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F1 this Sunday

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 Sean Kelly 09 Dec 2021

Just found out its going to be broadcast live on C4 this Sunday, for what could turn out to be a very interesting race, especially if all the doomsayers get their wish, and Mad Max attempts to derail Hamilton so he can't finish. Exciting time indeeds. If Hamilton wins, it could even make him at stong contender for the SPotY awards?

1
 Babika 09 Dec 2021
In reply to Sean Kelly:

It will be thrilling - and qualy more important than usual. I've watched them all and enjoyed this season a lot although some tracks are miles better than others. 

My fear is that Mad Max will simply take out Lewis. Despite even points he takes the title if they both DNF. 

Unless Lewis can get a fastest lap in first.........

1
 kipper12 09 Dec 2021
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Not heard the mad max label before, but it fits perfectly.  Does the way mad max drives, remind you of Schumacher snr.  I don’t mean in talent, but in pigheadedness in a “you shall not pass” way.    we are lucky he hasn’t seriously hurt someone, or himself.  

8
 Tringa 09 Dec 2021
In reply to Babika:

> It will be thrilling - and qualy more important than usual. I've watched them all and enjoyed this season a lot although some tracks are miles better than others. 

> My fear is that Mad Max will simply take out Lewis. Despite even points he takes the title if they both DNF. 

> Unless Lewis can get a fastest lap in first.........

Max could do that but I doubt it. If he gets it wrong and Lewis can continue he will have thrown way the championship, assuming Lewis was able to score at least one point, which is almost a given. There is also the chance the stewards could decide he is to blame for any collision and dock him some points.

Great news that the race is going to be live on Channel 4. It will save everyone in the house avoiding news progs on TV or radio on race days.

Dave

In reply to Sean Kelly:

I do think Lewis is the best driver of all time in as much as you can say that about anyone but I do hope Max wins and fairly. I think he has had a lot of bad luck this season and missed a lot of points through sheer bad luck (a bit like when Lewis lost the championship to Rosberg) 

2
 colinakmc 09 Dec 2021
In reply to kipper12:

Interesting article on the BBC site here: 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/formula1/59555388 

Max being described as “programmed” to be a racer by his dad who was a not very successful 90’s f1 driver. Implication here that he was too much trouble for the leading teams at the time.

Cant wait for the season decider.

1
 oaktree 09 Dec 2021
In reply to Babika:

There is one bonus point available for the driver who records the fastest lap of the race. However, they must also finish in the top 10 in order to qualify for the point.

Max is a chip of the old block  "JOS THE BOSS" 

 kipper12 09 Dec 2021
In reply to colinakmc:

Thanks for the link.  I’m hoping for a hard but fair race, but I reckon if Max gets pressured he may well do a Schumacher.  
 

I have had him down as a future champion for a couple of years now.  However, this season in particular I’ve been disappointed in some of his antics, which for me cross the line into reckless driving.  

1
 Babika 09 Dec 2021
In reply to oaktree:

Yes, of course. Forgot that.

I find the "dynasty" factor in F1 a bit grating - hence Lewis's achievements are even more impressive

2
 oaktree 09 Dec 2021
In reply to Babika:

Both dads gave up a lot for their sons, althought Max did have a bit of a head start, as Jos was only an "also ran" in F1, so not mega rich,

see bbc insight   https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/formula1/59555388

over last few years I was rooting for Max.But Lewis seems to have found his humility as he has aged, so back in his corner. And also dont like cheats,

3
 Trevers 10 Dec 2021
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Michael Masi had indicated that docking points or championship disqualification are on the table this weekend, so hopefully the title will be decided fairly on track.

I'm rooting for Lewis. Max has phenomenal talent but has consistently failed to learn any racecraft or sportsmanship or humility. His time will come, but he is surrounded and egged on by toxic people.

This season has had strong echoes of the Senna-Prost years, it's swung between being a privelige and an embarrassment to watch at times. I'm also gutted that Lando Norris didn't get his maiden victory after coming so close multiple times.

Post edited at 09:42
 Babika 10 Dec 2021
In reply to Trevers:

That's good news from Masi - nobody really wants to see cheating. 

At least this year there have been 6 different winners on the podium, which is quite a change from previous expectations and good for the crowd. 

My favourite podium person though was George Russell at Spa. OK, not really a race but a joy to see. I'm sad to see him leave Williams but wish him success at Merc. 

 Wooj 10 Dec 2021
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Ace news it’s on regular telly. If Hamilton wins he should be knighted. If Andy Murray gets knighted for winning Wimbledon once, how the hell is Lewis Hamilton not a sir already? He’s the best sportsman we’ve ever produced imho. 

3
In reply to Wooj:

>  how the hell is Lewis Hamilton not a sir already? 

Hmmmm...

5
In reply to tjdodd:

You do know that he has already been knighted?

In reply to Sean Kelly:

I'm in 2 minds about this. I'm an F1 fan, probably a Mclaren fan, but not a fan of any particular driver.

I think Lewis is a phenomenal talent that probably deserves to get the 8th title and be clearly "the best" on paper.

However Max is also a huge talent and I think overall deserves the title this year. yes he is on the edge or over it at times, but that reminds me of how Senna used to drive. Plus I really want to see change at the top. the Domination by Merc is not good for the sport.

So I'll be happy whatever happens.

 kipper12 10 Dec 2021
In reply to balmybaldwin:

Think back to Mercedes, pre Hamilton, they couldn’t buy a win.  Team dominance is cyclical.

In reply to Wooj:

> Ace news it’s on regular telly. If Hamilton wins he should be knighted. If Andy Murray gets knighted for winning Wimbledon once, how the hell is Lewis Hamilton not a sir already? He’s the best sportsman we’ve ever produced imho. 

He has been knighted.

In reply to kipper12:

Yes, but that's a bit of my annoyance... it's normally shorter cycles the fia haven't done a good job in the v6T era (in terms of shaking up the rules enough to give other teams a chance to catchup... the problem is the dominance of the engine in f1)

Post edited at 21:46
 Pedro50 10 Dec 2021
In reply to Wooj:

> Ace news it’s on regular telly. If Hamilton wins he should be knighted. If Andy Murray gets knighted for winning Wimbledon once, how the hell is Lewis Hamilton not a sir already? He’s the best sportsman we’ve ever produced imho. 

He has been knighted and F1 is not a sport. 

13
 Wooj 10 Dec 2021
In reply to FactorXXX:

My bad. I didn’t know that and as no one (by that I mean the media) refers to him as Sir Lewis I never twigged. 

In reply to Sean Kelly:

> ...........Mad Max attempts to derail Hamilton so he can't finish. Exciting tim.e indeeds. If Hamilton wins, it could even make him at stong contender for the SPotY awards?

If it means a motor racing driver doesn't win SPOTY then I hope this Mad Max fellow does take him out. Sorry!

11
 john arran 11 Dec 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> If it means a motor racing driver doesn't win SPOTY then I hope this Mad Max fellow does take him out. Sorry!

Such negative energy!

1
 kipper12 11 Dec 2021
In reply to balmybaldwin:

You may well know the answer.  I read over the summer, that Mercedes’ weren’t bothering with much in season development of this model, choosing to place more effort into the 22 car instead. I’m not sure I believe that, as they would surely want to support Lewis in his quest for an 8th championship.  That said, we may see a more dominant car in 22. 

In reply to john arran:

> Such negative energy!

Indeed. I'd almost prefer a speed climber to win SPOTY.

1
 Si dH 11 Dec 2021
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Really looking forward to the race.

Top F1 drivers (all of them but especially Hamilton) are incredible sportsmen at the top of their game. 

There is no problem with a driver winning SPOTY but it would be a bit dull given that Hamilton has won it twice before. I think it will go to Raducanu anyway. She fits the bill perfectly and tennis players always over accrue Spoty awards comparative to their international standing.

Post edited at 09:20
In reply to Si dH:

> Top F1 drivers (all of them but especially Hamilton) are incredible sportsmen at the top of their game. 

I suppose, at least technically, they are sportsmen. As long as you don't start calling them athletes.......

9
 Tom Valentine 11 Dec 2021
In reply to Si dH:

Rachael Blackmore. A female competing on equal terms with males.

 Maggot 11 Dec 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> If it means a motor racing driver doesn't win SPOTY then I hope this Mad Max fellow does take him out. Sorry!

Hamilton, the Beckham of the motoring world. Meh.

9
 Si dH 11 Dec 2021
In reply to Tom Valentine:

Who?

(I googled, but that was my honest reaction)

In reply to Maggot:

> Hamilton, the Beckham of the motoring world. Meh.

At least Beckham did a proper sport.

13
In reply to Si dH:

> Who?

> (I googled, but that was my honest reaction)

Me too. I have the same problem with horse riding as motor racing as a sport in that too big a part is played by what you are sitting on for it to be a credible competition.

As for the bit about competing on equal terms with men, presumably she wouldn't be if being male were seen to be an advantage. Anyway, don't male jockeys basically starve themselves to be less of a burden on the horse; sounds to me like women might, on average, have an advantage.

7
OP Sean Kelly 11 Dec 2021
In reply to Pedro50:

> He has been knighted and F1 is not a sport. 

It is one of 3 according to Hemmingway!

1
In reply to Sean Kelly:

> It is one of 3 according to Hemmingway!

He was wrong about the other two as well.

5
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Quite the turn up in quali....

Hamilton surrounded by cars on soft tyres with nothing to lose... should make for an interesting start

 fred99 11 Dec 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I suppose, at least technically, they are sportsmen. As long as you don't start calling them athletes.......

I seem to remember that one of them - a fair few years ago - had run a mile in under 4 minutes. They do have to be incredibly fit to do their job/sport.

1
 Yanis Nayu 11 Dec 2021
In reply to fred99:

You’re getting mixed-up with the climber Rich Simpson who ran a 3 min mile and knocked Joe Frazier out. 

 fred99 11 Dec 2021
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

I know all about Simpson - I was the guy who called him out with regards to his running "exploits".

I think the F1 driver was actually Japanese, but I could be wrong.

 Tom Valentine 11 Dec 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

Female jockeys compete in the same races as men. It really is as simple as that. That sort of equality has yet to filter through to the highest levels of motorsport apart from isolated examples like Michelle Mouton.

And if what you are sitting on/standing on makes for less of a sport, you can basically discount the Winter Olympics altogether.

1
 Tom Valentine 11 Dec 2021
In reply to Si dH:

No problem. I had to do the same with Raducanu.

7
 Yanis Nayu 11 Dec 2021
In reply to Tom Valentine:

I used to play football with a guy who worked for Arrows F1. One race they had to draft Jos Verstappen in to cover for injury or illness, and he hadn’t driven in a race for a good while. He had an amazing race, well into the points but dropped off quite dramatically in the last few laps. Brundle diagnosed a hydraulics problem in commentary. I asked my mate what happened to the car and the reality was that it was nothing - Verstappen wasn’t race-fit and got knackered which caused the drop-off in his lap times. My mate said the drivers were incredibly fit and strong.   

 RobAJones 11 Dec 2021
In reply to Tom Valentine:

> And if what you are sitting on/standing on makes for less of a sport, you can basically discount the Winter Olympics altogether.

I was going to highlight, in the summer games, the modern pentathlon association think you have a point, but then realised that they are replacing sitting on a random horse with sitting on your own bike. 

In reply to Tom Valentine:

> Female jockeys compete in the same races as men. It really is as simple as that.

Yes, precisely. As I said, presumably because men are not considered to be at a physical advantage. 

> And if what you are sitting on/standing on makes for less of a sport, you can basically discount the Winter Olympics altogether.

Not at all. The effect is miniscule compared with with motorsport and horse racing. There is no constructor's championship in bobsleigh or ski racing. And nobody talks about a particular luge winning a race like they do about a horse winning a race. Anyway, what about the shoes runners wear?

In reply to Tom Valentine:

> No problem. I had to do the same with Raducanu.

I bet you didn't!

 RobAJones 11 Dec 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Not at all. The effect is miniscule compared with with motorsport and horse racing. 

Since we are talking about SPOTY winners Zara Tindall, Princess Anne?? 

In reply to RobAJones:

> Since we are talking about SPOTY winners Zara Tindall, Princess Anne?? 

Well, they could probably afford a good horse. I'm not saying the driver/rider is without merit, but it is probably just as much about the car/horse.

Or are you saying they won SPOTY because they beat men?

 Tom Valentine 11 Dec 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

That's quite telling. You take it as a given that I follow tennis to some extent or other, when I don't, any more than I do golf or lots of other sports. i haven't got the slightest idea who won or even competed at Wimbledon this year. I'm surprised that you find it hard to believe.

3
 Tom Valentine 11 Dec 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

They might have at least been given consideration because they were allowed to compete against men.

In reply to Tom Valentine:

> That's quite telling. You take it as a given that I follow tennis to some extent or other, when I don't.

Raducanu was mainstream news headlines - you don't need to follow tennis to have almost certainly heard about her.

