Two rule changes F1 could make to stop Verstappen’s ‘dangerous’ moves

2016 Belgian Grand Prix

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Let’s be clear about this point: Max Verstappen’s defensive move against Kimi Raikkonen on lap 13 of the Belgian Grand Prix was legal.

At over 300kph the Red Bull driver jinked right to prevent Raikkonen from passing him. It did not draw as much as an ‘incident under investigation’ from the stewards of the race. Yet it provoked concerns from some – and not just Raikkonen – that it was potentially dangerous.

Raikkonen pilloried Verstappen after their Spa encounter
It’s not hard to see why the stewards took no interest. F1’s rules on defensive driving have been reiterated several times in recent years and though not entirely simple they are at least clear.

When defending their position on a straight, F1 drivers may leave the racing line and use the full width of the track to protect their position, and then move back towards the racing line providing they then leave a car’s width. By this measure Verstappen obviously did not transgress: he came off the racing line, used most of the track width, and then left the racing line clear for Raikkonen.

However Raikkonen exploded with fury on the radio declaring “he’s just fucking turning when I’m going full speed on the right”. His anger had time to subside by the end of the race but he still insisted Verstappen will cause a “big accident” if he continues to make such moves.

There is ample past precedent for the stewards tolerating moves of the kind Verstappen made. One notable example, as cited in yesterday’s Comment of the Day, was in the 2000 Belgian Grand Prix. Michael Schumacher performed a near-identical move to Verstappen’s on the same Kemmel straight while trying to keep Mika Hakkinen behind.

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It would be stretching things to suggest Verstappen, who was still a month away from his third birthday back then, was influenced by Schumacher’s driving at the time. But why shouldn’t Verstappen, or any other driver, learn from Schumacher’s example of the kind of driving which wins you seven world championships and 91 grands prix?

If moves like this are too dangerous for F1 drivers to perform safely then it’s down to the FIA to weed them out. Here’s two ways they could do it.

IndyCar’s example

F1 drivers jockey for position at top speed less frequently than their IndyCar counterparts who do battle on superspeedways such as Indianapolis and Pocono. As a result IndyCar’s rules have developed to accommodate these kinds of high-stakes moves.

While the IndyCar rulebook itself states simply that “A driver must not alter his/her racing line to pursuing drivers”, the enforcement of the rule is actually a lot more nuanced and does permit drivers to perform defensive moves.

In IndyCar a distinction is drawn between ‘defending’ and ‘blocking’. ‘Defending’ is considered legal: this is where a leading driver moves off the racing line before his attacker does. But ‘blocking’ is forbidden: this is where the leading driver waits for his attacker to move off-line and then changes his line in response:

Here’s an example of the ‘blocking’ rule in practice: Will Power was penalised at Pocono two years ago for blocking his team mate Helio Castroneves:

IndyCar has other rules F1 would do well to adopt. But it would be a significant U-turn on driving standards if Formula One were to decide this kind of driving is no longer allowed. Perhaps there’s a more subtle way this might be tackled.

The root of all evil

Does DRS create dangerous speed differentials?
Few other drivers who found themselves under attack on the Kemmel straight protected their position as successfully as Verstappen did. The DRS zone leading to Les Combes gave attacking cars a considerable speed advantage over those in front of them, most of which made defending attempts which looked likes tokenism compared with Verstappen’s – almost as if they were conveniently pulling off the racing line to let their rivals past.

This wasn’t the case, of course, but it highlights how DRS can tip the balance overwhelmingly in favour of the attacking driver. It’s not simply the speed the cars are travelling at which makes defensive moves such as Verstappen’s potentially dangerous, but the difference in speed between the two cars.

Take away DRS and that potential danger is eradicated. And, of course, we would have all the other benefits that would bring.

Though it will come as no surprise to regular F1 Fanatic readers that I have once again managed to identify the Drag Reduction System as the root of all evil.

Over to you

Should the FIA change its rules to ban the kind of defending Verstappen has performed? How would you like to see it done? Or is Verstappen’s driving the kind of ‘gloves-off’ competition we want to see between the world’s best drivers?

Have your say in the comments.

2016 Belgian Grand Prix

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    Author information

    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    242 comments on “Two rule changes F1 could make to stop Verstappen’s ‘dangerous’ moves”

    1. I have little to complain with Verstappen’s attacking moves but his defending is simply too much for my liking. I don’t see how that move was much different to the one which got Magnussen penalised in 2014.

      However any reason to get rid of DRS is good enough for me!

      1. It’s all on the edge, but Magnussen was slightly later to move to the right, left space and then closed that too.

      2. The problem is the difference in speed. I like to see the drivers fight for every piece of the track. That’s why it call racing in the first place. So get rid of the DRS and let them fight like the did in the early days of F1.

