less micro managing.
Less interfering with safety cars too. We really need to use the VSC more its a great way to neutralise a race.
Totally agree. I mean, they had to use a full SC for Kmag's car in Monza which just needed pushing out the way. Then they used a VSC for the repair job to the bollards Grosjean took out, which required multiple marshalls working on the track. They had men working on the track and only needed a VSC. How does pushing a car out the way require any more ? Its not like accidents couldnt happen where they repaired bollards in Sochi, Sainz smashed his car to bits in that exact spot.
Yes, but the race in Sochi had already had its "for the show" input before the start. No need to add to it with a SC. No doubt the SC would have been deployed if the race had been started without pre-determined penalties in place... :wink:
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Re: FIA Rules consistency - race notes differences and stewarding attention

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First corner incidents deserve special consideration from the stewards and not necessarily first lap. LEC didn’t lock-up, he wasn’t ahead into the corner and was gifted extra room by STR. This isn’t a case of cold tyres/brakes, but poor judgement and therefore he should’ve been penalised IMO.

As far as the other stuff, I said in the race thread that driving infractions might be better handled by a respected, driver-appointed figurehead with the FIA focusing on the safety.

To me what’s missing is the racers touch. Abandon this formal FIA-stewarding crapola and let an Alonso-type call it. Job done
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bonjon1979
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Re: FIA Rules consistency - race notes differences and stewarding attention

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SiLo wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 2:25 pm
The VSC should be used for almost everything bar big crashes. Look a the Nurburgring 24hrs. They have specific sections where you slow to a specific speed and that's it. They had a tow truck lined with cones on the track and nobody complained!
The VSC has disappeared entirely this year. Maybe it's because there are less marshalls because of COVID restrictions?

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El Scorchio
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Re: FIA Rules consistency - race notes differences and stewarding attention

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bonjon1979 wrote:
Thu Oct 01, 2020 9:38 am
SiLo wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 2:25 pm
The VSC should be used for almost everything bar big crashes. Look a the Nurburgring 24hrs. They have specific sections where you slow to a specific speed and that's it. They had a tow truck lined with cones on the track and nobody complained!
The VSC has disappeared entirely this year. Maybe it's because there are less marshalls because of COVID restrictions?
That was the thought, but it's appeared in F2 races- notably in Monza for a far bigger, more dangerous and much closer to the track incident than Magnussen's parked car in the F1 race. Interestingly the ONLY time it's appeared in F1 was in Sochi with Hamilton quite far down the field- coincidence? It was 'only' to replace those bollards that Grosjean smashed and was quite quick, but it required marshalls to be in a far more dangerous place than with the Mag incident so anyone citing safety regarding marshalls can think on that- and I will freely say I think had Hamilton been leading at that point and on course for a straightforward win, it would have been a full safety car.

My personal feeling (and no-one is obliged to agree) is that full SC being used by the ringmaster Masi this season as a tool to artificially bring the field back together and try to produce a tighter race and a tighter WDC fight. Especially after 'feedback' from Austria 1 that it produced a 'spectacle'. This does not mean I believe it's any kind of conspiracy against Hamilton, more just that he's the fall guy because he's leading the championship (and usually most races) by a distance. If it were another driver romping away with it, we'd be seeing the same.

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SiLo
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Re: FIA Rules consistency - race notes differences and stewarding attention

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Really they should be using a VSC for as much as possible as it affects the race less.
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basti313
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Re: FIA Rules consistency - race notes differences and stewarding attention

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El Scorchio wrote:
Thu Oct 01, 2020 11:27 am
This does not mean I believe it's any kind of conspiracy against Hamilton, more just that he's the fall guy because he's leading the championship (and usually most races) by a distance. If it were another driver romping away with it, we'd be seeing the same.
Yes, but using the words "fall guy" and "Hamilton" in one sentence is utterly stupid this season.

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SiLo
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Re: FIA Rules consistency - race notes differences and stewarding attention

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basti313 wrote:
Thu Oct 01, 2020 3:17 pm
El Scorchio wrote:
Thu Oct 01, 2020 11:27 am
This does not mean I believe it's any kind of conspiracy against Hamilton, more just that he's the fall guy because he's leading the championship (and usually most races) by a distance. If it were another driver romping away with it, we'd be seeing the same.
Yes, but using the words "fall guy" and "Hamilton" in one sentence is utterly stupid this season.
Why?
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basti313
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Re: FIA Rules consistency - race notes differences and stewarding attention

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SiLo wrote:
Thu Oct 01, 2020 3:24 pm
basti313 wrote:
Thu Oct 01, 2020 3:17 pm
El Scorchio wrote:
Thu Oct 01, 2020 11:27 am
This does not mean I believe it's any kind of conspiracy against Hamilton, more just that he's the fall guy because he's leading the championship (and usually most races) by a distance. If it were another driver romping away with it, we'd be seeing the same.
Yes, but using the words "fall guy" and "Hamilton" in one sentence is utterly stupid this season.
Why?
Because he will cruise the WDC home even if they have 5 SC each race and hand him a penalty whenever they can.