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    Re: [2021] Formula 1

    thuggy:

    Ham always complains about tires and then sets fastest laps 

    Tbh, Hams tyres, or Ham himself didn't look too bad on that last lap either. Max's softs gave him the better traction out of the remaining corners which was just enough to prevent Ham passing him on that straight.

    That overtake by Max was awesome and very typical of the same all season. He still had to get the job done Smiley

    Was it Eddie Jordan ?, he said the same as me, Ham too nice behind the wheel and that Max had one up on him mentally.


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    throt

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    Re: [2021] Formula 1

    Whoopsy:
    JoeRockhead:

    Ham was upset about not being able to pit apparently:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2P2CrpV0SE 

     

     

    And he always questions a lot of the strategies given to him, nothing new.

    And we also only got a partial radio communication, we didn't hear everything either.

    We probably missed the part where he said "great plan, guys".Smiley


    Re: [2021] Formula 1

    throt:
    Whoopsy:

    But nah, don't think Max will give it up just like that. He would much rather have his 1st with an asterisk than none. 

     

     

     

    Max and Lewis both deserved it. Smiley

    It's only a asterisk WC award, to the audience that just tuned in to watch this last race.

    Imo, across the season, Max deserved it, only just. He should have had it wrapped up long ago too. He will learn from that. 

     

     

    I actually think Max deserves the title more. 

    Red bull gave him the car to beat this year and he maximized his car's advantage all season, his consistency is unmatched. 

    Like you jus said, and I mentioned numerous times before, he really should have wrapped up the title a long time ago, his ego, mental lapses and poor judgement calls got in the way and threw away a bucket load of easy points, like 30-40 points. Championship wouldn't be this close had he been a more mature driver. 

    It was only sheer skill and luck that got Hamilton so close at the end for the title. 

     

     


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    Re: [2021] Formula 1

    throt:
    thuggy:

    Ham always complains about tires and then sets fastest laps 

    Tbh, Hams tyres, or Ham himself didn't look too bad on that last lap either. Max's softs gave him the better traction out of the remaining corners which was just enough to prevent Ham passing him on that straight.

    That overtake by Max was awesome and very typical of the same all season. He still had to get the job done Smiley

    Was it Eddie Jordan ?, he said the same as me, Ham too nice behind the wheel and that Max had one up on him mentally.

    I agree that Red Bull actually got in Hamiltons head a little bit being so aggressive this year.  Also him knowing that Max had the tie breaker led him to be cautious, especially in his battle with Checo.


    Re: [2021] Formula 1

    still only 2 teams who can win - nothing to do with drivers capabilities - hope this changes all in 2022. Let's see how Russell does. Hope McL and Ferrari play a bigger role too



    Re: [2021] Formula 1

    If Lewis had been ahead even by a point going into the last race the mental game Max was playing would not have worked.  Being tied gave Max a certain advantage with him winning the tie breaker. Absent that Mercedes might have approach this much differently. Not that giving up track position was ever a good option. 


    Re: [2021] Formula 1

    This is why the FIA are going to struggle to legally defend the actions taken by the F1 Race Director...  C7BEAB03-A272-4B0C-AF73-D01AEAA5AA36.gif

    TIME - MESSAGE

    18:27 - LAPPED CARS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO OVERTAKE
    18:31 - LAPPED CARS 4 (NOR) - 14 - 31 - 16 - 5 TO OVERTAKE SAFETY CAR
    18:31 - SAFETY CAR IN THIS LAP

    F1-final-race-2021_FIA-evidence.png

    ...so in the space of 4 minutes (18:27 to 18:31) the Race Director issued two conflicting instructions to the F1 teams that would ultimately only favour one car and definitively change the outcome of the 2021 drivers championship! Smiley 

    It is quite likely that the Mercedes F1 Team QC will argue that the 18:27 communication from the FIA Race Director ("LAPPED CARS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO OVERTAKE") ensured that they could not consider making a pit stop under the safety car, as it would give track position to Red Bull and hand them the drivers championship.

    The question will be asked what happened between 18:27 and 18:31 that resulted in the FIA Race Director making conflicting instructions to the F1 teams, taking actions that were unprecedented and not in line with the FIA rulebook.