        1. in the “early days” (80’s 90’s) top cars had 100, 150 BHP advantages, even twice the horse power of some cars in the 70’s; they could pass; now that difference is minuscule, maybe 20-30 BHP out of 900; it is not enough to pass since you come slower from the previous corner.
          Take DRS out without adding mecanical grip and we will have Monaco like processions on 90% of the circuits.

          1. Ok, But you could overtake by outbraking your opponent which i see less every year. Probally the smaller and weaker tyres. I hope the mechanical grip is so that you can be used to overtake in 2017.

            1. @macleod There’s not enough scope in the incredibly short braking distances which carbon brakes give us. There has been talk in the past of banning carbon brakes, or limiting to steel brakes, which would increase stopping distances considerably. Let’s not forgot steel brakes also suffer from fade, so tactics could also come into it.

      3. I’ll say what I always say when the DRS issue is raised. Don’t blame the technology, blame the rules. The technology is a clever innovation, it’s the gimmick of only giving it to the chasing car which ruins the racing. Why not have DRS open to all drivers all the time?

        The attacker and the defender in a battle of guts to get on the DRS quicker than their rival after a bend would be an added thrill, without the lunacy of the “pretend pass”.

        It always disappoints me that the FIA etc. believe that the public want to see overtaking, which is such a mindless analysis. Personally I want tension. I’d sooner see a single, incredible pass, built up after 20 laps of sniffing, following, feinting, locking up etc, than 100 artificial passes each Grand Prix.

        1. @ben-n I don’t mind the way DRS is implemented in say the Formula 3.5 V8 championship. I perhaps should have clarified that. I’m just completely fed up of seeing overtakes being a slam-dunk well before the end of the straight and with almost no effort at all.

          Overtaking is an art and a skill, and DRS takes away both of those in the format Formula One uses.

        2. Is that not why the FIA stopped unlimited DRS during qualifying a couple of years back, because guys like Vettel were pushing it’s use right to the limit of safety in pursuit of laptime, by opening it the moment they thought the wouldn’t crash, this caused concern to many drivers who backed the change. I can’t see them voting to change it back.

        3. Giving it to every driver all the time would be like not having it. So why not just get rid of it? BTW, I was happy to hear that cars will no longer be able to go to the pits when the safety car comes out. (At least that’s what I think I heard!)

          1. spafrancorchamps
            31st August 2016, 10:07

            I hope that isn’t true. I love the part of the race where the sc comes out and strategees change.

      4. Keith’s right here. Although driving Kimi off the road was wrong, his defence on the Kemmel straight seemed to be the only way to defend such a ridiculous speed differential.

      5. I agree, max was out of line to block like that. And he didn’t do it just once. He should have been penalised. In fact I don’t think he is ready to race at this level. He takes too many risks that could end up hurting someone else.

    2. DRS is here to stay, but the IndyCar-ish rule could be implemented soon. Yet, I hope there’s no kneejerking by the FiA for once on this.

      1. @jaapgrolleman

        I hope there’s no kneejerking by the FiA for once on this

        That’s a very good point. We’ve had enough spur-of-the-moment rule-making recently and the inevitable U-turns that follow.

      2. I would say, remove DRS for race day. Allow DRS for qualifying only.

        1. @Kalun Spa is one of the very few circuits where DRS can be too powerful at times, so I’d say for this particular circuit: allow it to be activated on both the S/F straight, and the Kemmel straight on free practice and qualifying sessions, but only on the S/F straight in the race.

          1. Just tweak the DRS zone. Move the start of it a hundred yards or so up the Kemmel straight, and quit moaning.

      3. By Kieth’s definition of Indycar rules Verstappen was clearly BLOCKING, they banded it from Indycar and now they need to in F1.

        I lose respect for people who block, its cheating in my book

        1. making a block is fine, running people off the track and giving them no room, and making it so they have to brake hard on the straight is dangerous. There is a fine line of course, if you make a rule saying you can’t block someone on the straight to the point where they have to use their brakes to avoid contact, the guys trying to make the block can use that as an excuse to get a free pass. I think there is a fine line when it comes to pushing people off the track, and I would split that in between Hamilton’s block at Bahrain a couple years ago (several) and his block at COTA, which I would say was over the line. Significantly alongside needs to be accounted for, when blocking in a turn.

          There is only one rule that really needs looking at/changing/applying

          causing an avoidable accident results in a penalty. This includes ROS running Lewis off the track, multiple times, and Ves running in to kimi. It also includes being slower on the straight and swerving and causing an accident. All the guys behind have to do is pick up damage to their front wing and it should be a penalty. Obviously anyone who swerves suddenly to avoid being overtaken understands what they are doing, and if it results in an accident it’s their fault.

          All this stuff really comes down to the FIA not really doing their job and refusing to hand out penalties for people who cause avoidable accidents. Of course the FIA doesn’t really seem interested in curtailing dangerous driving, so why do they pretend? It’s laughable.

