Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016

F1 has become “uber cautious” since Bianchi crash – Wolff

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff says F1 should reconsider how cautious it has become in the wake of Jules Bianchi’s death.

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There were sharply differing views over the battle between Verstappen and Raikkonen in yesterday’s race. Jim was pleased the stewards let them sort it out on the track:

The only good thing about this race was this fight. I never saw anything wrong with it, not for a minute. The stewards didn’t either.

Thank god that these days you can fight again and not get penalised every single fight, like a couple of years ago.
Jim Manna

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  • 56 comments on “F1 has become “uber cautious” since Bianchi crash – Wolff”

    1. Neil (@neilosjames)
      25th July 2016, 0:16

      Can see where Gutierrez is coming from with Hamilton’s ‘gesture’…

      But if I was leading a race and someone ignored blue flags to such a degree that my team-mate, who was trying to catch me, went from a safe distance behind to sniffing my gearbox, I’d consider a respectfully raised finger to be quite a tame response.

      1. I wouldn’t normally take to social media to comment but honestly what in the world is Gutierrez hoping to get from this? If you’re being shown blue flags you aren’t a competitor you’re being told to make way for the competitors. What a pair of clown shoes.

      2. Mr Snail With Grandiose Self-delusions Gutierez should shut up and get on with it. He is lucky Lewis only gave him the finger. Ham could have lost the lead due to that brainless behavior of Esteban Mr Snail With Grandiose Self-delusions Gutierez. Talking about respect, he is the one that should show that to drivers faster than him coming through. Disrespect is fighting for track position with those drivers.
        BTW why is this news considering Seb swore all through the race and used the F word after he felt Massa did not move aside on time for him. So whether Hamilton showed his finger or Seb said the word, why is Hamilton’s news worthy but not Seb considering they both committed the same act? I guess many would choose to forget Seb cursed.
        Textbook definition of double standard. Same act but diff reactions even though Hamilton’s case was more curse worthy.

        1. The other drivers didn’t hear Vettel or take to social media trying to claim the moral high ground is why it hasn’t made the media. Plus back when Vettel called another driver a cucumber in 2012 that made the headlines.

          I think Vettel actually summed it up best in his post race interview by being so jovial about it. At the time it’s happening with the blood and adrenaline pumping you think you’re the hardest done by, worst affected person in the world by it but afterwards once you’ve cooled down you realise it’s not that big a deal.

          Hamilton, in the heat of the moment vented at something he was rightfully frustrated with. Gutierez has with plenty of time to reflect on it decided through delusion he has the moral high ground, even though he could potentially if things hadn’t turned out right have cost a driver the world championship for no good reason at all. I knew he was deluded back when he was shouting about what an amazing job he does and how the team are making him look bad. Money really can’t buy class.

          1. @philipgb, you might begin to think that Gutierrez is perhaps even more deluded than that – he honestly claimed that Hamilton should have shown him more respect because, to quote him directly, “maybe in the future I will be fighting [for] the championship with him”.

            I do agree that Gutierrez does seem to come across as a bit of an entitled and arrogant figure. Perhaps it comes from the fact that he knows he is extremely hard to sack due to the financial and political backing of the Slim family – it’s already got him to the position of being a development driver for Ferrari (most probably thanks to Slim’s links with Philip Morris, Ferrari’s biggest backer) and a drive for a customer team closely linked to Ferrari, and he has been hinting that he might be getting even more than that in the near future.

      3. Being given the finger is better than receiving a punch in the nose which is what he might have gotten in the “good old days”. Learn from it and move on.

      4. OMG! Gutierrez got “THE FINGER!” I hope he didn’t receive to much mental anguish and can continue racing this season. Poor little guy.

      5. Gutierrez is a joke ….. simple rule (unless they have changed it) are that when shown the Blue flags you have 3 corners in which to move over and let faster traffic through not a whole lap, he got the finger what a shame, what did he expect, Lewis to hand him a nice polite thank you for backing him into Nico.

        Boy want’s to grow up, if it had been our Nige or James he would likely have got a punch in the mouth after the race.

    2. is guttierez serious ! He was given the first blue flag into turn 2 ! He held Hamilton for a while lap while having plenty of areas to let him past. what a joke of a driver.