    The fact that the second instruction (18:31) followed a direct conversation between the Race Director and the Red Bull Team Principal appealing for such action is also likely to be placed under a legal microscope...  C7BEAB03-A272-4B0C-AF73-D01AEAA5AA36.gif

    A legal hearing is also likely to unveil any communication between the FIA Race Director and Liberty Media...  Smiley

    The conflicting nature of these 18:27 and 18:31 official instructions from the FIA Race Director (along with details of other communications that will be included in the evidence) will ultimately dictate the outcome of any legal challenge...  BF822CAF-50E5-4C47-9B23-F36F9B8F5A9C.gif

    It is difficult to escape the conclusion that someone in a position of authority has taken a decision (outside of the rulebook) that had a direct impact on the outcome of the 2021 F1 drivers championship. Is that really motorsport? Smiley


    Re: [2021] Formula 1

    JoeRockhead:
    Whoopsy:
    JoeRockhead:

    Ham was upset about not being able to pit apparently:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2P2CrpV0SE 

     

     

    And he always questions a lot of the strategies given to him, nothing new.

    And we also only got a partial radio communication, we didn't hear everything either.

    We probably missed the part where he said "great plan, guys".Smiley

    You know, that was like the first time ever Hamilton swears on the radio and got bleep out. Smiley

    Probably a continuous sentence of swearing. Would have been quote of the year. 


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    Re: [2021] Formula 1

    Is the first message to indicate that no lapped cars should pass the safety car at that point in time because it was not yet safe to do so (8:27)

    And then 4 minutes later, the track was cleared and safe enough for the RD to indicate it was safe for the cars between Max and Lewis  to pass the safety car?

    These look like point in time 'status' messages from race control to the team to me. yes


    Re: [2021] Formula 1

    throt:
    thuggy:

    Ham always complains about tires and then sets fastest laps 

    Tbh, Hams tyres, or Ham himself didn't look too bad on that last lap either. Max's softs gave him the better traction out of the remaining corners which was just enough to prevent Ham passing him on that straight.

    That overtake by Max was awesome and very typical of the same all season. He still had to get the job done Smiley

    Was it Eddie Jordan ?, he said the same as me, Ham too nice behind the wheel and that Max had one up on him mentally.

     

    Yes, that last lap overtake is perfection. Much better than the 1st lap lunge. 

    To casual observers, it might seem it was done the same way, but to racers, it's a completely different move. 

     


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    Re: [2021] Formula 1

    JoeRockhead:

    Is the first message to indicate that no lapped cars should pass the safety car at that point in time because it was not yet safe to do so (8:27)

    And then 4 minutes later, the track was cleared and safe enough for the RD to indicate it was safe for the cars between Max and Lewis  to pass the safety car?

    These look like point in time 'status' messages from race control to the team to me. yes

     

    After Red Bull lobbied to have the cars in between to be waved.

    The rule book doesn't say 'just the cars between 1st and 2nd place'. It says ANY. Lapped cars behind Max are still in the ANY category. In accordance to the rule book, those lapped cars behind Max needed to be waved through too. 

    Masi compounded that error by sending out the safety car in message immediately after those 5 are gone and before the lapped cars behind Max are waved through. Breaking the rule in the process as per the written regulations the safety car can only come in a lap after the lapped cars are waved. It's black and white on the rule book.

    He really should have just thrown the red flag and buy himself more time for decisions. 


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    Re: [2021] Formula 1

    The court of appeal isn't run by the FIA so they won't be clouding their judgement by outside factors, they simply look at rules and regulations and facts.

    While they can 'adjust' the results, I think the right thing to do would be to rule Masi broke the rules, giving Mercedes the legal and procedural victory. Invalidate the race result in the process instead of adjusting the race result.

    Max still get to keep the title on count back, he deserves it. 

    Everyone walks off with something in their bowl, except Masi and FIA with a couple more black eyes.

    Todd wouldn't care, he is walking off anyways. He can leave the mess for the next guy.

     


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    Re: [2021] Formula 1

     


    Re: [2021] Formula 1

    It's not just Red Bull doing the heavy lobbying, Mercedes is also guilty as well with the stakes so high.

    They should have never provided with two-way radio communication to start off with.

    There is really nothing for teams to say to the Race Director during a race, it should have been a one-way radio, from the Race Director to the teams informing stuff. 

    On top, there already is a built in messaging system from race control to all the teams via the broadcast on track to all the monitors.


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    Re: [2021] Formula 1

    "Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes receive hope as lawyers give verdict on Max Verstappen drama"

    Mercedes' hopes of overturning the outcome from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix have been boosted after a second leading lawyer said they have legal grounds to challenge the result...

    (15 December 2021)

    Mercedes have been handed fresh hope in their bid to overturn the result of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after a second leading lawyer said they have strong legal grounds for a case.