          If I were to add a rule, it would be, you can’t block an overtaker down the straight, as in run them out of room on the track, but maybe that’s a rule already.

          Maybe what really needs to happen is Kimi needs to run some sharp metal on the front of his front wing, and give VES a run for his money at 300kph+ lets see him block pass going towards a braking zone with out any rear tires … seriously, either he learns his lesson or the FIA stops being hypocritical.

        2. How can something legal ever be cheating?

          1. don’t worry, people are just missing Maldonado.

            1. And Grosjean is no longer what he used to be either! ;o)

              I like the tight racing but Verstappen has too many similarities to the early days of Maldo and Grosjean. If he is not learning fast, we are bound to see bad things happen with potential serious consequences.

    3. I would like F1 to at least try conducting a normal race where DRS is not allowed. Just to see the difference (If an) it would make to the “spectacle”. I doubt this will happen however.

      1. @dave124 I agree with you though I would prefer to change ‘race’ to ‘season’…

        1. haha yes indeed that would be preferable. I would also take opening up the rules so drivers can use the DRS whenever they like

          1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
            30th August 2016, 12:48

            I like this idea, give them all 30 seconds or whatever and let them use DRS to defend as well as to attack.
            Then its a fair competition as to whomever can make best use of their allotted DRS, much like puss-to-pass in Indy

            1. hear hear

        2. They can’t remove DRS without doing something so they can follow into the corners; remember the Schumacher era, he would pass his opponents mainly during the pit stops and that was it.
          A much faster car could not pass on the circuits, baring any mistakes from the leading car.
          And today reliability is so good, cars are not dropping out of the race. If you get stuck behind with a faster car, without DRS you can not advance. I do not want to see that.

    4. There needs to be a rule saying you can’t move at the last moment. Perez has done something similar several times. If you move to defend, you should do it early enough for the driver behind to react. It’s difficult to judge, but it should be up to the stewards I believe.

      1. Personally I would like to see rules on how drivers are allowed to race loosened, if anything. It’s boring having regulations on where drivers can put the car. Let the drivers decide what is safe and what is not, and then if something happens, apportion blame accordingly using common sense.

        1. I strongly disagree. There’s no need to wait for something to happen if it can be prevented. I believe there needs to be a rule enforcing drivers to not be dangerous in battles – ideally drivers wouldn’t be dangerous out of respect and trust, but Verstappen’s proven that doesn’t work.

          1. Don’t get me wrong I think there needs to be basic rules on what is and isn’t acceptable (such as defending compared with dangerous blocking), but leave most of the interpretation down to the racing drivers. Then, if they prove they can’t be trusted with the responsibility, penalise them.

            Like in football (soccer), there aren’t dozens of rules about where a player can tackle or run from, only rules as to how they touch the ball. Not the best comparison but hopefully my point is understood.

            Years ago in F1, defending meant racing hard. They talk about F1 being boring but it’s no wonder when there are actual rules which almost dictate which lines drivers can take to defend.

            1. petebaldwin (@)
              30th August 2016, 23:25

              I get what you’re saying – the problem is that in F1, everyone goes by the exact letter of the law so if you leave them open to interpretation, they’ll all push it so far it becomes dangerous. That’s why we end up with so many specific rules…

        2. “Let the drivers decide what is safe and what is not” = Let the drivers crash until someone dies.

      2. @enigma Good luck finding a definition for ‘last moment’.

        1. @hanswes You’d define it somehow, then it’d be up to the stewards to decide what is okay and what is too late.

          1. @enigma I guess it would be open for too much interpretation…

            1. @hanswes Yeah, it would certainly not be black and white. But many other rules are like that as well. Also, what’s a personal offence in basketball, or a penalty in football? That’s why the stewards are there. But of course it’d be a talking point…

      3. If Kimi made an earlier desicion on which side he wanted to try pass the car in front, Max would not have been in a position to defend and “block” Raikkonen.

        The rules allow the driver to defend even when the car behind is too close for comfort. With less than two car lengths before changing direction things can get ugly and that’s something both drivers should realise.

        When you see Hamilton or Button make their move they leave more space between them and the car in front. In case of a defending action the driver behind can still react and pick a different line. The way Kimi tried to pass Verstappen the only thing he could do was brake to avoid an accident.

        In this case I believe both drivers are at fault. Raikkonen for his very late move and Verstappen as result for blocking.

        I think all drivers should learn from this because only blaming the defending driver is the wrong thing to do. The attacking driver should also be sensible enough and make a move early enough so he does not get caught out by a legal defending move.