But I'll take your word for it. I lose my bet

 RobAJones 11 Dec 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Well, they could probably afford a good horse.

Yep

>I'm not saying the driver/rider is without merit, but it is probably just as much about the car/horse.

Agreed, Pogacar would have won the tour on any bike (the correct size) in the peleton. 

> Or are you saying they won SPOTY because they beat men?

No, they won because more people voted for them. 

In reply to Tom Valentine:

> They might have at least been given consideration because they were allowed to compete against men.

I don't know. Why should they have been?

In reply to RobAJones:

> Agreed, Pogacar........

I had to Google him (honest!)

> .........would have won the tour on any bike (the correct size) in the peleton. 

So are you saying that in cycling the bike makes little difference or that Pogacar is so good that he would have won the tour on a crap bike?

> No, they won because more people voted for them. 

Well yes, but I think we are talking about why more people vote for them.

Post edited at 20:49
 Tom Valentine 11 Dec 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

 I lose my bet

Nice to engage with such an agreeable loser

Whatever you say about the tennis player being mainstream news applied equally to Rachael Blackmore on the weekend around 10th April this year, where  her achievement was noted in fields which normally wouldn't have given horse racing the time of day. It's for this reason that I think she will attract a lot of support on SPOTY.

2
 RobAJones 11 Dec 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> So are you saying that in cycling the bike makes little difference or that Pogacar is so good that he would have won the tour on a crap bike?

More that there are good bikes and really good bikes, so it does make a difference, but yes he would have won on the "worst" bike in the peleton. 

> Well yes, but I think we are talking about why more people vote for them.

TV and media coverage.I think, all female winners are either Tennis players or Olympians, where the coverage is pretty evenly split male/female. You don't need to compete against men but it helps if people are watching you win in TV, unless you are Bob Nudd, but then they changed the rules. 

Post edited at 20:59
In reply to RobAJones:

> TV and media coverage.I think, all female winners are either Tennis players or Olympians, where the coverage is pretty evenly split male/female. You don't need to compete against men but it helps if people are watching you win in TV.

I definitely agree it is massively a bout TV coverage and that women's sport gets much less coverage apart from, as you say, Tennis and The Olympics (though I think that is changing). S

> ........unless you are Bob Nudd, but then they changed the rules. 

Had to Google him too. If they changed the rules because to make fishing not count as a sport then I think that is quite right.

 RobAJones 11 Dec 2021
In reply to Tom Valentine:

>Rachael Blackmore  It's for this reason that I think she will attract a lot of support on SPOTY.

Odd on at the moment. Do think that if  Verstappen wins tomorrow, it will affect her chances? 

Post edited at 21:15
 RobAJones 11 Dec 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I definitely agree it is massively a bout TV coverage and that women's sport gets much less coverage apart from, as you say, Tennis and The Olympics (though I think that is changing). 

Hopefully, but in most areas of society equality is much better than it was in the early '70's. SPOTY winners don't reflect this improvement. 

> Had to Google him too. If they changed the rules because to make fishing not count as a sport then I think that is quite right.

It was more that they didn't count fishermen's/women's votes. What about snooker? 

Post edited at 21:18
In reply to RobAJones:

> >Rachael Blackmore  It's for this reason that I think she will attract a lot of support on SPOTY.

> Odd in at the moment. Do think that if  Verstappen wins tomorrow, it will affect her chances? 

Irrelevant, because Raducanu will win by a mile anyway.

 RobAJones 11 Dec 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Irrelevant, because Raducanu will win by a mile anyway.

Agreed but that won't stop Rachael winning as well. The clue is Verstappen is Dutch

 Tom Valentine 11 Dec 2021
In reply to RobAJones:

Better leave it now. Rachael doesn't seem to feature in the betting at all, which does really surprise me.  I think Rob's odds on price for her referred to Ireland's version of SPOTY.

But as a mark of my sporting nous or lack of it, I should point out that four of the top ten favourites on Bet 365 are people completely unknown to me.

Post edited at 21:35
In reply to RobAJones:

> Agreed but that won't stop Rachael winning as well. The clue is Verstappen is Dutch

Ah, so she is Irish and not eligible to win the actual SPOTY anyway, but might win the overseas award.

 RobAJones 11 Dec 2021
In reply to Tom Valentine:

> Better leave it now. Rachael doesn't seem to feature in the betting at all, which does really surprise me. 

She odds on favourite for the overseas award? 

> But as a mark of my sporting nous or lack of it, I should point out that four of the top ten favourites on Bet 365 are people completely unknown to me.

But British? 

Post edited at 21:38
 RobAJones 11 Dec 2021
In reply to Tom Valentine:

> I think Rob's odds on price for her referred to Ireland's version of SPOTY.

I thought you were talking about the overseas award that Verstappen is currently second favourite for. So she will probably beat him, but would she have finished above Hamilton if she was British? 

Post edited at 21:43
 Tom Valentine 11 Dec 2021
In reply to RobAJones:

They must be to be in the running. 

i see that we voted Lennox Lewis as SPOTY even though he elected to compete in the Olympics as a Canadian rather than a Briton. Short memories, some folk.....

2
 Tom Valentine 11 Dec 2021
In reply to RobAJones:

TBH Rob I hadn't even realised that SPOTY was divided into British and other categories, such is my interest in sport in general.

2
 RobAJones 11 Dec 2021
In reply to Tom Valentine:

> i see that we voted Lennox Lewis as SPOTY even though he elected to compete in the Olympics as a Canadian rather than a Briton. Short memories, some folk.....

Careful, that feeds into the narrative Raducanu was born in Canada with Romanian dad and Chinese mum so isn't British, but I take your point, I struggled with Pat van den Hauwe playing for Wales, and don't get me started on South Pacific cousins playing Rugby for England and Wales. 

Post edited at 21:58
In reply to fred99:

> I seem to remember that one of them - a fair few years ago - had run a mile in under 4 minutes. They do have to be incredibly fit to do their job/sport.

Bollocks. Jenson Button was always touted as being incredibly fit and a brilliant runner / triathlete. In reality be was a 1:20 half marathon runner, which is a good club standard for a woman and a million miles away from a sub 4 minute mile.

7
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I suppose, at least technically, they are sportsmen. As long as you don't start calling them athletes.......

They are athletes and they train as such.

Driving modern f1 machinery at the limit of what they can do is a huge physical prowess and requires intense training of both body and mind.

Post edited at 07:15
 Tom Valentine 12 Dec 2021
In reply to MichaelMloppiner:

I can remember Jody Schechter doing very well in the BBC Superstar series.......

In reply to MichaelMloppiner:

> They are athletes and they train as such.

They are athletic and they train like athletes. But they are not athletes; they are drivers.

Post edited at 10:14
 timjones 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

Surely it must be possible to be an athlete and a driver?

Woe betide any olympic athletes that own a car if it isn't possible

 kipper12 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Sean Kelly:

To hi Jack this thread, slightly.  We often see F1 drivers being touted for SPOTY, but rarely do we get the same amount of excitement from Moto GP or super bikes (Foggy for example) or from the world of rallying.  It would be great if we recognised the massive achievements of the Doctor on two wheels over his career; simply the best. 

In reply to timjones:

> Surely it must be possible to be an athlete and a driver?

Of course. There may well be motor racing drivers who also compete as athletes.

> Woe betide any olympic athletes that own a car if it isn't possible

Sorry. I should have said "motor racing driver", not just "driver".

 RobAJones 12 Dec 2021
In reply to kipper12:

>  (Foggy for example)

Although he did win the Jungle/Castle thing, which Mo Farrah and Fatima Whitbread didn't. 

In reply to Sean Kelly:

I am sure I speak for most neutrals in hoping that the outcome of the race is an absolutely massive crash with both drivers emerging miraculously unscathed from the fireballs of their mangled cars and then, with the championship tied, vicious recriminations from both drivers over who was to blame.

5
 J101 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Interesting start, Verstappen has got away with some very dodgy driving recently that he should have been sanctioned for but think he's been a bit hard done by here.

 felt 12 Dec 2021
In reply to J101:

carma

3
In reply to J101:

Thank you for this, I thought it was on at 4pm and would have missed it without your post!

I missed the start and then considered not watching the rest as it looked like it might be a procession from then on….

OP Sean Kelly 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Well, I don't understand that, Hamilton was robbed! What is going on. Taken l out by the safety car. That is not racing! 13 second lead for Hamilton and they restart level. Total madness!!!

1
 jimtitt 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Laughable result.

1
 felt 12 Dec 2021
In reply to jimtitt:

Hand of Gouda

 J101 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Sean Kelly:

The rules always seem daft in this sport but they appear to have changed their own rules mid race just to get the grandstand last lap. Can see why Mercedes will be fuming

OP Sean Kelly 12 Dec 2021
In reply to J101:

One lap race and one driver is on new tyres. The other 57 laps don't count then. What is the point of it all. That was no race!

1
 jimtitt 12 Dec 2021
In reply to J101:

Safety car one result, virtual safety car a different one.

In reply to J101:

I can see this being dragged out to the court of arbitration for sport but worth remembering there have been bizarre races like this all year and Mercedes have benefited from lucky incidents throughout worth more than a handful of points. For this reason I was delighted to see Max win but then I remembered that Max is a bit of dick, the sport itself is a bit of a cesspit peopled by tax dodgers and now seems to exist to sportswash the Middle East so I don’t really care either way!

That said I’ve just seen Lewis being interviewed and fair play to him for being so dignified - I would not have been!

Post edited at 14:51
 J101 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Tyler:

This was the only race I've watched or paid any attention to this year, not my sport.

I doubt it'll end up in CAS, Mercedes have enough clout to make sure the rules are tightened up before next year though.

 jonfun21 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Sean Kelly:

I think we have started this season to see F1 become more like wrestling/entertainment rather than a sport, with rules/decisions manipulated to create a spectacle rather than be applied consistently - this has been true for many of the decisions applied to both drivers and constructors.

Fair enough, that’s a conscious choice F1 can make - but let’s be clear/open about it now being pure entertainment/a managed result. 

 Trevers 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Appalled with the way this finished. Not with Max winning, but with the way the stewards changed the Safety Car rules and precedents at the last minute to set up a clear run at victory for Max, having been heavily lobbied on live radio by the Red Bull team. It makes a mockery of sport.

There will have been millions of people round the world who watched F1 for the first time ever today, and they won't be watching again. The FIA have well and truly brought the sport into disrepute.

Post edited at 15:00
5
 JuneBob 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Imagine a season without controversy, it would be dead boring and we'd have nothing to talk about.

1
 Pedro50 12 Dec 2021

First F1 viewing for 15 years, quite enjoyed it especially the result. They were generous to Hamilton over the first incident, but overall confirms my opinion that it's showbiz not sport. 

3
 J101 12 Dec 2021
In reply to jonfun21:

Put them all in identical cars and then we'll see who's the best driver. Now that would be more interesting.

Post edited at 15:03
3
 jonfun21 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Trevers:

Totally agree - but it’s been true all season - it’s now just about curating entertainment, if your a competitor why bother too much as it’s basically whatever the FIA decides it would like to see....more like a play/pantomime for all involved. 

 Babika 12 Dec 2021
In reply to JuneBob:

We have a 98 day break - then back again. Always exciting when 2 are battling it out. 

I'd like to gave seen more of the mid race battles on the TV coverage but I guess it was always going to happen today with so much at stake.

But I'd never have guessed that my favourite team (Williams) would have proved the kingmaker in the final outcome. 

 jimtitt 12 Dec 2021
In reply to J101:

> Put them all in identical cars and then we'll see who's the best driver. Now that would be more interesting.

NO it wouldn't, the drivers championship is anyway the lesser prize, F1 is a manufacturers championship (which Mercedes won) and the drivers award a later add-on.

7
 kipper12 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Sean Kelly:

A shambles at the end.  If the FIA wanted to have the result decided on racing.  They should have red-flagged the race.  At that point both red bull and Mercedes’ re shoe their cars, and we have 4 laps on soft tyres.  The way it ended was a travesty.  Listen to Cristian Horner, just before the S.C. He was conceding the Mercedes’ was the faster car on the day, going on to say it’s now in the lap of the racing gods, sadly we got Loki.

1
 Trevers 12 Dec 2021
In reply to jimtitt:

> NO it wouldn't, the drivers championship is anyway the lesser prize, F1 is a manufacturers championship (which Mercedes won) and the drivers award a later add-on.

Multiple times this year, RB have sacrificed constructor points for driver points. The WCC carries more prize money, but the prestige is 99% with the WDC. Fans do not care about the WCC. I suspect for RB, the WDC is worth far more to their brand.

 jimtitt 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Trevers:

The drivers receive no prize money, they are simply employees. The adverts will as usual say Mercedes World Champions again, the driver is barely mentioned if at all. If F1 became a one-make series it would fade into a poorly funded uninteresting race series like most of the others, just as well do it in simulators.

1
OP Sean Kelly 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Mercedes lodge protest with the FIA. I'm not surprised at that. Apparently there are two issues that are in dispute.