    Toto Wolff and Co were left furious following a dramatic finale, that unravelled after Williams driver Nicholas Latifi crashed into the safety barriers.

    At the time Lewis Hamilton was comfortably leading the race by 11 seconds but the deployment of a safety car prompted second-placed Max Verstappen to take the gamble of pitting to put on fresh tyres.

    That move appeared futile when race director Michael Masi instructed that lapped cars could not overtake the safety vehicle until it left the track, meaning there would not have been time for Verstappen to get behind his rival.

    However, under pressure from Red Bull boss Christian Horner, Masi then changed his mind, allowing the cars between Hamilton and Verstappen to unlap themselves before ordering the safety car off the track, which meant the Dutchman could get on the British driver's tail before overtaking him in a one-lap shootout.

    Mercedes subsequently protested Masi's decision twice, but that was dismissed by race stewards before the Silver Arrows served intent of a notice to appeal - and they have until Thursday to trigger that option.

    Their potential case was backed this week by law partner Duncan Bagshaw, who told Pitpass: "The FIA, marking its own homework, perhaps unsurprisingly said that they stood by the decision of the race director Michael Masi.

    “Mercedes do have a case. And I think it is quite likely they will take it to a court of arbitration because so much turns on the outcome of these races they may feel they really have no choice."

    Now that view has been backed up by Nicholas Bamber, of Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP, who told racefans.net the interpretation of the FIA response to the protest was "inconsistent with a plain language view of the regulations."

    He also noted Masi's actions directly contradicted a precedent the Australian set at the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix, where he argued 'all' lapped cars had to pass the safety vehicle before racing could resume.

    If the matter was to end up at an International Court of Appeal hearing, Bamber believes Mercedes will have a strong argument.

    “In addition to repeating the reasoning set out in the stewards’ decision, the FIA would likely argue that any ambiguity in the regulations should be resolved in favour of Masi’s decision-making made in real-time,” he said.

    “Again, given the inconsistency in the application of the decision-making during the race itself, and against the same circumstances in prior races, this seems an unconvincing argument.”

    Link 1: https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/formula-1/lewis-hamilton-verstappen-lawyers-f1-25700005

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    "Mercedes have “good legal basis” for appeal over Abu Dhabi GP – lawyer"

    (14th December 2021)

    Mercedes would have a compelling case if they submit an appeal over the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix controversy, an expert in sports law has told RaceFans.

    The team is considering whether to appeal after the stewards rejected its protest over the restart of the race on Sunday. Mercedes claimed the sport’s regulations were not followed correctly when the race was restarted at short notice, and after only five of the eight lapped cars had been allowed to un-lap themselves.

    The controversy in Abu Dhabi has left the outcome of the title-deciding race of the 2021 season in doubt for two days. Lewis Hamilton lost the world championship to Max Verstappen when he was overtaken by his rival on the final lap after the restart.

    Under the FIA’s rules, Mercedes have a 96-hour window to commit to submitting an appeal, around half of which has passed. Following a controversial season the team arrived in Abu Dhabi prepared for a legal wrangle, having enlisted the services of Paul Harris QC. He previously represented the team in 2013 when they appeared before an FIA tribunal over a Pirelli tyre test, and in July last year successfully represented Manchester City in a hearing of the Court of Arbitration for Sport over alleged breaches of UEFA’s club licensing and financial fair play regulations.

    Nicholas Bamber, an associate in regulatory and commercial dispute resolution at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP, believes Mercedes have good grounds to challenge the decision to reject their protest.

    “Race director Michael Masi and the stewards’ interpretation of the FIA’s 2021 Sporting Regulations has been called into question by racing drivers, pundits and legal commentators alike,” he told RaceFans.

    “In response to Mercedes’ protest, they concluded that article 15.3 gives the race director carte blanche to control the use of the safety car and overrides the procedure for the safety car stipulated at Article 48.12.

    “This interpretation seems – on its face – to be inconsistent with a plain language view of the regulations. It also directly contradicts Michael Masi’s approach in similar circumstances at the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix where he stated ‘There is a requirement in the sporting regulations to wave all the lapped cars past’ [emphasis added] before the safety car returns to the pit lane and the race recommences ‘therefore the safety car period was a bit longer than what we would have normally wanted’ – i.e. the race director cannot overrule the appropriate application of the regulations, including the full application of article 48.12.”