        1. > The way Kimi tried to pass Verstappen the only thing he could do was brake to avoid an accident

          I have watched the video footage of the incident on lap 13 a number of times in super slow motion. Judging by the way RAI was steering when he got behind VES with his DRS enebled I didn’t get the impression he had already made up his mind about which side to overtake VES. First it looked like he wanted to go to the right, then he went back left, then right and then left again, even before VES had a change to react. To me it looked like RAI was just loitering behind VES like he waswaiting for him to make a first move. And when VES did he finally had his reason to complain.

          1. Erm. Slipstreaming?

            1. Yeah fine, but if he is just “slipstreaming” how is VES to know which side RAI wants to overtake? Indeed, it’s just “slipstreaming”, steering to the left, to the right, again and again, and when the man in front of you makes a move, it’s time to complain about “dangerous driving”. Btw, in everyday traffic “slipstreaming” is called “tailgating”, which is forbidden for obvious reasons. So why not call slipstreaming “dangerous driving”?

          2. Exactly.
            It is very hard to defend against someone who dives up to the wing and darts out at the very last moment.
            If the defending driver moves out in the same direction many here would lay the blame on him.
            So what can a defending driver do, then?
            Is that really what we want?

            It is not the responsibility of the defending driver to prevent someone from driving into his rear.
            It is the responsibility of the attacking driver.
            The defending driver is limited in his moves. Once out, then back to the racing line.
            The attacking driver can move about at will. But he must avoid the defending driver.

            It is a game with unequal rules, designed to provoke action if executed in the right way.
            Imho lining up behind, darting out at the last moment and turning the air waves red when the defending driver moves in the same direction is not the right way.

            1. spafrancorchamps
              31st August 2016, 10:20

              The defending driver can drive faster lap times.

            2. RAI moves once to the right.

    5. ‘But why shouldn’t Verstappen, or any other driver, learn from Schumacher’s example of the kind of driving which wins you seven world championships and 91 grands prix?’

      That is frightening to read, and the answer to me is clear. The kind of moves pulled by Max on Sunday and MS back in 2000 have to be eradicated before a driver fatality occurs or even potentially a disaster on the scale of Le Mans 1955. That would probably put an end to F1. So that is why Verstappen or any other driver should not learn from the Schumacher book of tactics.

      1. @paulguitar I think that @keithcollantine‘s point was that if the FIA implicitly judges a move to be safe by letting the driver “get away with it”, other drivers are going to think “if he can do it, so can I”.

        1. @jimg

          Understood. The FIA HAS to step in here. F1 dodged a bullet with Schumacher and Hakkinen in 2000 and I never expected to see the same thing in the same place again. It was scary.

        2. No, i don’t see Alonso or Button or Lewis or Webber or Massa or Seb or Kimi or Ricciardo or even Rosberg doing what Max did; ever; they respect the other guy.
          They will race wheel to wheel but they won’t block. And that’s when we get racing like Seb and Fernando at Silverstone, Alonso and Webber at Spa, Massa and the Sauber in Canada in 2015.
          Do you see any of these guys trusting Verstapen enough to go through 2,3 turns side by side with him today?
          What if Nasr would have behaved like Max in Blanchimont; what would have come of the Sky F1 overtake of the year?!

          1. Crash of the year!

            1. Even Nico Rosberg knows better.Hell I would go far enough to say MSC and Crashtor are better than this spoilt child. He has shown amazing driving at times like the pass on Rosberg in Silverstone. But this made me scared. Kimi almost rammed into his back at full speed. He needs to keep calm.

          2. Rosberg did do this thing and actually it did end up in an accident. This is exactly what he did in Barcelona when he crushed with Hamilton.

      2. Berislav Sobota
        30th August 2016, 16:01

        Before MS the drivers were changing line severel times to defend position, than in MS time there was no DRS so speed difference were not so big as today. So the Indy system sims OK. I think that driver can use DRS when ever he want but in 60 lap race he can use it total 20 times, he decide when. After 20 times he cant use it. I think that than the race will be more interesting.

      3. The maneuver of Schumacher in 2000 was harsh and not correct, but it was completely different from what Verstappen did. In 2000 Schumacher made his move to the right -before- Häkkinen. Häkkinen still went for the right hand side afterwards and JUST managed to get a tyre in. Schumacher wasn’t waiting for Häkkinen to make his move. Verstappen drove in the middle of the road, waited for Kimi to choose a side and then just bluntly drove infront of his car.

        It’s the same place and a similar outcome, but those instances are entirely different in how they played out.

        1. I just saw the video of Schumacher on Häkkinen, and Schumacher did more or less the same: he was sliding to the middle and moved even further as soon as he saw Häkkinen make his move. If Häkkinen would have tried left, Schumacher probably would have moved back. So, Schumachers move was indeed not nice as well…

          But I totally agree here with Keith: as long as the stewards think this is okay, well… it is okay. And I kind of like the action and controverse, it has always been part of F1. Remember Massa and Hamilton annoying each other? Or Vettel and Webber? They were doing things as dangerous as what happened in Spa (but I can’t remember anyone discussing safety back then!). And that’s okay, this isn’t some chess game.