 Trevers 12 Dec 2021
In reply to jimtitt:

> The drivers receive no prize money, they are simply employees. The adverts will as usual say Mercedes World Champions again, the driver is barely mentioned if at all. If F1 became a one-make series it would fade into a poorly funded uninteresting race series like most of the others, just as well do it in simulators.

Nobody remembers the constructors titles though. Fans don't care. It's nice to clean sweep both titles, but fans favour the WDC, and teams often make decisions that suggest they do so too.

 Trevers 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Sean Kelly:

> Mercedes lodge protest with the FIA. I'm not surprised at that. Apparently there are two issues that are in dispute.

The key issue is the application of the rules. Either all cars are allowed to unlap themselves under the safety, or none are, and that is at the race director's discretion. Under the first scenario, the race would have ended under the safety car, giving Hamilton the victory. Under the second scenario, there would be one lap of racing but Verstappen would've needed to pass 5 backmarkers before being able to challenge Hamilton. Hamilton most likely wins. Either scenario is a bit of an anti-climax, but is fair and by the book.

Instead, the race director allowed only the 5 lapped cars between Hamilton and Verstappen to unlap themselves, and immediately released the safety car. This set up a final lap with Verstappen a clear run at Hamilton, and on fresher tyres. It's not even contentious, it's a very clear cut breach of rules and convention very conveniently engineered to set up the final result.

I doubt Merc's appeal will succeed, but it taints the entire season. It's rather ironic, because on paper it's a dream scenario that the championship is decided by a final lap overtake. But it shouldn't be artificially set up by the governing body.

Post edited at 16:28
5
OP Sean Kelly 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Sean Kelly:

 This from the Sky website

"Sky F1 understands Mercedes' protest about overtaking behind the Safety Car may well be in relation to the moment Hamilton and Verstappen got very close just before the restart.

Did Verstappen momentarily nose in front? Hard to tell conclusively from that on board that's for sure."

As I understand it, Mercedes obviously think they should not have restarted it, and they should have taken the race result from before the restart - so Hamilton wins.

Mercedes think it was rushed through to get to a final lap and Hamilton was left as a lame duck because he was on older tyres.

Mercedes are basically protesting against the FIA, rather than anything Red Bull have done.

Post edited at 16:33
 Si dH 12 Dec 2021
In reply to jimtitt:

Everyone involved is more interested in winning the driver's championship than the constructor's. At least that's my impression having watched since the early 90s. I agree though that it would be less interesting if they all drove the same car. Part of what makes the sport interesting is the development of the cars and the differences between them. Some years it produces an easy, boring championship win for someone but overall I see it as a positive. Indeed it was an interest in F1 car aerodynamics as a kid that inspired me to pursue engineering. That interest wouldn't really exist if the aerodynamicists were not allowed to influence the result. There is still a huge amount of skill involved from the driver and in general the top drivers end up at the top teams, so I don't think the importance of the car usually takes anything away from the achievement of the winning driver.

Post edited at 16:36
 Si dH 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Si dH:

Ps. I don't think the issues we have seen this year can be solved easily by changing the regulations, there will always be grey areas. Many of them though would be easily solved by bringing back more gravel traps and barriers so that there was a big disincentive to going off-track. Of course with more gravel traps and no DRS in much of the 2000s, the racing was a lot duller because hardly anyone wanted to try a spicy overtake like they do now...

Post edited at 16:46
 felt 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Best comment I've read so far about this farce is Sean Duffy's: "It does feel a bit like they hollered “Next goal wins!” with Hamilton 352-0 up, which works better in the playground than in elite-level sport." 

1
 J101 12 Dec 2021
In reply to felt:

Mark Webber's suggestion of just rolling the points into next season, double or nothing *

* Not an entirely serious suggestion.

 Trevers 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Si dH:

> Ps. I don't think the issues we have seen this year can be solved easily by changing the regulations, there will always be grey areas. Many of them though would be easily solved by bringing back more gravel traps and barriers so that there was a big disincentive to going off-track. Of course with more gravel traps and no DRS in much of the 2000s, the racing was a lot duller because hardly anyone wanted to try a spicy overtake like they do now...

The problem hasn't been with the rules per se, but the inconsistent application of them. I don't believe that they've been specifically biased to either team or driver, but decisions have been made in a way that appears to maximise the drama, rather than clearly applying the rules. Their inconsistency and toothlessness has led to the drivers consistently pushing the limits of the rules, resulting in the farce at Saudi Arabia (a race which shouldn't have happened in the first place).

1
 colinakmc 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Some interesting viewpoints on here about the outcome. I don’t like Horner and don’t like Verstappen much (bit entitled for my taste) and he’s certainly shown some Schumacher-like traits. But in the end either of them would have deserved the championship for slightly different reasons.   Seems a shame that a safety car was sent from heaven to save Verstappen’s race though. It’s the rules, though, and for me the challenging bit is why was Verstappen able to pit for new tyres and keep track position, but Hamilton couldn’t? That’s a bit weird.

 J101 12 Dec 2021
In reply to colinakmc:

No, the rules would be that they have to let all the lapped cars past or none, and they let 5 through to bring Verstappen behind Hamilton so they could get the last lap in and not finish under the safety car. As it was it left Verstappen starting the last lap right behind Hamilton with fresh tyres.

Seems like the rules might have been changed right at the end of the season during the race on the fly and if it benefits someone then it kind of makes a mockery of the process.

If the result ends up being argued out with lawyers then it's no good for anyone (except the lawyers bank balances). Shame really.

Post edited at 18:08
 Si dH 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Trevers:

Everyone talks about inconsistency but they often have different events in mind.

To decide two decisions were inconsistent, you need to have decided the situations in which they were being applied were reasonably equivalent, consistent etc. That is almost always a matter of judgement. You can't complain when judgements reached about two different situations are slightly different if the situations weren't quite the same. To take the event early in today's race and the event in Brazil, which the commentators today made some comparisons between - were they equivalent? No! Should the decision have been the same in each case? That's a matter of judgement. Personally I think Verstappen went too far in Brazil and should have been penalised but the one early today was more of a racing incident.

So I don't think inconsistency is the problem. It's just the obvious thing to cry foul over when you aren't happy.

Post edited at 17:49
1
 timjones 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Trevers:

> There will have been millions of people round the world who watched F1 for the first time ever today, and they won't be watching again. The FIA have well and truly brought the sport into disrepute.

If the result was not contested they would probably be more than keen to watch again.

They would however probably be bitterly disappointed when next season returned to the boring norm for the sport.

1
 Trevers 12 Dec 2021
In reply to timjones:

> If the result was not contested they would probably be more than keen to watch again.

> They would however probably be bitterly disappointed when next season returned to the boring norm for the sport.

So is drama preferable to sporting integrity? New watchers might have found it exciting but thoroughly confusing. Long-time fans are furious.

Post edited at 18:11
3
 Rob Parsons 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Trevers:

> Long-time fans are furious.

Vote with your feet.

1
 jezb1 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Trevers:

> Long-time fans are furious.

Long-time “Lewis” fans are furious

8
 Pedro50 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Trevers:

> I doubt Merc's appeal will succeed, but it taints the entire season. It's rather ironic, because on paper it's a dream scenario that the championship is decided by a final lap overtake. But it shouldn't be artificially set up by the governing body.

Because it's just feckin showbusiness how difficult is that to comprehend? 

2
 mark s 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Sean Kelly: not watched much for a while but that last lap was amazing. Max got past fair and won. Bonus to max for taking the gamble with coming in for soft tyres. 

I like Lewis but best driver on that last lap won.

14
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I am sure I speak for most neutrals in hoping that the outcome of the race is an absolutely massive crash with both drivers emerging miraculously unscathed from the fireballs of their mangled cars and then, with the championship tied, vicious recriminations from both drivers over who was to blame.

almost got your wish.... at least with the post race recriminations!

 Trevers 12 Dec 2021
In reply to jezb1:

> Long-time “Lewis” fans are furious

And long-time neutral fans too.

3
 jezb1 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Trevers:

> And long-time neutral fans too.

Plenty I'm sure.

This pretty neutral fan though was just excited by the drama of the ending to a great year of racing.

3
 Trevers 12 Dec 2021
In reply to colinakmc:

> Some interesting viewpoints on here about the outcome. I don’t like Horner and don’t like Verstappen much (bit entitled for my taste) and he’s certainly shown some Schumacher-like traits. But in the end either of them would have deserved the championship for slightly different reasons.   Seems a shame that a safety car was sent from heaven to save Verstappen’s race though. It’s the rules, though, and for me the challenging bit is why was Verstappen able to pit for new tyres and keep track position, but Hamilton couldn’t? That’s a bit weird.

Hamilton wasn't blocked for pitting for tyres. It was simply the case that it was a huge gamble for Mercedes to pit him. Red Bull had nothing to lose and also the had the advantage of being able to react to their opponents. If Hamilton had pitted, Red Bull would likely have told Verstappen to stay out, giving him first place on track. It was then entirely plausible that the race would finish behind the safety car with Verstappen winning. Effectively, Mercedes had a gamble, Red Bull had a free choice.

 Pedro50 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Trevers:

So a good result then?

3
 Trevers 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Pedro50:

> So a good result then?

What do you mean?

 kipper12 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Trevers:

The decision made by Mercedes was made in the heat of battle, based on what they understood the rules to be, to be fair what other teams understood the rules to be.  Had they known what was about to unfold, they may well have pitted lewis, as the least worst option.  However, their decision was based on retaining track position.  The shame here is that Max has not done anything wrong, the fault lies with his boss, and the FIA.  I suspect the FIA were trying to have the title won in a race, rather than a procession.  Sadly, by the time they made up their mind, lewis was a sitting duck.

1
 Trevers 12 Dec 2021
In reply to kipper12:

> The decision made by Mercedes was made in the heat of battle, based on what they understood the rules to be, to be fair what other teams understood the rules to be.  Had they known what was about to unfold, they may well have pitted lewis, as the least worst option.  However, their decision was based on retaining track position.  The shame here is that Max has not done anything wrong, the fault lies with his boss, and the FIA.  I suspect the FIA were trying to have the title won in a race, rather than a procession.  Sadly, by the time they made up their mind, lewis was a sitting duck.

Yes, I totally agree. I'm no Max fan, but he only took the opportunity he was handed, and there can be no blame on him for that. It would feel horribly unfair to him if the result was reversed in hindsight.

1
In reply to Trevers:

> Yes, I totally agree. I'm no Max fan, but he only took the opportunity he was handed, and there can be no blame on him for that. It would feel horribly unfair to him if the result was reversed in hindsight.

Just been announced that Verstappen is still World Champion.

 kipper12 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Trevers:

Doesn’t stop me thinking there has been a travesty though.  If this is the only title max wins, he will be forever remembered for being handed the race by the FIA.  Equally, if Lewis doesn’t go on to take an 8th title, many will continue, unfairly, to blame max.  It’s a shambles of BJ magnitude.  

2
 Andrew Lodge 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Utter farce, the sport has lost all credibility today. You wouldn't change the rules as you went along in Sunday football so to do it here is bonkers.

3
 earlsdonwhu 12 Dec 2021

Utterly absurd that one competitor can build a huge advantage only for it to be negated by a safety car and made worse by your rival being able to put and change tyres.

If a runner fell over, the race leader wouldn't be told to slow so the rest can catch up. May be drama but not sport

6
In reply to earlsdonwhu:

> Utterly absurd that one competitor can build a huge advantage only for it to be negated by a safety car and made worse by your rival being able to put and change tyres.

That regulation has been in place for years and all teams/drivers have benefitted from it at some stage in this championship or in previous years.
The only difference here is the question of how many lapped cars were allowed to un-lap themselves before the race re-started and whether or not that number was done to the regulations.

 Tringa 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Andrew Lodge:

The teams and the drivers acted well and correctly but it was a major mistake by the FIA

It is even more annoying because their decision was not one where there was an element of discretion(ie such as can happen when a collision occurs). It was decision around a clear rule.

Under the safety car - "any cars that have been lapped by the leader will be required to pass the cars on the lead lap and the safety car.” - but after initially saying no lapped cars could pass they changed it to only some lapped cars could passed.

It seems this decision meant Hamilton was deprived of the title. Vestappen has been excellent this season as has Hamilton and I wasn't bothered who won but I would have liked to have seen it decided by clear racing and not a fudging of the rules.

Dave

 Trevers 12 Dec 2021
In reply to FactorXXX:

The FIA statement is actually quite remarkable. Masi pretty much admitted that decisions are made differently for the leading cars than for other cars not fighting for the race win.

https://www.racefans.net/2021/12/12/verstappen-hamilton-title-fia-decision/

 timjones 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Trevers:

> So is drama preferable to sporting integrity? New watchers might have found it exciting but thoroughly confusing. Long-time fans are furious.

There was going to be acrimony from the moment that the safety car came out so  close to the finish.