    This could be considered a breach of the International Sporting Code, said Bamber. “Article 1.1.1 of the 2021 FIA International Sporting Code makes clear that the regulations are to be enforced ‘based on the fundamental principles of safety and sporting fairness’ [emphasis added]. Part of sporting fairness revolves around consistency of application of the rules of the sport. As such, there appears to be a good legal basis upon which Mercedes could seek to appeal.”

    If the matter was to go to an International Court of Appeal hearing, Bamber believes this apparent inconsistency could prove challenging to justify.

    “In addition to repeating the reasoning set out in the stewards’ decision, the FIA would likely argue that any ambiguity in the regulations should be resolved in favour of Masi’s decision-making made in real-time, under the pressure of ensuring the race was completed safely and competitively – relying upon the sports law doctrine of respective ‘field of play’ decisions,” he said.

    “Again, given the inconsistency in the application of the decision-making during the race itself, and against the same circumstances in prior races, this seems an unconvincing argument.”

    As the field circulated behind the safety car at the end of the race Masi had a narrowing window of opportunity within which to organise a restart. He was also receiving communications from the two teams contesting the championship – Mercedes and Red Bull – the latter urging him to resume the race in order to give Verstappen a chance to pass Hamilton.

    Bamber pointed out communication of this kind is highly unusual in professional sport. “Whilst a relatively recent move to make the FIA radio communications between teams and race director has proven popular with the F1 audience from an entertainment perspective, it has also highlighted the volume and questionable nature of communications sent mid-race by the teams,” he said.

    “It is extremely unusual, if not unique, in a sporting context for team representatives to have a direct line to the officials in the middle of a contest. In sport it is extremely important for officials not to be inappropriately influenced, and this raises questions about the regulation of those communications going forward.

    “In rugby we have seen a lengthy ban handed out to South Africa’s director of rugby for ‘egregious’ offences during the British and Irish Lions’ tour of South Africa, including his role in releasing a video criticising match officials’ performance. World Rugby’s independent committee found that his conduct had a ‘corrosive effect on the game more widely, as well as the viewing public and press’.”

    Link 2: https://www.racefans.net/2021/12/14/mercedes-have-good-legal-basis-for-appeal-over-abu-dhabi-gp-lawyer/

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    "Unearthed Michael Masi quotes show Lewis Hamilton decision went against F1 chief's rules"

    FIA race director Michael Masi has been in the firing line ever since Sunday's controversial finish to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and the scrutiny will increase after past comments came to light

    (13 December 2021)

    Michael Masi is a man under fire at the moment - and now past comments attributed to the Australian are set to increase the scrutiny.

    FIA race director Masi was central to the storm that tainted a wild finale to the F1 season in Abu Dhabi, which saw Max Verstappen overtake Lewis Hamilton on the final lap to claim the F1 title in sensational fashion.

    After controlling much of the race, Hamilton was seemingly cruising to the chequered flag when he held an 11-second lead over his Dutch rival in the latter stages, only for Williams driver Nicholas Latifi to crash and spark chaos.

    A safety car was deployed, at which point Verstappen took the gamble of pitting for fresh tyres.

    However, that move appeared futile when Masi, 42, instructed that lapped cars could not overtake the safety vehicle, only to then change his mind on the penultimate lap having been pressured by Christian Horner.

    Critically however, it was only the five cars between Hamilton and Verstappen permitted to do so, and the Red Bull man was able to get on Hamilton's tail and on newer tyres, he duly seared past the British driver during a one-lap shootout.

    Masi's actions left Mercedes furious, and led to widespread accusations that the Australian deliberately manufactured an exciting finale to benefit the spectacle.

    Two subsequent protests from Toto Wolff's team were rejected, with the team then immediately signalling an intent to appeal. They will have until Thursday to do so.

    And now more scrutiny is likely to fall on Masi with his decision starkly contrasting his stance taken at the Eifel Grand Prix In Germany, back in October 2020.

    In that race, McLaren driver Lando Norris was left in a precarious position after a power unit issue prompted smoke and fire to come from his car, and Masi was later criticised for ordering a safety car and then allowing it to stay out for a prolonged period.

    ”There’s a requirement in the sporting regulations to wave all the lapped cars past,” he later told Motorsport Week.

    “From that point, it was position six onwards that were still running [on the lead lap], so between 10 or 11 cars had to unlap themselves.

    “Therefore the safety car period was a bit longer than what we would have normally expected.”

    Had that apparent precedent been implemented on Sunday, and all lapped cars been allowed to unlap themselves, there would not have been time for the safety car to leave the track ahead of that dramatic final lap.