          I also believe this is a turning point: a lot of older drivers are starting to leave (Webber, Button, Massa, Raikkonen next year) and younger ones are coming. I would like to have a field with Ocon, Vandoorne, Wehrlein, Verstappen, Sainz in top cars. They are young, fearless and brutal, love it! Let’s be honest: F1 is more exciting since Sainz and Verstappen entered!

          1. Of course we’re all assuming 2 things : 1) Schumacher-Hakkinen 2000 = Verstappen-Raikkonen 2016 and 2) Schumacher, therefore bad.

            Agreed with @dennis.

    6. Rick (@wickedwicktheweird)
      30th August 2016, 12:23

      The Kemmel straight is an example of a place that did not need DRS in the first place. There are many more. If DRS is here to stay, why not let the fans decide where to place the DRS zones? If You inplement the indy rules with the current DRS rules you’ll just get more highway passes. I think that’s the last thing we need.

    7. If Verstappen does the same things in Monza, then he should get a RACE BAN for his stupidity.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        30th August 2016, 13:52

        to quote somebody less prejudiced than you:

        Let’s be clear about this point: Max Verstappen’s defensive move against Kimi Raikkonen on lap 13 of the Belgian Grand Prix was legal.

        1. It was probably an expert who said that. “People in this country have had enough of experts” :-)

        2. There is no mentioning of brake-testing in FIA rules, too… Do we really have to mention it to the drivers that they shouldn’t do it? At some point common sense should replace the notion that we need to have a rule for everything.

          1. There is, however, a rule for “unneccessary slowness” in Article 30.14, that can be deployed against brake-testers. Nothing in Article 30.14 specifies how long the unneccessary slowness lasted, or the circumstances under which it is done.

        3. Verstappen recklessly forced other drivers off the track and cut the corner himself to keep the position. This is GP2 driving, not F1. Rosberg got penalised for something less.

        4. To quote Max Verstappen:

          “They ruined my race in turn one. After that there’s no way I’m going to let them pass. I’d rather push them off the track.”

          1. Actually Max ruined his own race before turn one, as he missed the race start. Reason why he probably was pushing so hard then down to turn one, over compensating in the action. As many wise racing drivers have said: You don’t win a F1 race in the first turn.

      2. The point was that the rules allow moves like these.
        If you want to prevent this from happening again they need to be changed first.
        I cannot envision how someone would receive a race ban for actions that are within the rules.

        1. Indeed. Why should one be punished for a LEGAL action?

          1. Or rather, why are such actions legal?

    8. If DRS is here to stay there are two variables to play with: either the length of the DRS zones or the opening angle of the rear wing.
      Since the DRS zones haven’t seemed to change much in terms of length the last couple of years, they might want to narrow the gap in order to reduce the speed delta, so overtaking becomes more natural again like in the early 1990s or late 1980s when there was still some some sort of slipstream detectable.
      Alternatively, wait how the increased width of the cars next year change all of that altogether yet again.

    9. That defending vs blocking video hits the nail on the head; someone should strap Verstappen into a chair Clockwork Orange style and make him watch it on repeat :)

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        30th August 2016, 13:08

        Totally agree. That video is spot on.

      2. Verstappen has to follow F1 rules, not Indycar ones.

      3. Well even though I think Verstappens move was dangerous (watch this if you don’t know what can happen the IndyCar rules don’t really count, because in F1 you can react but only once. But react on the last fraction of second when the other guy is 20km/h faster and you send the other guy flying.

        1. Duncan Idaho (@)
          31st August 2016, 6:21

          We’re more than a little lucky that Alonso is around to entertain us at all after Melbourne – and that’s when the driver in front isn’t trying on purpose to baulk the passer.

    10. I think that the kind of move that Max made is very dangerous, especially given that it was as such high speed, and with a big speed difference due to DRS. Given those two things it could cause a huge crash, as Raikkonen said (not blaming Max as what he did is technically legal, much the same as Rosberg’s yellow flag incident). Therefore, I think an IndyCar style rule would be good, however only if DRS is taken away (or neutralised) otherwise I fear we would be left with more boring motorway passes than before.

      1. If it is legal, isn’t it so that the one trying to overtake that is really at fault?

        Playing devil’s advocate of course, but it is the driver behind that decides to tuck under the wing and move out at the very last moment.

        How can you defend against that? At all?
        If moving out too is no longer allowed?
        The defending driver would be a sitting duck, unable to move before the attacking driver does and unable to move when that finally happens.
        Do we really want overtaking to be that artless?