      1. Yes but he was looking for a safe place to pull over and let him past. And the local supermarket car park was shut.

    3. Depends what you call with “uber safety” Toto… Safety is never enough.

      Back then, before Jules’ accident, we spent 22 years without a fatal accident and people were saying that F1 was safe enough. But such belief was wrong, and it still is. Specially when the sport isn’t taking the most out of Jules’ loss. It should be a matter of improving what we have so it never happens again.

      But in China there was a truck at the run off at the last corner during qualy. At the F3 race last weekend, there was a crane on the track. Yesterday, a driver got pole position after merely lifting off while on double yellows.

      What if any of that happened at Silverstone two weeks ago? on those conditions, you never know… besides, those wet tyres are still a problem, Vettel said so again yesterday.

      We were all very annoyed with the SC start at Silverstone. And even more so when the Safety Car pulled in and everyone followed it for inters. But saying that “F1 has become too cautious” doesn’t sound right to me. He should be more careful with what he says, it could lead to the wrong impression.

      1. “Safety is never enough”

        actually if you take safety too seriously, you will never leave your house, never take risks, depend on authority figures, live in fear, and bogeyman will be lurking everywhere you think to be.

        There is a balance that must be observed, Risk vs Reward. You don’t need to be 100% safe, you only need to be able to make informed choices about the risks you are willing to take. The hazards that the halo is to F1 is much greater than the hazard it claims to protect against. Stop with the fear mongering, make informed choices, own your own destiny. Quantify risks, don’t be afraid of them.

        1. *hazard in the ‘aggregate’/long run sense. :z

        2. @xsavior you do need to take unnecessary risks into consideration. If there are alternatives to something, they should be considered. And I’m not even talking about the Halo.

          Properly slowing down for double yellows, delaying the start of a race, developing tyres suitable for extreme wet conditions and so on.

          I’m not saying it should be 100% safe, but studying new ways to improve safety without taking much of the essence of motor racing should be the ultimate target.

      2. The fatal injuries caused in Jules Bianchi accident are the result of an operational failure by the FIA, and those injuries should have never happened. Races should not be run in monsoons, and front end loaders with no crumple zones should not be used to remove 600kg cars from race circuits. Some dolly jacks fitted with rubber all-terrain (wheel barrow like) wheels would be just as effective as a front end loader for removing a race car from a track, without the danger that the front end loader creates.

      3. It does feel completely schizofrenic to work on the Halo on the one side and long time endorse (but in Bianchi’s case then blame the driver for it) driving quite fast instead of actually slowing down enough to come to an immediate stop @fer-no65.

        I really think the FIA should have a good look at what they are doing. Yes, the Halo is a good step if it increases safety, so introduce it. Why vote on it though, the teams have had a year now to look at it, come up with better ideas (Red Bull attempted but so far has not shown their idea to be working better) and discuss the merits. Now the FIA should decide.

        With the flags, off course they should have never accepted the behaviour they have for the last decade, or more. It is time to get at the table with the drivers association and agree on getting strict on this rule from some point. Whether next race, after the break or from next year onward, by now it really doesn’t matter, but it should be a no brainer.
        I do find it curious to hear Hamilton suddenly interested in safety when he feels something benefitted his teammate over him when he never before showed any incline to be worried by that though. But in the greater picture, its good if now he does support it.

        As for the radio rules, sigh. I think there were not many here who did not feel that Button was spot on with his remarks about brakes failing not being a safety issue. Here (as in the desicions with regards to letting the Japan race that became fatal for Bianchi go ahead), we see that Whiting et all are not just doing the FIA’s job but are playing with the rules to help FOM.
        Yes, the driver coaching was getting ridiculous. And it was time it stopped. But the current rules just don’t make much sense, and having them change and updated more or less every race, with that information going to the teams on thurdsays or fridays just doesn’t make sense. Instead let the FIA give the teams a few weeks to come up with something workable, if not just get rid of the radio altogether from next year on. That will give teams the opportunity to agree. Or start programming some help for the drivers to manage for themselves into the car controls over the winter.
        It’s not as if we get much insight in the race through radio messages anyway, since FOM has been playing us to boost it’s own agenda and not giving us much apart from some beeped out lines from Vettel and or Verstappen and the odd message from others on the same lines. I think that’s a shame, I liked hearing a lot more radio.