Maybe they need the facility to extend the race by a reasonable number of laps under such circumstances?

A head to head race for one lap is probably better than deciding the winner under the safety car IMO.

7
 Trevers 12 Dec 2021
In reply to timjones:

> There was going to be acrimony from the moment that the safety car came out so  close to the finish.

Anti-climax, but not acrimony.

> Maybe they need the facility to extend the race by a reasonable number of laps under such circumstances?

I don't think they should apply different rules for the race-end just to get a finish under normal racing. However there was an option to neutralise the race with a red flag, pausing the race and resulting in a full restart. This would also have neutralised the pitstop tyre advantage.

> A head to head race for one lap is probably better than deciding the winner under the safety car IMO.

Except that the final-lap shoot out was entirely set up by the last minute rule contravention by the race director. And Hamilton was distinctly handicapped by not having pitted for new tyres, a decision that was made under the understanding of the normal safety car procedure.

Post edited at 20:09
1
 colinakmc 12 Dec 2021
In reply to mark s:

> I like Lewis but best driver on that last lap won.

No, best tyres won. Max would have had to work much harder to get pat Lewis on equal tyres. He might’ve managed it, but imo not likely on a single lap.

If the safety car hadn’t happened, Lewis had it in the bag. S**t happens….sport is capricious.

But Masi is not up to Charlie Whitehead’s job. He’s left a doubt and a smell of weakness about the stewarding.

1
 AukWalk 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Sean Kelly:

I'm not an F1 fan, but my girlfriend is, so saw bits of the race and heard lots about it this evening.

Personally think it seems pretty clear that the race director either wanted Max to win, or placed the goal of not having the race finish under a safety car behind any semblance of fairness.  Just makes a mockery of the whole race when Lewis can go from being so far ahead to having his lead wiped out,  made to gamble whether to pit, and essentially being tricked by the race director who made such an unusual decision to let a certain number of lapped cars overtake after it was apparent he wasn't pitting.

Seems like F1 really need to have a look at their rule book and moderate the 'generate drama' objective in favour of a bit more 'create an appearance of fairness'.

3
 Babika 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Tringa:

I would have loved to see the last 5 laps with Max and Lewis both on hard tyres with the same degradation (as they changed them at the same time) fight it out. 

Yes, Max had to get past a few cars but Lewis had already done that so it wasn't a great hold up. 

The last 5 laps would have been thrilling and the best driver would have won. 

It might have been Max but I suspect not given how the previous 53 laps had gone  

The result is a travesty for F1 fans. 

PS I'm a Williams fan and I feel really sorry for their 2 DNFs today, but pleased they held on to 8th in the constructors. Best result for a few years

 timjones 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Trevers:

> Anti-climax, but not acrimony.

> I don't think they should apply different rules for the race-end just to get a finish under normal racing. However there was an option to neutralise the race with a red flag, pausing the race and resulting in a full restart. This would also have neutralised the pitstop tyre advantage.

Last week they were bitching about a decision to red flag the race.

It strikes me that teams just push for whatever advantage they can get within a rulebook that has been made unduly complex to maintain some interest in a sport that ceased to be about pure racing decades ago.

The tyre advantage was surely down to team decisions, maybe it shouldn't be neutralised?

> Except that the final-lap shoot out was entirely set up by the last minute rule contravention by the race director. And Hamilton was distinctly handicapped by not having pitted for new tyres, a decision that was made under the understanding of the normal safety car procedure.

If you make decisions in an attempt to play the rules to your advantage there is always a chance it won't pay off. Hamilton seems to lean heavily on his crew to make the decisions and this weekend they appear to have got it wrong.

8
 mark s 12 Dec 2021
In reply to colinakmc:

Being the better driver gave him the foresight to change tyres. 

Lewis wasn't blocked from going in to get some new ones you know.

22
 Trevers 12 Dec 2021
In reply to mark s:

> Being the better driver gave him the foresight to change tyres. 

> Lewis wasn't blocked from going in to get some new ones you know.

I explained in a comment previously that the decision was a gamble for Mercedes but a no-brainer for Red Bull. And the decision was based upon the normal understanding of the rules.

 mark s 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Trevers:

Redbull played a better game,got the good tyres and won the race fair .  If Lewis wanted sticky new tyres he could have got some. Maybe he should have driven a bit better and got a larger cushion to allow the time.

31
 kipper12 12 Dec 2021
In reply to mark s:

Not sure you are grasping the situation Mercedes were in.  If they pit Hamilton, red bull stay out and have track position, ie they’ve given away 1st place.  If they don’t pit, red bull do.  The curve ball was thrown by the race director,leaving Lewis a sitting duck.  Mercedes did the right thing, assuming normals rules were followed.  
 

The fairest approach would  be to red flag the race leaving both drivers contesting the championship on the same tyres and duke it out.  Whether in the Mercedes or red bull camp, surely you would want to be able to say we won fair and square.  This can’t be said of max right now.  For neutrals, it must look absolutely perplexing. I have been a F1 fan for many years, and this is really a low point.

3
 colinakmc 12 Dec 2021
In reply to kipper12:

It’s also clear (I think) that race director Masi changed his mind about midfielders uncapping themselves under pressure from Horner so the Mercedes decision was undermined.

End of the day it went Red Bull’s way, capriciously but not completely undeservedly. Personally I think Mercedes should leave it at that but then again Masi will continue to a*se it up next year.

Damon Hill has made the observation that if the thing isn’t properly marshalled big manufacturers might walk away. 

Post edited at 22:37
 mark s 12 Dec 2021
In reply to kipper12:

In that case with all the stops max had mad he drove faster through out the whole race. The reason Lewis couldn't put was because he was slower with the stops he had 

People are just upset because Lewis didn't win.

Made for a great last lap,something the sport has lacked for a while 

34
 Trevers 12 Dec 2021
In reply to mark s:

> In that case with all the stops max had mad he drove faster through out the whole race. The reason Lewis couldn't put was because he was slower with the stops he had 

Did you watch the same race? Lewis was comfortably maintaining his advantage over Max after Max had pitted for fresh tyres under the earlier virtual safety car. It was only the final full safety car that nullified Lewis' advantage, and only the race director's decision that allowed Max the chance to challenge for the victory.

> People are just upset because Lewis didn't win.

No, they're upset because the race director literally changed the rules last minute to engineer the scenario that played out. You're completely ignoring the arguments people are making.

> Made for a great last lap,something the sport has lacked for a while 

It would also always be an entertaining end to the World Cup Final if, with the score 1-0 in the final minute, the ref spontaneously decides that next goal wins, and sends off the keeper of the team in the lead.

3
 Trevers 12 Dec 2021
In reply to colinakmc:

> It’s also clear (I think) that race director Masi changed his mind about midfielders uncapping themselves under pressure from Horner so the Mercedes decision was undermined.

Another point that hasn't been made much is that, as well as clearing the lapped cars between himself and Lewis, the decision also left Max with a buffer of other lapped cars between himself and Sainz, meaning that he didn't need to defend from behind.

If the philosophy is "let them race", this should also apply to the rest of the field who were also vying for points positions.

2
 Maggot 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Trevers:

Hahaha Fergie time?

 Trevers 12 Dec 2021
In reply to Maggot:

The equivalent. Horner time.

1
In reply to Sean Kelly:

TL;DR

Some fast millionaire c@nt beat another fast millionaire c@nt.

... Life moved on.

19
In reply to Trevers:

> It would also always be an entertaining end to the World Cup Final if, with the score 1-0 in the final minute, the ref spontaneously decides that next goal wins, and sends off the keeper of the team in the lead.

F1 is different than football though, the threat of a safety car is something you always have to consider, and the Mercs played ultra-conservative with a one stop strategy that left them defenceless.

Worth remembering that the championship has been lost and won over many races, not just that last lap.

Post edited at 07:29
 jimtitt 13 Dec 2021
In reply to MichaelMloppiner:

But Mercedes worked on the rules as they are written, not to know that the race director would overrule them one lap before the end.

2
In reply to jimtitt:

> But Mercedes worked on the rules as they are written, not to know that the race director would overrule them one lap before the end.

The rules as they are written state that the race director has authority over the use of the safety car.

They couldn’t know in advance when the safety car was going to be withdrawn. They got unlucky that it got withdrawn at the worst possible time for them given their strategy.

Whether Massi should or should have not let them race in the last lap will be discussed for a long time but ultimately there has been lots of unfair/controversial decisions that profited either way all season long.

Let’s not forget that Max still had to overtake Hamilton in that last lap. Not an easy feat regardless of tires.

Red flagging the race clearly would have been a better option. But may well have ended in the same result.

Post edited at 07:55
1
 bridgstarr 13 Dec 2021
In reply to FactorXXX:

> That regulation has been in place for years and all teams/drivers have benefitted from it at some stage in this championship or in previous years.

> The only difference here is the question of how many lapped cars were allowed to un-lap themselves before the race re-started and whether or not that number was done to the regulations.

The only reason cars aren't put back to their original time deltas is because they want to make the race more interesting. If I was that bothered about fairness as an F1 fan, I would have been complaining about this stupid rule.

The reason it exists is to add some jeopardy to races where on the whole, the fastest car starts at the front and drives round at the front till the end.

It does seem that the rules may well have been applied in an incorrect manner, or at least very contentiously. But fans complaining that an unfair rule introduced solely for entertainment, was (mis-)used unfairly for entertainment, just seems funny to me.

 Trevers 13 Dec 2021
In reply to MichaelMloppiner:

> The rules as they are written state that the race director has authority over the use of the safety car.

That feels very disingenuous though, just a catch-all get out clause. Such a decision had never been made before in the sport's history. And if you feel that the decision produced a fair fight to the end, you have to explain why you feel it was fair that Sainz in third want given the chance to fight for second.

> They couldn’t know in advance when the safety car was going to be withdrawn. They got unlucky that it got withdrawn at the worst possible time for them given their strategy.

It's not about luck though, because the decision was a clear manipulation that was based on the on-track situation, not the usual safety considerations. It's impossible to know whether the decision was guided by the desire to fix the result in Max's favour or simply to set up a grandslam finish, but you can't call it unlucky when the goalposts are suddenly shifted after the strategy decision has been taken.

1
 Trevers 13 Dec 2021
In reply to bridgstarr:

> The only reason cars aren't put back to their original time deltas is because they want to make the race more interesting. If I was that bothered about fairness as an F1 fan, I would have been complaining about this stupid rule.

> The reason it exists is to add some jeopardy to races where on the whole, the fastest car starts at the front and drives round at the front till the end.

> It does seem that the rules may well have been applied in an incorrect manner, or at least very contentiously. But fans complaining that an unfair rule introduced solely for entertainment, was (mis-)used unfairly for entertainment, just seems funny to me.

Safety cars are not contentious though. Before the introduction of the VSC, there was no other way to safely deal with an on track crash other than to red flag the race. 

It's always been accepted that some will lose out or benefit from a safety car at any given time, that's not the issue here.

 mark s 13 Dec 2021
In reply to Trevers:

They wanted an exciting last lap rather than a procession for the last race.

Hamilton had the advantage of being in front ,well for half the lap he was . Max still had to get past him.

The Lewis fan boys will get over it in a few days.  

25
In reply to Trevers:

> That feels very disingenuous though, just a catch-all get out clause. Such a decision had never been made before in the sport's history. And if you feel that the decision produced a fair fight to the end, you have to explain why you feel it was fair that Sainz in third want given the chance to fight for second.

> It's not about luck though, because the decision was a clear manipulation that was based on the on-track situation, not the usual safety considerations. It's impossible to know whether the decision was guided by the desire to fix the result in Max's favour or simply to set up a grandslam finish, but you can't call it unlucky when the goalposts are suddenly shifted after the strategy decision has been taken.

Well if you are Massi you are between a rock and a hard place, either you end it under safety car despite the track being clear and safe - and effectively gift it to Lewis - or do what you can to allow one more lap.

Massi had several options and whatever he had done he would have screwed someone over unfairly. But I feel what he didn’t want to do is to be put in a situation where he decides the winner of race. 

In the end he chose to let the two contenders race to the finish which was probably the least worse option.

Max still had to pass Lewis in one lap which was no easy feat.

Anyway, this should make you laugh:

youtube.com/watch?v=TSspxF0F3O0&

Post edited at 08:40
1
 bridgstarr 13 Dec 2021
In reply to Trevers:

> Safety cars are not contentious though. Before the introduction of the VSC, there was no other way to safely deal with an on track crash other than to red flag the race. 

I didn't say safety cars were contentious. I said not restoring the time deltas at the restart was unfair. 

> It's always been accepted that some will lose out or benefit from a safety car at any given time, that's not the issue here.

It may have always been accepted, but it isn't fair. I agree it not directly the issue here. I'm just pointing out the slight strangeness of a rule that is inherently unfair being complained about because its not being applied fairly.