    Masi's comments potentially leave Masi open to further criticism as the fall out from the Yas Marina rages on.

    Link 3: https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/formula-1/masi-f1-safety-car-hamilton-25687383

    Smiley


    Re: [2021] Formula 1

    For the 2022 season the lawyers should just fight it out in court instead of having teams take to the track.  It would definitely be better for the environment.  


    Re: [2021] Formula 1

    I can't think of any sporting team in any other discipline that would take a "bad call" by an official to a court on appeal. Why would a court waste their time with such nonsense? It's just silly at this point.

     


    Re: [2021] Formula 1

    JoeRockhead:

    I can't think of any sporting team in any other discipline that would take a "bad call" by an official to a court on appeal. Why would a court waste their time with such nonsense? It's just silly at this point.

     

    Bad calls happen in sports all the time because the decision time is compressed. It’s easy to criticize Masi with many hours of hindsight present and one must include faulty strategy making by Mercedes too.  


    Re: [2021] Formula 1

    Hamilton is used to playing it safe and conservative and that cost him this year, all these years he has had a car that you can drive comfortably at 8/10 that doesn't force you to make mistakes or be aggressive and still easily beat everybody else going 10/10, but that doesn't work this year when you have a young gun fighting his way up in a car with comparable performance now.

    So when this season the FIA took to a more "let them race" interpretation of the rules, to the rejoice of the fans (we have been asking that for years), Max's strategy was the right one to take, and Hamilton's playing it safe was the loosing one.

    That is why FIAs rulings may have favored Max more, because he pushed the limits more, not because the FIA wanted to favor him, Hamilton could have taken advantage of them just as much as Max did, like he did at Silverstone pushing Max against the barriers at 200kph/50Gs and still got the 25 points regardless , but he has grown conservative these years because of his dominant car in previous years and played it safe, and cost him the championship. If Hamilton was the one he was in his first 2 years of F1, he would of given Max a run for his money at his own strategy for sure and. probably would of won.

    In the end the marginally more deserving of the two won the driver's championship (it was close), and the most deserving team won the constructors championship. But let's not loose sight of the fact that F1 is just a constructors championship, the driver's championship is just for show, because driver skill matters little in the result compared to the car the driver is driving and cumulative luck from race incidents like crashes or pace cars. So who wins it is not that big  deal.

    Everybody will learn from this season and next season will be interesting, let's just hope there is more than two drivers that have a chance for the fight for the championship next year.


    Re: [2021] Formula 1

    It appears that the FIA has just acknowledged that something went wrong...  C7BEAB03-A272-4B0C-AF73-D01AEAA5AA36.gif

    “Statement of the FIA World Motor Sport Council”

    FIA Flag

    (15 December 2021)

    The world watched every race with great anticipation, knowing that in the end, there could only be one winner. In this respect, many praised Max Verstappen for his victory, and Lewis Hamilton for his remarkable performance and sportsmanship after the closing event of the season.

    The 2021 FIA Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, has prompted a large number of reactions from the F1 community and from motor sport in general, as well as in the public. 

    The FIA’s primary responsibility at any event is to ensure the safety of everyone involved and the integrity of the sport.

    The circumstances surrounding the use of the Safety Car following the incident of driver Nicholas Latifi, and the related communications between the FIA Race Direction team and the Formula 1 teams, have notably generated significant misunderstanding and reactions from Formula 1 teams, drivers and fans, an argument that is currently tarnishing the image of the Championship and the due celebration of the first Drivers' World Championship title won by Max Verstappen and the eighth consecutive Constructors' World Championship title won by Mercedes.

    Following the presentation of a report regarding the sequence of events that took place following the incident on Lap 53 of the Grand Prix and in a constant drive for improvement, the FIA President proposed to the World Motor Sport Council that a detailed analysis and clarification exercise for the future with all relevant parties will now take place.

    This matter will be discussed and addressed with all the teams and drivers to draw any lessons from this situation and clarity to be provided to the participants, media, and fans about the current regulations to preserve the competitive nature of our sport while ensuring the safety of the drivers and officials. It is not only Formula 1 that may benefit from this analysis, but also more generally all the other FIA circuit championships.

    Following that presentation and an extensive discussion, the World Council has decided to unanimously support the President’s proposal.