    4. What Hamilton did was wrong, but what Gutiérrez did was also wrong.

      1. My thoughts exactly.

    5. Esteban, go and talk to Lewis face to face like a man. The gesture may have been rude but get over it. You ignored blue flags, which in a sense, is disrespecting the entire sport. This passive aggressive tweeting is truly pathetic

      1. It’s worth noting that such gestures hold different weights based on who you are giving them to. In a more “modern” sense perhaps the middle finger isn’t any more offensive than a bad word, but to some that means something quite different. It might almost be imperative that Esteban says something less he be disrespected even further. I think if you look at Esteban the man, consider his position, the car he was driving, and the pressure he was under, it’s completely understandable. He doesn’t have the same solid footing as a guy like Lewis. Maybe the two should shake hands and laugh about it next go around, anyways.

        1. @xsavior: I’m not sure what you’re trying to say.

          “It might almost be imperative that Esteban says something less he be disrespected even further”

          If it’s respect he wants, he’s going to have to earn it. What Hamilton did was rude, but it wasn’t unprovoked. Gutierrez’ tweet looks like he’s making himself out to be an innocent victim. He was not, and he should apologise for his own error before expecting respect from anyone else. As it is, this tweet has lowered my respect for him and I suspect that I’m not alone.

          “I think if you look at Esteban the man, consider his position, the car he was driving, and the pressure he was under, it’s completely understandable”

          What is understandable? That Gutierrez ignored blue flags for several corners? And what pressure? In his position and the car he was driving he should be used to seeing and acting on blue flags. It’s not the first time he’s been lapped and it won’t be the last.

          “He doesn’t have the same solid footing as a guy like Lewis”

          I’m not sure what you mean by this. If it’s that his position in Formula 1 is not as safe as Hamilton’s, that’s because he’s not as good a driver. I don’t think that tweet is going to do anything to address that.

          “Maybe the two should shake hands and laugh about it next go around, anyways”

          After Gutierrez apologises, sure. He was in the wrong, he jeopardised another driver’s race and possibly a championship. In return he received a heat-of-the-moment hand gesture. That was also wrong, but I think understandable under the circumstances.

          Gutierrez also got a five second penalty from the stewards, reinforcing the obvious fact that he was in the wrong. If he can’t accept that he made a mistake and learn from it, how much respect does he deserve?

      2. Fudge Ahmed (@)
        25th July 2016, 11:39


      3. It is not worth talking to Lewis; he is disrespectful to his fellow drivers.
        And this showed it again.
        There were other drivers that were being held up, and they were yelling and swearing, but none of them used the finger.

        1. @ianbond001
          None of them used the finger while being filmed, for all we know some of the drivers that don’t have an on board camera could be giving other drivers the finger quite a lot, and we just don’t see it.
          And if you find this disrespectful, I’m glad you weren’t following the sport back when drivers weren’t enclosed in the car and would use much more vigorous hand gestures, and at times come to blows in the run off areas, and in the pit and paddock, as well as giving much more outspoken opinions of each other’s driving in interviews.

        2. Totally besides the point.
          It is not about who did it and who did not gave the finger.
          Doing it is disrespectful, no mater how many more did it.

          1. SO every driver is disrespectful then Ian? Not just Lewis?

    6. How to make the Halo look better for Lewis; Paint it silver with a 3 pointed star at the top of the crack-strap.

      1. maybe set with diamonds on the star @hohum?

        But I think that some of the drivers who mentioned not being convinced about the improved safety it brings might have been swayed by the results from testing the FIA presented too.

        1. @bascb, excellent ! maybe an F1fanatic can photoshop that up for us to tweet to Lewis ( Damn I’M up on this techie stuff :-) ).

    7. I’m pretty sure Lewis didn’t actually flip Esteban off.. I thought he did at first but looking again I think he just raises his hand but the camera angle looks like he’s giving him the finger!

      At least I think so anyway..

      1. I think you may be right. Hamilton himself has said he did no such thing.
        Besides, it takes quite some awareness to be looking out for a little finger while moving at great speeds at maintaining track limits.

      2. @nemo87 During the race I saw his hand and didn’t recognise it as that gesture, after watching it again it is more than clear he actually did show him the finger.

        1. I’ve only seen the aired footage, I’ll have to have another look.. Either way, still nothing compared to the new era of Ferrari language haha!

    8. Lewis was most definitely not sportsmanlike on that start but saying the opposite of what you mean is a great way of changing the perception of other towards what you want. It’s like shouting I’m the best at loud would actually make me drive better than anyone else. I think Nico is a wimp, and I’m not sorry for him, Lewis’s move was the only way to snatch the lead on turn 1 and as it worked out perfectly, Lewis was without any doubt brilliant there.