1
 Ben Callard 13 Dec 2021
In reply to MichaelMloppiner:

But Lewis had a 10 second gap before the safety car was called. He was cruising (on ruined tyres) to the WC. Finishing the race under the safety car would've been the correct thing to do. I don't think it would have been as controversial as what happened. Lewis and Merc had a pretty faultless race, so did RB, but the Merc was quicker, so it should've won.

In reply to MichaelMloppiner:

"and effectively gift it to Lewis"

How would it have been a gift if the rules were followed? Mercedes would have won had the rules been followed. That's not a gift. It was MV and RB that received a gift. How would it have been unfair to MV if the rules had been followed? 

 mark s 13 Dec 2021
In reply to Ben Callard:

> but the Merc was quicker, so it should've won.

You sure about that?max overtook him on the last lap.

15
 Ben Callard 13 Dec 2021
In reply to mark s:

> You sure about that?max overtook him on the last lap.

Huge tyre offset caused by Max able to have a free pitstop which wasn't available to Lewis. 

 Trevers 13 Dec 2021
In reply to mark s:

> You sure about that?max overtook him on the last lap.

Yes, after he'd had the opportunity to fight for the lead on fresh tyres gifted to him by the race director's decision.

If Max had also elected not to pit, he would have been directly behind Hamilton on track, and would've had the opportunity to fight for the lead. But he wouldn't have had the same tyre advantage. If he had won, it would be regarded as lucky but fair.

In reply to mark s:

> You sure about that? max overtook him on the last lap.

He did, but artificially so, because he'd never have had that situation presented to him without the weird decision regarding letting some drivers passed and not others.

Whilst I'm aware that this season has been plagued by decisions such as this, it felt like a highly unsatisfactory end to the year, with a final lap 'race' being about as un-race like as they get, because the result was inevitable.

For me, Max & Red Bull definitely played a better hand, but Lewis raced the better race (in spite of some weird decisions by Mercedes), but when it came to who won it didn't come down to who was best on the track - it came down to the FIA.

Post edited at 09:57
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> "and effectively gift it to Lewis"

> How would it have been a gift if the rules were followed? Mercedes would have won had the rules been followed. That's not a gift. It was MV and RB that received a gift. How would it have been unfair to MV if the rules had been followed? 

The rules don’t say that all the lapped cars must unlap themselves. It’s up to the race director to decide whether they do or not.

It’s usually 50/50 as to whether they do it or not. If Massi had let them unlap themselves at the start of the safety car we would have ended up exactly in the same situation: Hamilton couldn’t have pitted as he would have lost track position, and would have had Max just behind him.

It’s always been the case in F1 that a safety car at the end of the race is at a massive disadvantage to the leader.

What created the controversy is the fact that Massy changed his mind at the last minute, and allowed only some of the cars to unlap.

Massi started with a decision that massively benefited Lewis and then reversed it in an unusual manner.

Really disappointing for Lewis but the fact is, as soon as the safety car was on, there was a 50/50 chance that he was going to be a sitting duck, and that is because Merc chose to not pit during the first VSC.

The ones that have the most to complain about really are the lapped cars that were not allowed to unlap themselves. This was clearly unfair to them.

Post edited at 10:21
1
 Trevers 13 Dec 2021
In reply to MichaelMloppiner:

> The rules don’t say that all the lapped cars must unlap themselves. It’s up to the race director to decide whether they do or not.

> It’s usually 50/50 as to whether they do it or not. If Massi had let them unlap themselves at the start of the safety car we would have ended up exactly in the same situation: Hamilton couldn’t have pitted as he would have lost track position, and would have had Max just behind him.

The lapped cars aren't allowed to unlap at the start of the safety car because of basic safety considerations, it's only ever done when the track is clear. Otherwise you'd have cars going round at close to racing speed with marshals and a wrecked car still on the circuit.

Post edited at 10:17
In reply to Trevers:

> The lapped cars aren't allowed to unlap at the start of the safety car because of basic safety considerations, it's only ever done when the track is clear. Otherwise you'd have cars going round at close to racing speed with marshals and a wrecked car still on the circuit.

I mean, once the track was clear.

 Trevers 13 Dec 2021
In reply to MichaelMloppiner:

> I mean, once the track was clear.

Was the track already clear though? Had Masi unnecessarily sent the safety car round for an extra lap? I agree it would be a mitigating circumstance if he was really correcting a previous mistake, but it wasn't discussed in the commentary or considered in the ruling and I'm not aware that that had happened.

In reply to Trevers:

> Was the track already clear though? Had Masi unnecessarily sent the safety car round for an extra lap? I agree it would be a mitigating circumstance if he was really correcting a previous mistake, but it wasn't discussed in the commentary or considered in the ruling and I'm not aware that that had happened.

Not sure. Regardless,the general principle with the unlapping is to remove the cars that would interfere with the drivers racing on the lead lap, Massi did that half arsedly at the last minute which was not ideal, but overall I don't think they’ve “engineered” the race result, or that Lewis has been robbed.

The stewarding has been a bit of a farce all season and that has harmed both teams probably about the same overall, but at least on that last race Max didn’t do anything wrong.

To now try to bring in lawyers to contest the result is a bit of a sore looser attitude.

Post edited at 12:03
3
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Historically Mercedes have never complained when they’ve benefited from even the craziest marshalling decisions or interpretations of the rules which all incrementally support title victories. They really need to park their entitlement and prepare for next season.

7
In reply to mark s:

> They wanted an exciting last lap rather than a procession for the last race.

> Hamilton had the advantage of being in front ,well for half the lap he was . Max still had to get past him.

> The Lewis fan boys will get over it in a few days.  

The only fan-boy I detect is you.  A Max fan-boy (or Hamilton hater) which is it?

5
 Trevers 13 Dec 2021
In reply to MichaelMloppiner:

> Not sure. Regardless,the general principle with the unlapping is to remove the cars that would interfere with the drivers racing on the lead lap, Massi did that half arsedly at the last minute which was not ideal, but overall I don't think they’ve “engineered” the race result, or that Lewis has been robbed.

But only cars interfering with Max were removed, and not those interfering with the third and fourth place battle, who should at least have also had the opportunity to challenge for second or first.

The FIA ruling accepted that the rule was contravened and didn't offer an explanation for why. "Engineered" seems to perfectly describe the situation.

> The stewarding has been a bit of a farce all season and that has harmed both teams probably about the same overall, but at least on that last race Max didn’t do anything wrong.

I agree on both counts. And I think the guiding principle in the decisions has been setting up drama/spectacle, rather than favouring a specific driver.

There's a clear difference here though. Firstly, it's the last lap of the last race, the stakes are inherently higher. It's not simply a case of one bad call cancelling out another. Secondly, all the other contentious decisions (excepting the farcical "race" at Spa) were at least interpretations of the rulebook. This one was the race director simply throwing out the rulebook and playing God. It's fundamentally different.

> To now try to bring in lawyers to contest the result is a bit of a sore looser attitude.

I don't agree. As much as I think it would be an injustice to Max to remove his title in retrospect, the outcome needs to be challenged.

At stake is the question of whether Formula 1 is a sport or entertainment. If the result is unchallenged, it sets the precedent that an obscure clause in the regulations give the race director the power to play god with the race. So in future, the race director can bring out a safety car whenever he feels like it to influence the outcome of a race.

2
In reply to Trevers:

> But only cars interfering with Max were removed, and not those interfering with the third and fourth place battle, who should at least have also had the opportunity to challenge for second or first.

I agree, unfair on them, and they probably have more of a case than Mercedes. But realistically it wouldn’t really have changed the order of the race if they did.

> The FIA ruling accepted that the rule was contravened and didn't offer an explanation for why. "Engineered" seems to perfectly describe the situation.

I think it was engineered to get the race going asap and get a final lap of racing. Like Masi said on the radio “it’s a motor race. they went car racing”.

Honestly there was no decision he could have taken that would have been truly fair on either contenders. He picked what seemed one of the least worse.

> Secondly, all the other contentious decisions (excepting the farcical "race" at Spa) were at least interpretations of the rulebook. This one was the race director simply throwing out the rulebook and playing God. It's fundamentally different.

Yes, a rule may not have been fully followed but the rulebook seem to say that the race director has “overriding authority” on the use of the safety car.

The rules therefore seem to say that Masi can do pretty much whatever he wants with the safety car to get the race going again.

This turned out to be very unfortunate for Lewis that the race didn’t not end on the safety car, but at the end of it Lewis lost the race because Max overtook him.

4
 mark s 13 Dec 2021
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

> The only fan-boy I detect is you.  A Max fan-boy (or Hamilton hater) which is it?

Any more options as that's very black and white.

I like Hamilton,he just isn't world champ this year. No amount of arguing on a climbing forum is going to change that. Email the FIA and tell them they don't know the rules.

15
 Trevers 13 Dec 2021
In reply to MichaelMloppiner:

> I agree, unfair on them, and they probably have more of a case than Mercedes. But realistically it wouldn’t really have changed the order of the race if they did.

It would probably have resulted in a different winner.  And in principle, they should all be allowed to race, or none.

> I think it was engineered to get the race going asap and get a final lap of racing. Like Masi said on the radio “it’s a motor race. they went car racing”.

> Honestly there was no decision he could have taken that would have been truly fair on either contenders. He picked what seemed one of the least worse.

I don't really see how following protocol and finishing under the safety car in the order that had been determined by the previous 50-odd laps can be deemed as unfair. Max wasn't challenging for the lead and Red Bull had already admitted they needed "a miracle".

> Yes, a rule may not have been fully followed but the rulebook seem to say that the race director has “overriding authority” on the use of the safety car.

> The rules therefore seem to say that Masi can do pretty much whatever he wants with the safety car to get the race going again.

Herein lies the problem. Yes, that's technically within the rules. Do you honestly find that to be a satisfying justification for what happened? I don't know why that rule exists, but I suspect it's intended for the race director to make decisions for safety reasons. That wasn't the case here. The FIA ruling used it as a get-out clause without explaining the actual decision. The authority to implement a power is not justification to use that power, not in sport nor in other spheres of life.

As I said, we've now set a dreadful precedent, whereby the race director can make up the rules of engagement as he goes along. That's not sport.

> This turned out to be very unfortunate for Lewis that the race didn’t not end on the safety car, but at the end of it Lewis lost the race because Max overtook him.

Reaching for football analogies again, would you consider it fair if a referee handed out random penalties to the losing side, on the basis that they still had to convert those penalties?

2
 kipper12 13 Dec 2021
In reply to MichaelMloppiner:

Honestly there was no decision he could have taken that would have been truly fair on either contenders. He picked what seemed one of the least worse.
 

close the pit lane first, run the remaining cars behind the safety car until obstruction cleared, restart the race, or red flag the race, all cars reform a grid and get new boots, restart the race and we get a 4-lap banzai finale.

1
In reply to Trevers:

> Reaching for football analogies again, would you consider it fair if a referee handed out random penalties to the losing side, on the basis that they still had to convert those penalties?

There has been loads of instances in football when referees took controversial and/or sometimes just plain wrong decisions in contravention of the rules that influenced the outcome of a competition.

It happens, they just have to get over it instead of sending lawyers to try to overturn the result.

Maybe they should sue the FIA for damages if they think the competition is run badly, but to try to undo the result seems quite unsportsmanlike. 

Perhaps Masi made a questionable call but in football if the referee gives a dodgy penalty, you don’t have the resulting goal annulled at a later date. You simply accept the rotten luck and move on

In my view Mercedes blown it when they decided to not pit at the first VSC despite a large lead.
They just left themselves no safety net in case of a safety car for basically no reason because they definitely had all the pace they needed. Made the wrong strategy call and now trying to blame it on everything else but themselves.

Post edited at 18:07
6
In reply to MichaelMloppiner:

> In my view Mercedes blown it when they decided to not pit at the first VSC despite a large lead.

> They just left themselves no safety net in case of a safety car for basically no reason because they definitely had all the pace they needed. Made the wrong strategy call and now trying to blame it on everything else but themselves.

Yes with hindsight they made the wrong stratagey call.

But Hamilton only lost because latifi crashed, necessitating a safety car.

If Mercedes had brought lewis in under the earlier virtual safety car, almost certainly Red bull would have stayed out and verstappen would have taken the lead, this would have been a very big gamble for mercedes that would quite likely not have paid off. Why take that gamble when hamilton had a very comfortable lead. That decision for lewis not to pit would have been the the correct one if latifi hadn't crashed.

It doesn't seem fair that with a virtual safety car a drivers large lead is protected pretty well, but with a full safety car a drivers large, comfortable lead is given away and the 2nd place driver has a good opportunity gain a tyre advantage also. 

Yesterday this did seem very unfair on hamilton and lead to the clear best driver/car combo not winning the race, but I'm sure lewis has benefited from the same rule at other races.

I'm sure they could implement a system that meant on the safety car being withdrawn the drivers go back to the same time gap as before the incident, and this would seem fair if you generally want the best driver/car to win. But I can see that the current system adds considerable jepordy and excitment to the spectacle.