    The FIA will therefore do its utmost to have this in motion within the Formula 1 governance and will propose to the Formula 1 Commission to give a clear mandate for study and proposal to the Sporting Advisory Committee, with the support of Formula 1 drivers, so that any identified meaningful feedback and conclusions be made before the beginning of the 2022 season.

    Link: https://www.fia.com/news/statement-fia-world-motor-sport-council

    ...probably hoping that an FIA internal investigation will persuade others to drop the legal challenge! Smiley​​​​​​​


    Re: [2021] Formula 1

    They could always just come out and say sorry fans, sorry Red Bull, sorry Mercedes, sorry Max, sorry Hamilton, we fucked up. Masi fucked it all up. Human make mistakes, and Masi made a big ass one on Sunday.

    What is done is done. The rice is cooked. There is no going back. 

    We promise we will do better next year and clarify the wording on the rule book.

    Really, if they come clean I think all will be forgotten. Like straight up, sorry Mercedes, we fucked Hamilton real good on Sunday. Honestly, Hamilton has accepted defeat graciously and moved on already, an honest apology will do. 

    Their own rules are already crystal clear on procedures, there is nothing to 'clarify' even more. It was evident to the one billion people watching on Sunday that the rules weren't followed by their own people. Max benefiting from the fuck up and win the WDC is just a consequence of the fuck up. He has nothing to do with it and did absolutely nothing wrong. 

     

    There is something more about the press release, or the reactions from it. Horner was calling for Masi's head at Saudi GP, while at Abu Dhabi after benefiting from his call, he is praising him and calling for more support for Masi. Wonderful two-faced bastard. 

    More from their releases today. The electric component of the drivetrain had been increased to 350kW from 160kW. VAG taking part is almost a certain now with that increase and the do away with the MGU-H. 


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    Re: [2021] Formula 1

    JoeRockhead:

    I can't think of any sporting team in any other discipline that would take a "bad call" by an official to a court on appeal. Why would a court waste their time with such nonsense? It's just silly at this point.

     

     

    Other sports don't have an overriding authority to govern them, the league itself is the ultimate governing body.

    Motorsport however is set up differently.

    That's why.

    Imagine FIFA has someone overlooking their shoulder, Maradona's hand ball goal would have bene overturned a long time ago. 

     


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    Re: [2021] Formula 1

    This lawyer’s perspective outlines why the FIA are right to be concerned...  C7BEAB03-A272-4B0C-AF73-D01AEAA5AA36.gif

    “Analysing the FIA Rulebook after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix — A Lawyers Perspective”

    (15 December 2021)

    So it’s finally over. Or is it? Whilst we are in limbo over whether Mercedes will actually appeal the decision of the stewards, it is worth having a look at how regulations are interpreted from a legal standpoint.

    Many may not know that the people writing the rulebook are lawyers themselves. There is an amount of precision that is required over every word of every sentence to ensure certainty in the rules, as that certainty is what is required for teams to make decisions in the design of their car and the strategies they use.

    Just like in football, some regulations lay guidelines for interpreting an event to decide whether or not a penalty is warranted (and what that penalty should be), others are prescriptive over what should happen in certain situations.

    So how should the FIA regulations relating to this incident be legally interpreted?

    Rules of Legal Interpretation

    It may seem odd to compare FIA regulations to a law passed by lawmakers in a legislature, but the principles are exactly the same. There are four ways that statute can be interpreted. They are:

    • The literal rule,
    • The golden rule,
    • The mischief rule, and
    • The purposive approach.

     

    The Literal Rule

    The Literal Rule does exactly what it says on the tin. You look at the words of a regulation and you interpret them based on what it actually says rather than what it may mean. This is summed up in this quote by a senior UK judge in 1980:

    “Where the meaning of the statutory words is plain and unambiguous it is not then for the judges to invent fancied ambiguities as an excuse for failing to give effect to its plain meaning because they consider the consequences for doing so would be inexpedient, or even unjust or immoral.”

    The Golden Rule

    The golden rule modifies the literal rule where reading the words literally produces a result that is absurd — that is something that would be inconsistent with the purpose of the rule. What an absurdity is is up for debate, which is why this rule is used a little less often.

    The Mischief Rule

    This rule allows judges wider latitude in deciding what a regulation means. It asks the question of why the regulation was formulated in the first place, or to put it a different way, what mischief was it meant to stop? This rule is of little use in the context of this article.

    The Purposive Approach

    This is a more modern approach in which judges look to find what the gap in older regulations was and what the legislature (in this case the FIA) hoped to achieve by adopting the legislation. This method is particularly useful when public statements have been made indicating why a regulations has been adopted in the first place. Broadly speaking, we ask ourselves ‘what is the purpose of this regulation?’