      1. WHAT? Not sportsman like at the start? What are you onabout?? It was a perfectly fine move? are you crazy? Do you mean, its bad form to over take the pole man?

    9. “They showed us a GP2 car running along a wall [upside down]. Luckily he didn’t get injured but it could have taken his head off.”

      Sounds like complete scare tactics to me. Anyway we’ll find out soon enough right?

      1. Just like children, racing drivers need to be shown the extremes before they will think twice about their safety. Take Halo now and hopefully in the future someone will come up with a more elegant but just as safe solution.

    10. ColdFly F1 (@)
      25th July 2016, 5:57


      This doesn’t seem to be the popular view here (which is actually a bit disappointing). A driver should not flip the finger, especially not after such a common and minor mistake by the other.
      And IMO Gutierrez’s comment on twitter is pretty polite.

      1. It sends a bad message to all of Hamilton’s younger fans. They censor the radio before broadcast but sadly that action could not be prevented from being shown.

      2. @coldfly A driver should flip the finger and a driver shouldn’t ignore flags. They both acted stupidly. I can however understand why Hamilton reacted as he did. I remember Alonso doing the same (whilst flying backwards through the Monaco tunnel!)

        1. Oh yeah, I remember that one from Alonso.

      3. @coldfly

        – This doesn’t seem to be the popular view here (which is actually a bit disappointing).

        Good to inform you that this is not a condemn Hamilton for whatever reason site as it is obtained every other place on the Internet. People here actually think before they write.
        Interesting to see that you are suddenly interested in driver behaviour on track yet you said nothing when Alonso did same. You conspicuously ignore Seb cursing a major driver such as Massa in the same Hungary race for the same blue flag offence.
        No, Hamilton should thank the deluded Gutierez that held him back or better still just up and take whatever comes to him because that would make you satisfied. How dare he make a hand gesture to a stubborn dullard who almost cost him a race lead?

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          25th July 2016, 13:13

          Dear @latina.
          I’d prefer you don’t reply to my posts; saves me time ignoring them.

          I appreciate people reacting, especially when they disagree and we can start a healthy discussion. But based on your reply, and ignorant assessment of my views and previous posts, I doubt that you are open to (or even capable of) a healthy discussion!

          PS – my disappointment here is exactly about reactions like yours calling a driver ‘deluded’ or a ‘dullard’. Gutierrez made a wrong move, but there are polite ways of sharing your views on that.

          1. How touchy @coldfly
            Interesting that you replied my statement to tell me not to reply yours. What a smart move.
            Of course you would like to air your view without any opposing remark. You said in your initial statement that you are disappointed people are siding with Hamilton on the Gutierez incident. Your words not mine.
            In other words your idea of a “healthy discussion” is everybody having the same point of view as you do.
            Sorry to burst your bubble buddy.
            What an

    11. Gutierrez – clearly you are clueless as well as colour blind! Just because you will never be a world champion that does not give you the right to disrespect the rules! You drove like an idiot and Hamilton was quite within his rights to tell you so. Frankly your tweet is an embarrassment.

      Wolff – the FIA and indeed a number of prominent people who should know better in the sport are behaving with professional negligence when it comes to safety in F1. The outcome of the double waved yellow incident this weekend demonstrates this perfectly, as does the total nonsense around the radio ban rules.

      How can the FIA blame Bianci’s death on falling to slow adequately for a yellow flag and then render the ridiculous decision that they did this weekend – double yellows mean slow down and prepare to stop – not lift into one corner and then keep flat out unless you can see an incident! Martin Brundle suggesting that we now need another virtual warning flag, was outrageous. The yellow flag rule has been there for years, and as Hamilton said in his interview its meaning has never called to question until now. There should be no debate on this, the flags are there for safety, and safety is not a question for debate or dithering, it’s black and white!! The consequences of dithering are people’s lives as demonstrated by Bianci’s death. The safety car should have been out the moment Sutils car spun. During the multiple incident Q1 we saw how quickly red flags were invoked to nullify racing – if only Whitting had of been as decisive in Japan two years ago, a life would have been spared. Whitting made the same negligent decision at Germany in 2014, again putting the lives of Marshals at risk!!

      And finally, how can banning radio messages that could prevent a crash as in the case of Perez in Austria this year – be a safety initiative.