Post edited at 20:18
 Babika 13 Dec 2021
In reply to Sean Kelly:

I understand a legal battle is going on and Horner has flown back home to sort out the defence case.

There's a lot of money at stake in this capricious decision its not over yet

 Trevers 14 Dec 2021
In reply to MichaelMloppiner:

> There has been loads of instances in football when referees took controversial and/or sometimes just plain wrong decisions in contravention of the rules that influenced the outcome of a competition.

> It happens, they just have to get over it instead of sending lawyers to try to overturn the result.

> Maybe they should sue the FIA for damages if they think the competition is run badly, but to try to undo the result seems quite unsportsmanlike. 

> Perhaps Masi made a questionable call but in football if the referee gives a dodgy penalty, you don’t have the resulting goal annulled at a later date. You simply accept the rotten luck and move on

It's accepted by competitors and fans that officiating errors will occasionally be made in sports. Small errors are brushed over, big howlers or those with considerable consequences are scrutinised. But what happened yesterday felt rather more like match-fixing than an error of judgement. Masi was well aware of the correct procedure for the safety car restarts:

https://www.motorsportweek.com/2020/10/13/masi-explains-reason-for-late-eifel-gp-safety-car/

My understanding is that Mercedes aren't trying to get the result overturned, but rather are trying to force change within the FIA, and try and get Masi removed. Apparently he's lost the confidence of most of the teams and drivers.

You yourself said (and I fully agree) that the decisions have been inconsistent throughout the season. The press releases from the FIA pretty much confirms that decisions were being made differently regarding the title contenders and other participants. When it's impossible to be certain which regulations are being applied to which contender at which time, it's impossible to enjoy it as a sporting contest. Unpredictable, yes. Spectacular, possibly. Satisfying? I really don't think so.

3
In reply to Trevers:

Ive read most if this thread but not all, so sorry if this has been said already…. 
Assuming a clear track and there being a possibility to restart the race safely with 1 lap to go, Masi should have allowed ALL lapped cars to unlapp themselves, as per the rules. Some have said this would have led to the same result, but would it? 
With 4 cars nose to tail fighting for podium places, Sainz all over the back of Verstappen would have meant he’d have to watch his ass or risk losing second place, rather than fully focussing on gaining the lead. Yes quite possibly he would have managed that, but it would have been a much fairer way to end the race rather than the farcical halfway house we ended up with. 
In future I can see a)Masi going, and b)pit stops under safety cars being stopped. 

In reply to mike reed:

Both of those sound like sensible suggestions.

I would also remove cars unlapping themselves. Can't see any "pure" racing reason for it, what's the problem with order at end of safety car being exactly the same as order at beginning of safety car but with compressed gaps (and even that's contentious).

1
In reply to Trevers:

> It's accepted by competitors and fans that officiating errors will occasionally be made in sports. Small errors are brushed over, big howlers or those with considerable consequences are scrutinised. But what happened yesterday felt rather more like match-fixing than an error of judgement. Masi was well aware of the correct procedure for the safety car restarts:

It may have felt like match fixing or manipulation but it really wasn’t. What’s sad is that many viewers will be left to feel that way.

David Croft made a pretty good analysis of it all :  youtube.com/watch?v=zpBQhRS-OxU&

The main issue has been the inconsistencies all year round.

Post edited at 07:42
3
 jimtitt 14 Dec 2021
In reply to Michael Hood:

> Both of those sound like sensible suggestions.

> I would also remove cars unlapping themselves. Can't see any "pure" racing reason for it, what's the problem with order at end of safety car being exactly the same as order at beginning of safety car but with compressed gaps (and even that's contentious).

If two cars are fighting for a lower position and the race leader laps one of them then the safety car comes the lapped driver would continue behind the leader and the unlapped driver continue unrestrained and rejoin the field effectively one lap ( minus the length of the field) ahead. That is, all the lapped drivers automatically get a one lap penalty if the safety car comes out.

 Trevers 14 Dec 2021
In reply to mike reed:

> Assuming a clear track and there being a possibility to restart the race safely with 1 lap to go, Masi should have allowed ALL lapped cars to unlapp themselves, as per the rules. Some have said this would have led to the same result, but would it? 

It would certainly have been different. Firstly, it would have taken longer for all lapped cars to filter through the pack, meaning they probably wouldn't have been released in time to safely release the safety car for the final lap. Secondly, the rules state that the safety car must be released a full lap after cars have unlapped themselves. So this release protocol would've had to have been initiated more than one full lap earlier in order to produce a final lap of racing.

I actually find the procedure infuriating because it wastes so much time, I've never understood why lapped cars can't fall back through the pack instead of doing a full loop. But teams race on the basis of an assumed understanding of the procedure, and you can't just change it last minute for excitement purposes.

 Trevers 14 Dec 2021
In reply to MichaelMloppiner:

> It may have felt like match fixing or manipulation but it really wasn’t. What’s sad is that many viewers will be left to feel that way.

But you haven't actually offered an argument, just stated your opinion.

The fact is that the race director contravened the restart protocol in two specific ways, and only by doing so was he able to engineer the final lap shootout that we saw. That change offered an advantage to a single driver, and removed the level field from the rest of the drivers to compete on.

On what basis do you think it wasn't fixed?

Post edited at 09:25
4
In reply to jimtitt:

> If two cars are fighting for a lower position and the race leader laps one of them then the safety car comes the lapped driver would continue behind the leader and the unlapped driver continue unrestrained and rejoin the field effectively one lap ( minus the length of the field) ahead. That is, all the lapped drivers automatically get a one lap penalty if the safety car comes out.

I see what you're saying, it's because the safety car goes in front of the leader. Is there another position in the field where the safety car would cause less disruption (I fear not).

But surely the technology is there to just speed control all cars during a safety car situation; bit like a stronger VSC, the speed could be set to just below the slowest corner and everyone would just trundle round maintaining the gaps. And at those speeds, it would not have much impact on tyre wear although obviously the tyres would go cold and the drivers would then have to show some skill (oh no!) when they set off again until temperatures are up.

In reply to Trevers:

It wasn't just that, it was also that he changed his mind (no unlapping => some unlapping) after objection by the team that profited from his change of mind.

 jimtitt 14 Dec 2021
In reply to Trevers:

> I actually find the procedure infuriating because it wastes so much time, I've never understood why lapped cars can't fall back through the pack instead of doing a full loop. But teams race on the basis of an assumed understanding of the procedure, and you can't just change it last minute for excitement purposes.

Because as above if they fell back through the field the lapped driver would be one full lap behind his unlapped competitor, the only solution would be to wipe that lap off but that's another set of problems.

Scrapping the safety car and doing it all virtually is the direction it is going and the best solution.

1
 Babika 14 Dec 2021
In reply to mike reed:

> In future I can see a)Masi going, and b)pit stops under safety cars being stopped. 

I agree with b) 

If Lewis and Max had fought a final lap on hard tyres with 19 laps degradation - or whatever it was when Latifi crashed - there would have been a fairer fight to the finish. The 'tyre change under yellow flag' rule introduces a lottery system including where you are on the track in relation to pit entry.

 jimtitt 14 Dec 2021
In reply to Michael Hood:

Just VSC in sectors like at Le Mans, easy enough nowadays.

1
 Trevers 14 Dec 2021
In reply to jimtitt:

> Because as above if they fell back through the field the lapped driver would be one full lap behind his unlapped competitor, the only solution would be to wipe that lap off but that's another set of problems.

Yeah, I should have added that I'd add the extra lap. But that is problematic because it means they're completing a lap without crossing the start/finish line.

 Trevers 14 Dec 2021
In reply to Babika:

> I agree with b) 

> If Lewis and Max had fought a final lap on hard tyres with 19 laps degradation - or whatever it was when Latifi crashed - there would have been a fairer fight to the finish. The 'tyre change under yellow flag' rule introduces a lottery system including where you are on the track in relation to pit entry.

But for safety reasons, the pitlane needs to remain open. If a car was just about to pit on dangerously degraded tyres, they'd get caught out. Perhaps a solution would be to significantly reduce the pit lane speed limit under SC/VSC conditions so there's no effective gain.

1
 timjones 14 Dec 2021
In reply to Trevers:

> At stake is the question of whether Formula 1 is a sport or entertainment. If the result is unchallenged, it sets the precedent that an obscure clause in the regulations give the race director the power to play god with the race. So in future, the race director can bring out a safety car whenever he feels like it to influence the outcome of a race.

If you're on the track it's a sport, for those of us that merely gawk at the telly it's entertainment.

The catch is that without the spectators the sport would not be anywhere near as well funded, that may even be a good thing.

 timjones 14 Dec 2021
In reply to Trevers:

> I actually find the procedure infuriating because it wastes so much time, I've never understood why lapped cars can't fall back through the pack instead of doing a full loop. But teams race on the basis of an assumed understanding of the procedure, and you can't just change it last minute for excitement purposes.

Maybe 2 safety cars would be the answer?

Allow the lapped cars to immediately pass the 2nd one and follow the first one to close the gap to the back of the field at a controlled pace.

Or maybe just be harsh and say that any cars that are caught by the leader are flagged and have to retire.

 jimtitt 14 Dec 2021
In reply to Trevers:

> But for safety reasons, the pitlane needs to remain open. If a car was just about to pit on dangerously degraded tyres, they'd get caught out. Perhaps a solution would be to significantly reduce the pit lane speed limit under SC/VSC conditions so there's no effective gain.

The old system was the pit lane was shut until all cars formed up behind the SC, if you had to pit during the closure (important in the refuelling era) then you were penalised. The new system is based on a calculated minimum driving time to reach the pits from when the SC is announced, it's complicated!

In reply to timjones:

> If you're on the track it's a sport, for those of us that merely gawk at the telly it's entertainment.

> The catch is that without the spectators the sport would not be anywhere near as well funded, that may even be a good thing.

F1 is already basically engineered to be a spectacle. For example the only reason we have tires that don’t last a whole race is because they are designed specifically to degrade under FIA mandated specs. That’s purely to make the sport more entertaining by introducing a strategic elements.

I suspect it’s the same with safety cars rules, it introduces an element of randomness, risk taking and gambling.

I think that’s all fine, we do want the sport to be as exciting as safely possible.  But it does need a bit more consistency in how the rules are applied. I agree with the “let them race philosophy” but it has to be applied somewhat consistently. It’s been really inconsistent this season. I can’t say it has benefit one driver more than the other but still annoying for the fans and probably the drivers.

Post edited at 10:49
1
In reply to MichaelMloppiner:

"It’s been really inconsistent this season. I can’t say it has benefit one driver more than the other"

I think we can all agree the final inconsistency definitely benefitted MV more than LH

 mark s 14 Dec 2021
In reply to MichaelMloppiner:

> F1 is already basically engineered to be a spectacle. For example the only reason we have tires that don’t last a whole race is because they are designed specifically to degrade under FIA mandated specs. That’s purely to make the sport more entertaining by introducing a strategic elements.

Lewis tried to ignore that on Sunday and it bit him on his arse. 

10
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

Not sure if this has already been asked. Why didn’t Hamilton pit for new tyres too? If he had he would risk losing place to Verstappen; but if Verstappen stayed out, he would have then been on the dying tyres with Hamilton on fresh, and the roles would have been reversed. Or, Verstappen pits too and they both end up on fresh tyres. Hamilton wins if the race restarts in both scenarios. 
 

I guess that in the event of the the safety car staying out until the end, Hamilton loses; but it was always more than a possibility that they would find a way to finish racing, so Hamilton coming in would likely have forced Verstappen’s hand to come in too to cover that possibility. 
 

It’s a rubbish way to finish the Championship; but once the crash happened, there was no satisfactory conclusion, it basically became a game of poker- Red Bull appeared to play their hand better than Mercedes when it did. 

1
 Ger_the_gog 14 Dec 2021
In reply to Sean Kelly:

I watched Sunday's race. I used to follow F1 very closely but drifted away around 10-15 years ago. Far too much drama for my liking, I'd rather watch kart racing.

In reply to Sean Kelly:

The inconsistency of stewarding and Michael Masi this season has been terrible. If we ignore the blatent rules changing to suit himself masi in AbuDhabi for a moment, who probably won't last long in his job once the new president of the FIA comes in.  if we ignore that and go purely to the overtaking aspect of F1.

Since the non action by the stewards in the turn 4 incident at Brazil now every driver, including Lewis knows all they have to do is to defend the inside, off the racing line, and then merely drive the other car off the track, and you more or less get away with it. MAX started it and Lewis adopts it sort of and the others have done it too.  This makes overtaking almost impossible as if you defend the inside which MAX does in all corners he doesn't have to keep a car width on the outside for the car he just out breaks himself and if he goes off the track it looks even more like he 'accidently' out braked himself and all is good he keeps position.  The old rules used to work fine, but the stewards and the FIA with the let them race philosophy has created so much grey area that its ruining it all.  The rule used to be ery simple if the outside car was at least half way alongside the car then you had to keep a car width on the track outside of you for that driver.  if you were on the racing line and he wasn't half way along side you you could 'close the door' and drive to the edge of the circuit.