        1. If it was a IndyCar style rule would mean that the defending driver would be able to move out of line before the attacking driver, i.e. defending the position. However after the attacking driver had moved out of line the defending driver could not move in reaction, as this would be blocking like the video explains. It wouldn’t make overtaking artless as very few drivers are brave and calculated enough to block in this way, so in reality it would change passing very little. However for it to work I do think DRS should be removed as that would be too easy.

        2. I think I see what you’re getting at Bart (if the attacking driver moves early then you can’t take the inside line), but I don’t think that’s how the rule works in practice. The most important thing is not to be aggressive in your positioning, no one is going to complain if you move in front of the guy when he’s still 50m behind you.

    11. How about drivers having a strategic choice to use DRS, with drivers limited to 30 uses per season.

      1. If not banned this is a good suggestion it gives everyone the option to attack or defend.

      2. Let’s turn an already gimmicky situation into a Chess DRS game. I can already imagine drivers talking to their engineers:
        Driver: “How many DRS uses have i got left?”
        Engineer: “You’ve got 4, use them wisely as the driver ahead is still in DRS zone to the next car”
        Driver: “And how many does he have left?”
        Enginner: “I’m afraid i’m not allowed to tell you that”

    12. We all saw what happened to Alonso in Australia (even if *that* move was not intentional). By doing both – remove DRS *and* adopt the Indy Car definitions of “defending” and “blocking” – F1 should get back to better racing and cleaner overtakes with very little room for drivers to abuse any grey zones.

    13. I’m sorry, I just don’t see how DRS is at all related to this. Slipstreaming of cars on the straight when overtaking normally produces this type of speed differential – if not how else would they overtake? And the fact that it happened with Schumacher in the past without DRS proves that. Not everything should be used as a justification to support a clearly anti-DRS viewpoint.

      1. I don’t see how you can deny DRS increases that speed differential given that’s exactly what it’s designed to do.

        1. In the first few laps there were plenty of overtakes without DRS. Also I may have imagined it but wasn’t Hamilton overtaking without DRS throughout the race?

          DRS is a fudge.
          It’s can never be fairly applied because how can you quantify how much the follwing car is disadvantaged in the preceding corner in order to rectify this by apportioning the correct amount of DRS advantage on the following straight? Its a blunt sledgehammer to crack a walnut.

          Also DRS is quite often used for purposes other than overtaking which is just plain wrong. Sometimes its just used to keep up with the car in front, perhaps even to save fuel by deliberately not overtaking. That’s wrong too. DRS is bad bad bad.

          Give the cars MUCH more power and mechanical grip and MUCH less downforce and they will overtake without the need for DRS. If anyone is worried it will become more of an engine formula which might help Mercedes then they shouldn’t because provided there is an excess if power over grip (like in the rain), that will be a leveller anyway.

        2. @keithcollantine I think what he meant is even without DRS the speed different would be substantial enough to warrant heavy accident (DRS only makes the differential bigger and faster to achieve). Ergo the same risk is still there even without DRS (less risk maybe, but it’s still there) so you shouldn’t use this incident to be: “used as a justification to support a clearly anti-DRS viewpoint.” IMO, he got a point there.

        3. @keithcollantine, it still feels like you are using this as a cheap excuse to continue your anti-DRS tirades (especially when you present your viewpoint with a hyperbolic headline like “the root of all evil”).

          Verstappen stated that he was making those moves out of deliberate malice towards Ferrari’s drivers – reducing the speed differential wouldn’t really help when Verstappen intended to make a dangerous move and would most likely have simply left it until later before chopping across Kimi’s path, still creating a dangerous scenario. Verstappen’s attitude is the problem there, and your proposed solution would do nothing to address that.

          1. Furthermore, to back up that point, it is worth noting that Verstappen also did exactly the same move to another driver on the Kemmel straight when he was racing in Formula 3 – although the speed differential was lower, he simply waited until the driver behind him was closer before he made the move (around 48m10s).

            1. Notice the commentator instantly questions whether the stewards would get involved after the race. Its a block and if that isn’t illegal in F1 then I’m really surprised we haven’t had more deaths in this sport.

              Agree with the point on DRS, I do hate it but DRS will be very important next year as the cars don’t look like they will be any easier to follow each other in principal.

        4. DRS may not be perfect, and we probably all rather it wasn’t there, but,

          a, it attempts to compensate for the problem of cars not being able to follow each other closely enough in corners to achieve ‘natural’ overtakes, (a problem which I feel has grown as aero has become more sophisticated);

          b, it’s far from the only reason that we see speed differential between cars (inherent speed, slipstream, comparative tyre condition, a damaged floor as Max had at Spa, etc) but when added to all those things, yes, it can help make a significant difference;

          c, it certainly doesn’t guarantee a pass, even on the Kemmel straight not every car that got close enough to use DRS got past the car in front;

          d, there are times that even with daring, a tyre advantage, a lap speed advantage, even DRS does not do quite enough to allow a pass – think Barcelona – not many complaints after that race that DRS made passing too easy…..

