FIA Breaks Own Rules For Viewer Ratings - Off To Court
Crowned World Champion today but all still up in the air as it could be reversed. I just feel bad for Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton as this is not how a title should be decided.
Winning the race on the track without the racing stewards involved is what every Formula One racing fan wanted to see. What we got was a drama filled last five minutes full of controversy with Mercedes lodging 2 appeals which they are technically correct on. How can the FIA take the trophy away from Verstappen when they were the ones who messed up? The race turned into a farce as not sticking to the written rules created total confusion robbing Hamilton and Mercedes of victory.
The one title that is official is the Constructors title for Mercedes with 8 in a row.
When Liberty Media took over the Formula One sport they wanted to boost ratings and at the same time have created chaos. The FIA broke their own rules today to make sure they had the last lap of racing. The restarting of the race is the biggest question mark as this was not followed correctly. The FIA rightly finds themselves in the firing line due to irregular decisions being made.
These are the regulations that are now being questioned.
QuoteArticle 48.12 states that: “If the clerk of the course considers it safe to do so, and the message “LAPPED CARS MAY NOW OVERTAKE” has been sent to all Competitors via the official messaging system, any cars that have been lapped by the leader will be required to pass the cars on the lead lap and the safety car.
“This will only apply to cars that were lapped at the time they crossed the Line at the end of the lap during which they crossed the first Safety Car line for the second time after the safety car was deployed. Having overtaken the cars on the lead lap and the safety car these cars should then proceed around the track at an appropriate speed, without overtaking, and make every effort to take up position at the back of the line of cars behind the safety car.
In todays race this never happened as only the 5 cars in between Hamilton and Verstappen were allowed to unlap themselves. If all cars were allowed through then the race would have ended under a safety car. The FIA race director Michael Massi wanted to finish the race with the cars racing and has shot themselves in the foot. Exactly what we didn't want to see they have done by making the stewards have to decide the result.
Max is slightly ahead but this is not the big disagreement and is minor compared to the first appeal and expect nothing to happen.
The other appeal is article 48.8 which is Max's own fault if found in breach.
Article 48.8 states: “With the exception of the cases listed under a) to h) below, no driver may overtake another car on the track, including the safety car, until he passes the Line (see Article 5.3) for the first time after the safety car has returned to the pits.
Max somehow got his nose ahead of Hamilton behind the safety car which if rules are applied means a minimum of a 5 second penalty. Max is too cocky and has put himself and team at risk by doing this which is incredibly dumb.
I do feel Mercedes have a strong case with regulation 48.12 which then changes the overall result reverting back to the driver classifications prior to the safety car. Mercedes have every right to be fighting their case as they would have changed tyres as well if they knew only 5 cars would be allowed through as that is not how the rules work. This race today would have finished under safety car rules and that is not what the fans wanted to see, but those are the rules. This was all about the bigger picture of the sport and not about the sport itself which has cheapened the result. Ratings influenced decisions instead of the integrity of the sport.
As expected both appeals dismissed by the FIA and now this will start to get ugly as the problem is actually manifesting itself into something far more serious for the FIA.
The FIA screwed up and the only way out is for Michael Massi to step down admitting his errors as what happened today was wrong in every sense. Question marks over the last 3 races has dominated the sport instead of what happened on the track.
If this goes to the Court Arbitration For Sport then the FIA are in trouble as they broke their own rules and would lose hands down. This is a sad ending to a great season and only see one outcome. Crazy to think an organisation such as the FIA cannot run things correctly and fairly.