As all drivers have said they just want consistency and this year the stewards and FIA have not been consistent.  As for having different stewards at each race, that is bit daft as well as you'll never get consistency like that!

but the F1 owners and F1 teams (Redbull) influenced Michael MASI on Sunday  and he should be A, more like charlie whiting was, and B, no one should be getting in his ear, those comms are being cut off for next year, Ross brawn has already said that.  Abu Dhabi was blatently fixed for 1 lap of racing and they will find the loop holes in the rules to protect themselves against Merc appeals and then get rid of Masi once that is over with.

Next year with closer racing possible due to reduced download loss in following the car inf ront will mean they need to sort out these issues otherwise it will fall into WWE entertainment instead of a sport and lots of fans will leave.

Max is known to break the rules until someone tells him or they change the rules to fix it.  Remember when he was moving under braking to defend his position? He was stopping people over take him by breaking the rules.  They strengthened the rule and he had to stop doing it.  This defend the inside and drive off the circuit is another case of Max finding a trick to defend outside the rules but not get caught. The rules need to catch up and the enforcement needs to be consistent.

Had my rant now

In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> but once the crash happened, there was no satisfactory conclusion

Red flag, both drivers come in for new tyres, start from the start 4 laps to decide who wins? I think that would have been the most satisfactory conclusion.

Hamilton didn't pit because the conceived options where.

a. Safety car out to the end whilst cars unlap
    If Hamilton pits he loses, if he doesn't he wins

b. 1 last last cars not unlapped
    Verstappen has to get past several other cars and isn't direct on Hamilton tail - Most likely Hamilton wins

Then the race officals changed it so only some cars unlap putting Verstappen directly behind Hamilton which has never been seen before. It is usually all or nothing.

In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> "It’s been really inconsistent this season. I can’t say it has benefit one driver more than the other"

> I think we can all agree the final inconsistency definitely benefitted MV more than LH

Not as black and white.

The first inconsistency was to not let all cars unlap themselves as soon a practically possible, as is normally expected to be the case.
Quite funny to listen to Alonso’s team radio, wondering why he was still stuck between the leaders.

It seems that about a minute later Masi realised that this was not right and he tried to undo his mistake, but there was no time, so he half-fixed it a with only the cars interfering with the race between leaders allowed to unlap.

Had Masi taken the right decision promptly in the first place the result would have been the same and there would have been no controversy.

It was all a bit confusing but at the end of the day the decision led to Hamilton and Verstappen being behind the safety car, in the right order, as they should have been in the first place. 

Had he not done that then he would have gifted it to Hamilton with a very unusual and incomprehensible decision to not let cars unlap, which also would have caused plenty of controversy.

As David Croft pointed out it looks like Masi is basically overloaded. Given how long it took for everyone to understand what happened it’s impossible to ask someone to make always perfect decisions on the spot like this.

I am actually a lot less bothered by this decision than by the inconsistencies in the overtaking rules, for which there seem to be no excuse.

It’s sad that the dithering and change of mind left the impression that this was manipulated but the gist of it is, Hamilton just got mega unlucky with the safety car, and Red Bull played a very smart game until the end.

Post edited at 15:36
4
 kipper12 14 Dec 2021
In reply to Trevers:

Adding n extra lap may cause problems, as they all would be low on fuel by then, and as we found out recently, they need to retain a minimum volume to enable to be sampled

 kipper12 14 Dec 2021
In reply to MichaelMloppiner:

The issue you are failing to grasp, is while Lewis and max were in the right positions.  All else was a fudge of the race directors meddling.  Made worse, by the apparent change of mind, after an intervention from the red bull team principle.

The lack of the p3 and p4 cars meant that max didn’t have to worry about being overtaken himself, and sainz was legitimately contesting P2 at that point.

lewis was stuck with tyres with much less grip, whereas max had a new set of much more grippy soft tyres.  Meaning, as we all saw, that the lead Mercedes was at a considerable disadvantage.

It is these two things most people are annoyed about, given what was at stake. Had the final segment of the race been perceived to be a completely fair fight, many would simply say it’s tough.

2
In reply to kipper12:

> The issue you are failing to grasp, is while Lewis and max were in the right positions.  All else was a fudge of the race directors meddling.  Made worse, by the apparent change of mind, after an intervention from the red bull team principle.

The main reason Lewis and max ended up this way is because of Latifi crashing and the safety car.

Mega unlucky but happens.

As for the race director dithering it was strange but the end situation was what you expected in such a situation, with the two contenders as they were.

> The lack of the p3 and p4 cars meant that max didn’t have to worry about being overtaken himself, and sainz was legitimately contesting P2 at that point.

Yes, I believe that the unlapped cars have far more to complain about the late half arsed unlapping procedure than Mercedes. 

> lewis was stuck with tyres with much less grip, whereas max had a new set of much more grippy soft tyres.  Meaning, as we all saw, that the lead Mercedes was at a considerable disadvantage.

Yep, and that was all the result of bad strategy at Merc that left Lewis defenceless in case of a safety car.

> It is these two things most people are annoyed about, given what was at stake. Had the final segment of the race been perceived to be a completely fair fight, many would simply say it’s tough.

I think it’s dishonest to say it wasn’t a fair fight.
 

Mercs had taken a conservative approach all race that left them totally defenceless on useless tires. Red Bull gambled and used every trick in the book including a beautiful team play from Checo Perez that kept Verstappen less than a pit stop away, putting themselves in the best position to exploit a miracle.

Then the miracle  was a safety car and a restart, which normally pretty much always ends up with lapped cars unlapping themselves.  That there was dithering on executing that and then do it only partially was unfortunate -  and it certainly left a bad taste - but ultimately I think the race restarted as it should have between the two contenders.

And to finish, let’s remember that despite the tire difference, Hamilton had the position advantage  - and overtaking on this track without DRS is not easy - Verstappen put in a bold move plunging in the first hairpin, maximising every bit of tire advantage he had. Hamilton had left the inside open, didn’t see him coming and had to back out.

11
 Babika 14 Dec 2021
In reply to MichaelMloppiner:

The "miracle" you mentioned was engineered by the Red Bull team. Not Latifi obviously but the pressure from Horner to Masi to put Max in p2, where he wasn't before the crash. 

I don't call that luck or strategy, it looks like cheating and/or undue influence. 

5
In reply to Babika:

> The "miracle" you mentioned was engineered by the Red Bull team. Not Latifi obviously but the pressure from Horner to Masi to put Max in p2, where he wasn't before the crash. 

 

But Max was in P2 ! The problem was that Masi didn’t get the backmarkers out of the way promptly in the first place.

> I don't call that luck or strategy, it looks like cheating and/or undue influence. 

Do you think Toto Wolff wasn’t doing exactly the same ? We even heard him pressuring Masi to not put the safety car out which is somewhat ludicrous.

It is not surprising that Red Bull complained about the lapped cars not being allowed to unlap asap in the first place. They were right to do so.

Whatever Masi could have done would have influenced the outcome.  He took the decision to “go car racing” as he said and from a sporting perspective it’s probably the best he could do.

If it had been done with less dithering and with less confusion it would have been better but I don’t think we can expect the impossible from a human being either.

1
In reply to Babika:

I don’t agree. I think the Stewards were left by fate in an impossible position; whatever choice they made would have a huge bearing on the outcome of the race, and because it was so tight, the championship. 
 

It then became a scenario where Game Theory is as big a part of the equation as is driving ability. I think it was foreseeable that the race organisers would try to avoid a situation where the end of the last race of the closest F1 season ever finished under the safety car. It would not be at all unusual for lapped cars to be progressed to their ‘rightful’ track position. So when the safety car came out, a short sprint to the line between Hamilton and Verstappen was a very real probability. In such a circumstance,  if one car is on new tyres and the other isn’t, the one on new tyres wins. If they are both on new tyres, current race leader probably wins.

Mercedes should have pitted Hamilton. Red Bull would be in the position of either gambling that the race organisers would keep the safety car out to the end- or having to respond and come in too. I think they would have come in, and Hamilton would have won (or Verstappen might have taken them both out and been disqualified…). 
 

I think Mercedes made the wrong choice of strategy. They gave the initiative to Red Bull, gambled on the safety car staying out, and the gamble didn’t pay off. 
 

Still a poor way to decide the championship; but Mercedes had choices in the situation, and I think they made the wrong ones.

4
 fred99 14 Dec 2021
In reply to :

Whatever the opinions that individuals on here have, it seems (to me at least)one thing is certain;

That F1 has shot itself in the foot as regards enticing new viewers to watch a fair and decent contest.

I only watched the race because it was raining where I live - next time I'll do the housework.

3
 Trevers 14 Dec 2021
In reply to MichaelMloppiner:

> Whatever Masi could have done would have influenced the outcome.  

That's a non-argument. It's the job of those officiating to influence the outcome when required by the rules of the sport.

You're creating a false equivalence between following the correct protocol as laid out in the regulations (which favours Hamilton) and breaking that procedure (which favours Verstappen). Just because either choice favours one driver or the other, does not put them on equal terms.

> He took the decision to “go car racing” as he said and from a sporting perspective it’s probably the best he could do.

You're still completely missing the point. He completely undermined the sporting integrity. Great from a spectacle perspective, but the worst possible outcome from a sporting perspective.

And that "car racing" quote from Masi demonstrates a really poor attitude. The equivalent is a referee adding an extra time period to a game that was 1-0 in injury time, because the leading team was just counting down the clock by the corner flag, then retorting with "we played football".

Post edited at 18:00
In reply to Trevers:

> That's a non-argument. It's the job of those officiating to influence the outcome when required by the rules of the sport.

> You're creating a false equivalence between following the correct protocol as laid out in the regulations (which favours Hamilton) and breaking that procedure (which favours Verstappen). Just because either choice favours one driver or the other, does not put them on equal terms.

You seem to be missing that fact that if the procedure had been followed perfectly, lapped car would have unlapped themselves as soon as possible, as is usually the case, it would have ended all the same for Hamilton.

> You're still completely missing the point. He completely undermined the sporting integrity. Great from a spectacle perspective, but the worst possible outcome from a sporting perspective.

> And that "car racing" quote from Masi demonstrates a really poor attitude. The equivalent is a referee adding an extra time period to a game that was 1-0 in injury time, because the leading team was just counting down the clock by the corner flag, then retorting with "we played football".

I don’t think this is equivalent at all. 

There was nothing in the regulation covering that specific situation the race was in. He made a judgment call and was entitled to do so as per the regulation.

It was an unusual decision but also an unusual situation.

Maybe it was less than the perfect decision, especially in the confusing way it was communicated, but I believe he made the best of a bad situation.

Max had maintained P2, after the safety car out, the normal thing to happen is that the order is sorted out when safe to do so and he ends up right behind Hamilton before the race restarted, and that’s what happened.

Regardless of the stewards dithering, the main reason Hamilton lost is because Latifi crashed, he had not pitted since last 14, and he didn’t manage to defend the last lap.

The confusion was a shambles - and I’m sure some. changes will be made  - but I don’t think it’s fair to say it was fixed or engineered to achieve a particular outcome.

Post edited at 18:41
4
 Trevers 14 Dec 2021
In reply to MichaelMloppiner:

> Not as black and white.

> The first inconsistency was to not let all cars unlap themselves as soon a practically possible, as is normally expected to be the case.

> Quite funny to listen to Alonso’s team radio, wondering why he was still stuck between the leaders.

> It seems that about a minute later Masi realised that this was not right and he tried to undo his mistake, but there was no time, so he half-fixed it a with only the cars interfering with the race between leaders allowed to unlap.

> Had Masi taken the right decision promptly in the first place the result would have been the same and there would have been no controversy.

I don't believe this is correct. I don't think the track was clear until the end of lap 56. Releasing the lapped cars at this point would mean it would have been unlikely they were all able to clear the SC before the start of lap 57. The rules then state that the SC will return to the pits at the end of the following lap (i.e. lap 58).

If the track had been clear earlier in lap 56, it would have been possible for all lapped cars to clear the SC in time such that the SC could be brought in at the end of lap 57. If you can convince me that the track was clear earlier, I'll change my mind.

> Had he not done that then he would have gifted it to Hamilton with a very unusual and incomprehensible decision to not let cars unlap, which also would have caused plenty of controversy.

Unusual perhaps, but this is directly allowed for within the rules. And it would be comprehensible from the perspective that it would be the only way legally to enable a race to the finish within the remaining laps.

 Trevers 14 Dec 2021
In reply to MichaelMloppiner:

> You seem to be missing that fact that if the procedure had been followed perfectly, lapped car would have unlapped themselves as soon as possible, as is usually the case, it would have ended all the same for Hamilton.

I've addressed this point in my more recent reply. Demonstrate that the track was clear with sufficient time, and I'll reconsider my viewpoint.

> I don’t think this is equivalent at all. 

> There was nothing in the regulation covering that specific situation the race was in.