          So an easy “motorway” pass is blamed on DRS when it would probably happen anyway (other factors were also there to create speed differential), and in other cases there is a lack of thanks to DRS to allow other drivers to even get close enough to be able to fight for a pass.

      2. Sure a slipstream creates a speed differential, but it is one that the drivers are more able to deal with when battling wheel to wheel. The speed differential you get with DRS (around 20kph) is a smidge extreme.

        1. And on top of that, the DRS is something that is there by mandate of the rules, unlike the slipstream, which is quite natural and not something one would be even able to take away. If a rule makes the racing clearly more dangerous (because of having an even higher speed differential) it should not be there @geemac, @sonicslv, @keithcollantine

          The IndyCar rule makes huge sense when one considers the somewhat lower safety of those cars, combined with tracks that are more, or even far more dangerous (often lined with walls instead of runoff and high speed ovals where cars sometimes race as a pack, making jutting off your line a hazard that often ends in a multi car crash at high speed). For F1 it would not be a good way to go.

          Personally what I find more interesting, is that we had a group of stewards with great credentials (two top ex-racers and the DTM chief steward who is also a Judge in his “week-job”) who felt confident enough to not interfere with on track battles.
          On the one hand this shows (again) how inconsistent the FIA is in its rulings, and on the other, it shows us a good way to improve the stewarding to make it more predictable, consisten and less intrusive and convulted.

          1. Indycars have stronger tubs than F1 cars to cope with the huge impacts on ovals. F1 cars would be marginal in terms of safety in that respect.

          2. @bascb The increased speed differential from DRS itself is not dangerous because it’s happening gradually (i.e. acceleration from the engine) which give enough time for both the attacker and defender to react. At 20-30kph difference regular people can still drive around safely as can be seen in your daily highway. That and since its inception no drivers ever raised concern about DRS being “dangerous”.

            The core problem in this incident is Verstappen “brake check” like maneuver, which again, can be seen on your daily highway, when someone suddenly jerks in front of you no matter at 5kph, 20kph or 50kph, it’s all depends on the driver on the back reaction to slam the brakes which is very dangerous for them. In fact, even if no collision happened it, the sudden brake leaves the back driver prone to losing control of the car or rear ended by another car (just like Button-Pascal incident earlier). So, I think it’s very fair to criticize Verstappen move from safety factor like what Kimi does (note that I never questioned its legality).

            1. ALL speed differentials happen gradually @sonicslv. But by the time the driver coming from behind comes up to the guy he is passing, the speed differential is certainly significantly larger than it would be without DRS, that is the whole purpose of DRS afterall!

              If we put the danger of reacting late to prevent someone overtaking on the speed differential, we should look at how to lower that speed differntial. In other words, get rid of DRS.

              The speed differential as a large risk factor on the highway (and even on other roads) is one of the most important reasons to install a speed limit there – to prevent too large a speed differential. But one hugely important difference is, that on the road, there is no winning by coming first (even when far too many drivers act as if it was, leading to quite a few accidents), and trying to prevent someone from overtaking you is clearly bad.
              With racing, the sole purpose is to finish first and to prevent people from passing you. So when a system introduced makes it too easy, I can understand why some drivers come to the conclusion that (apart from having a faster car) this is the only way to prevent an overtake from happening.
              Giving us clearly dangerous situations on track, but effective in making everyone think twice about overtaking Max. I agree that if is completely fair for Kimi to critisize Max, and I am sure a large amount of drivers will support that argument in this weeks pre-Monza driver briefing.
              But the point for the FIA should be to think about the core issue – DRS makes passing almost an automatic unless either they tone down it’s effect (or eliminate it altogether), or it will lead to desperate/overconfident/frustrated/… (or however one wan’t to call it) drivers trying to prevent being passed by racing like Verstappen did.

              In short – my point is, that one can not see DRS artificially making passing slam dunk by increasing the speed difference and moving at a very late moment to prevent such an overtake as unconnected things. And IMO the FIA should think about that, as they are ultimately responsible for safety and for the rules

            2. @bascb Sorry if I wasn’t clear enough, while it’s true all speed changes gradually, but the most important thing is how quick it changes and compared to if its give enough time for average F1 drivers to react to it. DRS speed change is obviously “slow” enough while Max “brake test” very likely not. Furthermore, while its true speed difference is increasing risk, 20-30kph difference is not dangerous at all, given reasonable space between cars to react (about 1 car length I think is reasonable). My point of why I don’t agree with your original comment is DRS is not a risk factor in this accident, Max maneuver is. Your argument, IMO, is an example of correlation doesn’t imply causation fallacy.

            3. Well, I think we disagree there @sonicslv. The speed difference that DRS helps achieve is clearly large enough to make overtaking easy at DRS zones, it is significant.