    It is usually wise to analyse a regulation in the order above. Where a regulation is clear on the face of it, there is no need to start digging in to search for another meaning.

    Breaking down Abu Dhabi

    Now that we know how regulations should be interpreted, we can apply these rules to the Abu Dhabi controversy.

    The basis of Mercedes protest

    Mercedes protested the result on two grounds. I won’t be covering the protest on overtaking under the safety car as this was a very weak ground of protest and has been widely acknowledged as such by more educated commentators than I.

    Mercedes main ground of protest was to do with the procedure dictated by regulation 48.12 of the International Sporting Code which covers how the safety car is to be withdrawn in the event that lapped cars are allowed to pass the lead competitor.

    What does Regulation 48.12 say?

    For brevity, I will paraphrase.

    • If a message is sent that lapped cars may overtake, any cars that have been lapped by the leader will be required to pass the cars on the lead lap and the safety car
    • Once the last lapped car has passed the leader, the safety car will return to the pits at the end of the following lap (unless it is unsafe to do so).

    When interpreting the regulation, we must ask ourselves first and foremost, can the regulation be interpreted literally?

    Given that this regulation is prescriptive, the answer is yes. The person who has drawn up the regulation has left no room for ambiguity in its application.

    In the context of the quote at the beginning of this article, that a judge should not abandon the literal meaning of a statement to avoid an unjust consequence, Mercedes should win their appeal as the regulation was not followed, specifically the text about the safety car will return to the pits at the end of the following lap.

    Why did the stewards reject the appeal?

    Given the regulation is clear, the stewards looked to other articles to see if there was further context that may aid them in interpreting what had happened.

    In rejecting the protest they pointed to two articles:

    • 15.13 — The stewards suggest this allows the race director to control the use of the safety car, and
    • 48.13 — The stewards assert that this regulation governing the withdrawal of the safety car overrides the regulation in 48.12, how the safety car is withdrawn if lapped runners are allowed to pass.

    Let’s take a look at whether or not their reasoning holds water.

    Regulation 15.13

    The title of Chapter 15 is “Officials.” 15.13 states that the clerk of the course shall work in permanent consultation with the Race director.

    It goes on to say that the Race Director has overriding authority over a number of areas of which one is “The use of the safety car.”

    Taken literally, the result would mean that the Race Director can do what he wants with regard to the safety car. Arguably, this produces an absurdity.

    Can the Race Director decide that the safety car can stop at the side of the track and the race continue before the safety car line? Can the race director decide to deploy the safety car even though there has been no accident?

    The answer is no. We know this to be the case because the rules around the Safety Car are clearly laid out in Chapter 48 titled Safety Car. Using the purposive approach, Chapter 15 exists to define the roles and responsibilities of officials, not how they should act.

    Regulation 48.13

    The stewards asserted that regulation 48.13 overrides regulation 48.12. The regulation starts by saying:

    “When the clerk of the course decides it is safe to call in the safety car the message “SAFETY CAR IN THIS LAP” will be sent to all Competitors via the official messaging system and the car’s orange lights will be extinguished. This will be the signal to the Competitors and drivers that it will be entering the pit lane at the end of that lap.”

    Interpreted literally, we can see that this is a procedure that should be followed to withdraw the safety car. But does this regulation act to override 48.12?

    When looking at a regulation to see if it designed to override another, you will often find clear language that indicates this. Again we need to look at the purpose of the regulation, and, helpfully, regulation 48.10 provides ample context of how the regulations deal with exceptions.

    Regulation 48.10 states:

    Except under Article 48.12 below, the safety car shall be used at least until the leader is behind it and all remaining cars a lined up behind him.

    Once behind the safety car, the leader must keep within ten car lengths of it (except under Article 48.13 below).

    This is one example of many within the sporting regulations that demonstrate how exclusion clauses work.

    As no such language exists in 48.13, it cannot be said that it overrides 48.12. Its purpose is purely prescriptive to how a procedure is to be carried out.

    Where does this leave us?

    Mercedes has a very strong case based on the normal legalistic interpretation of the regulations. There has to be certainty in regulations to ensure that competitors know where the goalposts are.

    In the sporting context, stewards are able to make judgement calls over whether a move is illegal or not, but they aren’t able to apply a 7 second penalty, it is not provided for in the regulations and would lead to uncertainty.