Of course there isn't. The rules shouldn't take into account whether it's the first race of the season or the last, or whether we're dealing with race leaders or back markers.

> He made a judgment call and was entitled to do so as per the regulation.

He made a judgement call then reached for a rule to cover his back. The video below covers this point in detail. The rule Masi reached for is not intended to override the rule dictating the normal procedure, otherwise the rule dictating the normal procedure might as well be scrubbed out entirely.

youtube.com/watch?v=NGXaKJgLmnM&

> It was an unusual decision but also an unusual situation. Maybe it was less than the perfect decision, especially in the confusing way it was communicated, but I believe he made the best of a bad situation.

He made the worst of a very routine situation. Many races have ended behind safety cars before, it's boring but not controversial.

> Max had maintained P2, after the safety car out, the normal thing to happen is that the order is sorted out when safe to do so and he ends up right behind Hamilton before the race restarted, and that’s what happened.

> Regardless of the stewards dithering, the main reason Hamilton lost is because Latifi crashed, he had not pitted since last 14, and he didn’t manage to defend the last lap.

The main reason the last lap of racing occurred is because the rules were broken to enable it to happen. The rules being broken is a necessary requirement to set up the situation that occurred. The tyres Hamilton were on are only an important factor because the rules were broken. If the rules hadn't been broken, Hamilton would have won. Therefore, the rule breaking is the main reason Hamilton lost. Pointing elsewhere is wishing the problem away.

1
In reply to Trevers:

> I don't believe this is correct. I don't think the track was clear until the end of lap 56. Releasing the lapped cars at this point would mean it would have been unlikely they were all able to clear the SC before the start of lap 57. The rules then state that the SC will return to the pits at the end of the following lap (i.e. lap 58).

You can see on the footage that Latifi’s car was being wheeled out on a service exit before the end of lap 55, and Marshalls running back to the side, so track must have been cleared by the end of 56.

The drivers knew that btw since they gone passed the incident on that turn. On separate radio feed you can also hear Alonso asking why the hell they are not letting them unlap.

I believe what happened here is simply that Masi couldn’t cope with the workload so basically said nobody moves until I figure it out, and then tried to “fix it” using the discretion he has over the safety car. 

It was imperfect decision making communicated badly, but it doesn’t look like it was  “manipulated” to engineer a specific result.

The rules don’t cover every situation, some of them seem to override each other, and the race director does seem to have some discretion to use his best judgment.

He did everything he could to restart the race with the options he had at his disposal and no doubt Hamilton fan would have preferred otherwise, but fact is he could and he did. Time to move on.

5
In reply to Trevers:

> The main reason the last lap of racing occurred is because the rules were broken to enable it to happen.

I don’t believe the rules were broken as such. Rather the rules are a bit unclear, one was not applied fully but another one overrides it, they did not cover the situation adequately, but ultimately they leave Masi with overriding authority to decide.

Maybe it wasn’t the best call - some have suggested red flagging would have been best and I would agree - but Masi had to be the referee here, and it happens that referees don’t always make the most perfect decisions. 
That’s even more likely to happen in a complex sport like f1.

There has been other dodgy situations like that that benefited Hamilton in the points. You win some you lose some. They should just move on.

I’m sure they could try to make the rules better but there will always be an element of judgment by the stewards in this sport.

Post edited at 19:46
6
 remus Global Crag Moderator 14 Dec 2021
In reply to MichaelMloppiner:

> There has been other dodgy situations like that that benefited Hamilton in the points. You win some you lose some. They should just move on.

Or you could try and clarify the rules so that the championship isn't won or lost off the back of some weird interpretation of the rules.

2
 Trevers 15 Dec 2021
In reply to MichaelMloppiner:

> You can see on the footage that Latifi’s car was being wheeled out on a service exit before the end of lap 55, and Marshalls running back to the side, so track must have been cleared by the end of 56.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4rVYxlMvcI&lc=Ugyjdt9wbJSdI1-MMbN4AaABAg.9Vx1_ir285i9VxA8ybu4ni

The Jolyon Palmer analysis says that the marshals were still sweeping the track on lap 56.

> I don’t believe the rules were broken as such. Rather the rules are a bit unclear, one was not applied fully but another one overrides it, they did not cover the situation adequately, but ultimately they leave Masi with overriding authority to decide.

Ok, I'm gonna get my nerd hat on now. I've never looked at the sporting regs before, so I'm trying to understand them (https://www.fia.com/sites/default/files/2021_formula_1_sporting_regulations_-_iss_13_-_2021-12-08.pdf).

There are three clauses in question. These are 48.12, 48.13 and 15.3. They're worth reading to follow my argument.

48.12 deals with the unlapping protocol under the SC.

48.13 deals with the messaging to competitors about the SC withdrawal and the protocol at this point.

15.3 defines the roles of race director and clerk of the course in regards to, among other things, the use of the SC. It contains the phrase "overriding authority".

The FIA first argued that 48.13 overrides 48.12, and further that 15.3 overrides both. They also pointed to the "desire" for the race to end under green flags. The ruling is here (https://www.fia.com/sites/default/files/decision-document/2021%20Abu%20Dhabi%20Grand%20Prix%20-%20Decision%20-%20Mercedes%20Protest%20Art.%2048.12.pdf).

48.12 deals with the unlapping procedure fully, and is quite clear, except for the interpretation of the word "any" (which Red Bull queried). But precedent and a casual reading would suggest that "any" lapped cars does indeed mean "all" lapped cars.

The FIA claim that 48.13 overrides 48.12, but it's not clear how or why. They're supposed to be used in conjunction with each other, not in contradiction. If 48.13 overrides 48.12, then 48.12 is pointless and should be scrapped.

Then we're told that 15.3 overrides both, and that "The Race Director shall have overriding authority in the ... use of the safety car". But reading the whole rule in its proper context, simply says that the authority lies with the race director over the clerk. It's got nothing to do with sweeping powers at all.

This interpretation is a deliberate misreading of the rules. Consider the implications of accepting this interpretation: the race director can order the SC in or out as they please to achieve whatever goal they want, whether it's to wreck the leader's race or just liven things up a bit.

I don't think Masi's intentions were actually that sinister - I think he desperately wanted a last lap shootout, found a way to affect that on the spot, didn't have time to think through the implications and then reached for the rulebook to find some get-out clause afterwards. I also don't think that he specifically favoured Max, but the result of his actions handed Max a clear advantage. It's clear that this interpretation is not only not in the spirit of the rules, it's not actually even within the wording of them.

If Mercedes take the case to an independent court of arbitration, I think they have a very strong case. The FIA knows this too. Which is why I very much doubt the case will end up in court. Mercedes don't actually want to reverse the decision, and Hamilton won't want to earn his eighth title in such a distasteful manner. 

Instead, I expect that over the next few weeks, we'll hear a some conciliatory messages from Mercedes with an announcement that they've dropped the case. And I expect we'll get some slower messages about changes in the FIA and sporting regs. Probably we'll get some redefinition of the race director's role, and it's possible that Masi will announce his resignation.

Beyond that, I don't know quite what Merc would demand. I think most long-time fans (as opposed to casual Netflix converts) would like to see clarification and tightening up on many of the rules, as well as greater consistency. I suppose we need to hope that Merc's desires coincide with those of the fans.

Post edited at 01:16
1
In reply to Trevers:

Checking replays of the team radios and TV, you can see that the crashed car is taken out  before end of lap 55, at this point the cars pass by and report still some debris, but normally there is plenty of time for those to be removed by end of 56.

That is the bit I just don't understand (and hearing the team radio it seems drivers didn't understand why either) because at that point the unlaped cars should have been ordered to overtake the safety car as soon as they are clear of the crash site, I don't see the safety risk here because worst case scenario if the debris still isn't clear by then they can just keep the safety car on for one more lap. But at least everybody would be in the right order.

Because of that confusion and delay we now end up at lap 57 in the situation where there is now no good reason to not restart the race, but it's full of lapped cars and it's going to be a mess of blue flags.

With no time left, and Masi just does what he can do remove the interfering cars between the leader and restart.

You could try to battle the legalese of the rulebook but it feels to me like it was a bit of a late call in a confused and unusual situation, which could have ended 50/50 either very happily or very sadly for Mercedes, and in both cases it would have been quite contentious.

I am actually a lot less bothered by this decision than by some of the decision on overtaking rules that have been totally inconsistent and just can't be explained as a judgement call in an unusual situation.

Post edited at 12:10
In reply to MichaelMloppiner:

It's fairly obvious that Masi was in a position where he didn't want the championship decider to end under a safety car, even though that's exactly what's happened at other races.

The main inconsistency is that those in 3rd & 4th (and maybe 5th, etc) weren't given the same opportunity to race on the last lap as those in 1st & 2nd. I can think of scenarios that would have really illustrated the unfairness of this (e.g. Ham and Ver collide, one can't carry on the other is slowed down, but Sainz doesn't have enough time to catch them for the win because he's held up by the lapped cars)

I think a protest from Ferrari would actually carry more legal weight.

 Trevers 15 Dec 2021
In reply to MichaelMloppiner:

> Checking replays of the team radios and TV, you can see that the crashed car is taken out  before end of lap 55, at this point the cars pass by and report still some debris, but normally there is plenty of time for those to be removed by end of 56.

> That is the bit I just don't understand (and hearing the team radio it seems drivers didn't understand why either) because at that point the unlaped cars should have been ordered to overtake the safety car as soon as they are clear of the crash site, I don't see the safety risk here because worst case scenario if the debris still isn't clear by then they can just keep the safety car on for one more lap. But at least everybody would be in the right order.

The key cut-off point is when the safety car crosses the safety car line (which is before the pit entry) on lap 56. If all lapped cars were able to pass the safety before this line, then the safety car could have been brought in at the end of lap 57 following protocol. If not, then it needs an extra lap.

The overriding concern here is safety, and I don't think there's any allowance for the RD to release lapped cars before the track is fully clear. A screw up here could create a potentially lethal situation. It's fairly common for marshals around the circuit to use the space created by a safety car to clear up debris that didn't result from the incident that directly caused the safety car.

This video shows marshals still on the track as the safety car passes on lap 56 (approx 3 minutes). From there, there's no possibility of getting all lapped cars through in time.

https://streamable.com/ibbxa5

I know it seems like splitting hairs, but to me it is the difference between producing the "right" result in a cack-handed manner, and engineering and unfair result. I think my mind is made up on this issue. Unfortunately,  for me this decision is the final nail in the coffin of sporting integrity right now, which has been very dubious throughout the season.

> I am actually a lot less bothered by this decision than by some of the decision on overtaking rules that have been totally inconsistent and just can't be explained as a judgement call in an unusual situation.

Looking back over the season, there's been a lot of dubious and inconsistent decisions, especially around the title fight. In terms of overtaking, the most clear cut failing was the lack of penalty for Verstappen at Brazil. But it's definitely the case that Hamilton benefitted many times from the stewards turning a blind eye to infractions that might have added up to grid penalties (e.g. impeding cars at Jeddah). In fact I think he likely benefitted more.

I feel that there is a pattern here, which is that decisions have been taken to either to appear not to be influencing the title fight, to keep the title fight as finely balanced as possible, or to maximise the spectacle. They're not just random mistakes, and whether or not they balance out over the course of the season is beside the point really. The safety car decision to me completely follows that pattern.

I'm going to stop posting now, the race was 3 days ago and it's consumed enough of my time (but I've enjoyed the discussion and it's forced me to think). I do want to draw a line under this season, but I want to have confidence that this isn't going to happen again and that decisions will be clear and consistent going forward.

In reply to Michael Hood:

> It's fairly obvious that Masi was in a position where he didn't want the championship decider to end under a safety car, even though that's exactly what's happened at other races.

Yes, but I can’t remember a time where it happened that the race finished under safety car with a clear track ahead for so long.

The problem he had with all those delays is that it was either letting cars go round a clear track three laps behind the safety car - in which case he would have been neutralising the race for no good reason and gifting it to Lewis - or restart as it was, which would have been a dangerous mess of blue flags and lapped cars interfering with the race.

Basically the two “legal” solutions he had were both fraught with problems.


He ended up with something in the middle which was not really kosher from a regulation point of view, but at least the race finished as a race.

I would not like to be in his shoes having to make split second impossible decisions whilst having Toto and Christian shouting in your hears.

But yeah I agree Sainz is probably the one who was really screwed, he almost lost the podium because of the backmarkers in front of him who shouldn’t have been there. But then again if they had restarted the race as is it was he would have had to deal with the same unfair issue.

Post edited at 17:39
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Hamilton is a master in setting track records on worn out tyres. When I watched the last lap, and then subsequently rewatching it, it wasn’t obvious that Verstappen would get past him. MVs pit crew didn’t look like they were confident either. However, his overtake was astonishingly good driving. LH came back hard and was held off brilliantly, it could have gone either way.

I think that in a 1 lap shootout with LH starting off in the lead, in the end, the best driver won.

2

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