      In any other industry the people making these descision a would be deemed a professionally negligent. It’s a total disgrace !!

    12. I can hear Toto say it: “Uber Cautious”, shortly followed by “get to da chopper”

    13. Regarding COTD. I kind of agree with you, but I also see the other side of the coin as well. After thinking it over for a bit, my conclusion is that this type of defending is a step too far. I am not arguing whether it was legal or not, but just that it was a step too far.

      Basically, the rules allow you to move to defend and then move back to turn into the corner. So to defend a position, you position your car in the middle of the track or slightly further so that in encourages the attacker to go outside. As soon as they go outside, you quickly turn into their path to block them. That either forces them out of the move or forces them to go inside. If they go inside, you can turn into the corner and cut them off.

      So to cut the move short, You start in the middle, move to the RHS and then back to the LHS. It sounds a lot like weaving to me. Even if you don’t call it weaving, you must admit that it will be near on impossible to pass someone who is doing that. It would have to be much more likely that there is a crash than an overtake. And last weekend we got the crash, not the overtake.

      The danger is that it is now a legitimate defensive move to do that. Up until now, the drivers would have thought that move was illegal, but we now know it isn’t. So everyone may start doing it. So it will either lead to more crashes, of less people trying to overtake because of the risk of crashing. F1 doesn’t need less overtaking. This is not a dig at Max. He found a loophole and exploited it. Well done, but that doesn’t make it the right way forward.

      Here’s what I see happening. Firstly everyone starts defending like that. An incident happens and one of the top drivers is crashed out and people think it is unfair. Next the media get up in arms and so do the drivers. The fans form opinions and complain. Then the FIA release some stupid knee jerk rule to tame the situation. The media complains again. The drivers complain. The fans complain even more. The FIA releases a clarification of the rule. Everyone complains and after 6 months or so we move on and back to the interpretation of the rules that used to exist (i.e. 1 defensive move)

      Or, the FIA could clarify the position now. Draw a line in the sand and say, “You got away with it up to here without penalty, but next week you won’t” Everyone gets the message and we move on without all the hoo ha.

      1. Personally I would like to see defending rules scrapped almost completely. F1 was fine 10, 20 years ago without it, and these are meant to be the best racers in the world, yet they have rules on how they allowed to race! It makes every overtaking manoeuvre look exactly the same. I would have the rules say: drivers cannot weave, and drivers must always leave a car alongside them one cars width at the edge.

        Then if they take each other off then determine who’s fault it is (if anyone’s) based of what actually happened in the accident, not based on some article section 1036.73.

        1. I’m not there weren’t rules on that matter 20 years ago @strontium (which is 1996, the racing was more like what we have today than that of the 70s).
          I remember reading a book written with the help of Prost were he explained what was OK and what wasn’t for an attacker to do. Same for the defending driver.

    14. I believe the sport should always be striving to improve safety, however, I also believe it’s given too high a priority nowadays, like I’m sure you all see in day to day life. I also think it’s all a bit “false” the powers that be aren’t more concerned for human safety than they were 20 years ago, it’s just the financial implications are much worse today. The fact of the matter is we are down to freak accidents these days that cause injury or worse and that’s pretty damn impressive. As someone mentioned above the risk/reward ratio has to be more pragmatically considered.

      I would like them to sort out this ridiculous yellow flag situation in qualifying by introducing some kind of VSC style system in affected sectors, then as a second priority work on a suitable well thought out head protection system and then as a third priority BACK OFF and let us enjoy the show!

    15. Would be nice to see a Vandoorne – Wehrlein line-up. As far as I know, there’s only one race where the super formula and F1 race clashes in the second half of the season so he could combine both.

      1. @paeschli Or just ditch it for F1. His talent is being wasted over there by a terrible car and quite the backmarker team, though that would be the same in F1,…

        1. Well, having to deal with bad equipment add to his experience @xtwl. It only makes him a better driver.
          Then, I won’t miss Rio so the sooner Stoffel is in that Manor, the better.

    16. Well I guess Esteban ‘Also Ran’ Gutierrez has to tweet about SOMETHING!

      By the way….. who is he again?

    17. The only realistic shot that Gutierrez has of racing Hamilton for a title is on XboxOne.

    18. PC Police to the extreme. Lets take all the emotion out of the weekend,eh?
      Maybe he was waving ” good day to you Sir!” Maybe Haas needs a real racing driver in that seat.

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