    If we circle back to the beginning of this article, we can see that the stewards may have decided that they needed to interpret the rules in a way that resulted in a outcome that was not unjust toward Verstappen given the error was one made by race control.

    The big question is what the remedy is. This is where it gets potentially unfortunate if you are Max Verstappen or an F1 fan. Given the regulation is clear on the safety car continuing on for a lap after lapped runners have passed it, and there was just one lap left of the race, a predictable result is achievable. The race would end with the cars in the order they were in when the lapped runners passed.

    The question now is whether or not Mercedes follow through with their appeal. I would imagine that there is intense lobbying by the FIA that Mercedes do not do so. It is more likely than not that a legally qualified independent tribunal, which the FIA Court of Appeal is given every single member is a lawyer, will find that the regulations were misapplied and there is the potential that they will see an remedy available to them. Verstappen could be stripped of the title and Hamilton would be declared champion.

    What is to come will be very interesting but also potentially disastrous for the sport.

    Link: https://medium.com/@gwkj1/analysing-the-fia-rulebook-after-the-abu-dhabi-grand-prix-a-lawyers-perspective-571ca3810060


    Re: [2021] Formula 1

    Read that final line again. 


    Re: [2021] Formula 1

    Lol, now this has turned into a clown show. "intense lobbying by FIA that Mercedes do not do so" 

    We might ended up with ANOTHER top secret 'settlement' like how they did it with Ferrari.

    Mercedes gets a top secret bump in power for next year? They get extra developmental tokens? Mercedes gets extra sticky tires? Bigger budget cap? Higher split of price money like Ferrari?

    FIA is just digging a hole bigger and deeper as time goes on. 

    Honestly, FIA should just announce they have invalidated the Abu Dhabi result because their own officials didn't follow proper procedures, that race didn't happened. Max gets to keep his WDC, Mercedes still takes the Constructor. Only loser will be Max getting one less official win, but small prize to pay to win the WDC. 

    With the race invalidated, Mercedes have no race result to appeal to the appeal court. FIA happy also.


    --

     

     

     

     


    Re: [2021] Formula 1

    If the result gets invalidated how about the other drivers? It’s not all about Ham and Max. How about Sainz for instance? He will lose fifth place and that’s really unfair to him. They need somehow to keep it as it is. But I agree they (FIA) might dig themselves a deeper and bigger hole following this path.


    --

    There is no try. Just do.


    Re: [2021] Formula 1

    Giving the title to Hamilton is punitive to Verstappen, who did nothing wrong. Who is to say if Hamilton would have actually won the race? If they nullify the result of the race completely, Verstappen wins the championship anyway.


    Re: [2021] Formula 1

    Pentium:

    If the result gets invalidated how about the other drivers? It’s not all about Ham and Max. How about Sainz for instance? He will lose fifth place and that’s really unfair to him. They need somehow to keep it as it is. But I agree they (FIA) might dig themselves a deeper and bigger hole following this path.

     

    It's the only course of action (easiest out)  for the FIA that do not affect the WDC title. Or the constructor title. Just about any other option would means Max losing the title, which is not ideal. Max did every right for the race according the regulations, so did Hamilton. it was Masi that didn't follow the regulations.

    Every driver got affected by the Masi mistakes at Abu Dhabi anyways. Sainz had a chance to dive bomb Max for 2nd but he was denied that by not letting all the lapped cars though for example. 

    In addition, I mean they did count a non-race as a completed 'race' at Spa as another bizarre twist to the season.

     

     


    --

     

     

     

     


    Re: [2021] Formula 1

    I really hated the F1 in the last years. Too boring, overtaking by strategy. Just one car that was winning.... so on....

    But I think they did it pretty well this year. I looked to the rennteam forum and there is almost no talking about the Cayman GT4 RS, 0 posts about the Taycan GTS, some posts about other cars and off topic.... But everyone is still talking a lot about the F1!!! Actually a dying formula 1 was just resuscitated by the politics behind it!!!

    So maybe the rennteam moderators should copy the F1 stewards?smiley

    PS. I still don't like the F1. Still to much politics, too much stewards.... more action off track than on track. Just try to watch a Moto GP race indecision... No investigations after no bull shit...  IMO the only thing clear is that Hamilton is better driver than Bottas. Same car he did 6 World championships, while Bottas nothing. Same like Vettel in the best RB era: 4 championships... since then... nothing. This proves again and again that pilot without car is almost "0"


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    ALL PORSCHE ARE REAL PORSCHE!!!

     
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