              Sure, alone, and by itself it is not dangerous. And when the driver being passed just accepts the fact that they will be passed like most drivers seem to do, they get passed and either they repass themselves in the next DRS zone or just give up.

              But since it is clear that Max Verstappen is one of those racers who just want to win (a thing that sort of comes natural for a racer) or at least not be beaten, he has found one of the few things that DO work, namely reacting at the last moment before being passed, thereby forcing the passing driver to back out of it, to brake, instead of giving them the room with a timely move to one side which almost inevitable means getting passed by the DRS utilising car.

              I agree that puts a very large onus on the following driver who is forced to either brake hard (and hope there is no one close behind them), leave the track, or not even try to get past Max. And that can easily become dangerous.

              But the reason for this somewhat desperate move is because it seem to be a strategy that somewhat works against a car using DRS, and I think that is exactly why we see Max using it.

              Therefore, I think that it IS time to reconsider DRS. Especially when the large tyres used from 2017 are only going to make a slipstream on straights more helpfull for the following driver (because of the drag from those tyres), and therefore can clearly make the speed differentials even more pronounced.

            4. @bascb Fair enough, as I understand where your argument comes from. While I still don’t agree with you, but I can respect your point of view. My opinion still said the one should be changed is how Max deal with this problem, not to change some external factor (DRS in this case), because he will just use that same dangerous maneuver given chance, regardless of DRS present or not.

      3. Overtaking is also possible at the end where you brake. So overtaking by outbraking your opponent is a option. ( i know old fashion lets have a button to overtake…)

    14. Evil Homer (@)
      30th August 2016, 12:56

      Just watching the race again now and that move by Max on lap 13 did get the pulse rates going, but as pointed out wasn’t even looked at by Charlie & Co. If they hit it would be different.

      I like the idea of the ‘DRS free’ season and no better time to coincide it with our new 2017 Era of reg changes- but the nah sayers would just argue the new rules gave less overtaking, but quality over quantity would suit me.

      Max is certainly a bit borderline isn’t he? But hey, one cannot say F1 is boring when he’s racing!

      PS- just seeing Dan’s comment to the camera about ” a few Aussie flags” in the warm down room- a very funny buggar is our Daniel, more personalities like him in F1 will help too!

      1. I’m starting to believe that people chanting “Trump will make America great again!” and those who say “Max makes F1 entertaining again!” are the same people.

        1. No they’re not. It’s just the other way round. It’s the same people who shout “we have had enough of experts!”, who condemn Max’ actions, the vox populi.

          1. I got really confused, who are the experts and are the experts the voice of the people or not?

            1. @peterh I think what he meant is “If you don’t like Max you’re dumb”.

            2. @george Well that would explain why I got confused

            3. I’m sorry you got confused. With “experts” I meant: the Spa race stewards, and people like Joe Saward, Jan Lammers and Johnny Herbert who thought VES did not cross the line on sunday. And the phrase “we have had enough of experts!” was by Sarah Vine, wife of british politician Michael Gove. (Remember the Brexit referendum?)

              Anyway, I believe the “vox populi” is the the voice of the indignant crowd that is just l i v i d and f u r i o u s about VES’s actions and want him punished in the harshest possible way. They don´t trust the opinion of the `experts` because they are absolutely convinced they know better than those “experts”. And I also think lots of these same people believe that a man like Trump is THE solution to everything they deem wrong (like for example the opinion of an “expert”).
              Have I made myself clear now?

            4. by experts you mean establishment types.

              I will tell you what is really up with the election going on in the states. Hillary was always going to win, that was never in doubt, as much doubt as Mercedes losing this year, as in never going to happen. Like Hillary, Max walks on water, as he is an establishment confidence getter and sponsor magnet for culling the time and energy of the ‘voters’.

              Before you rag on Trump’s championship aspirations, know that pro motorracing and elections are not that different, both have wealthy sponsors, both are just brand holders for the establishment. Who really wins isn’t really as important as the game itself, and keeping people “interested”. More taxes, more people drinking Red Bull, and buying Mercedes cars.

    15. The rules also specify that dangerous and erratic driving shall be reported to (implying: dealt with by) the stewards.

      In that light a rule change may not be necessary.
      What is needed is just a different interpretation of the same rules.
      We have not only to brand actions like Schumachers and Max’s as dangerous; we must precisely specify why.
      (I’d like to add Rosbergs move on Hamilton in Spain in the same category btw; allowed by the rules, but unwanted)

      Maybe it is as simple as this:
      “Any move that forces another driver to slow down to avoid contact, leaving no possibility to steer away from it without leaving the track, is considered to be dangerous”.

      That would still allow defensive moves to the edge of the track, unless the other driver is too close to cross back, in which case the defending driver must leave a cars width.
      It would prohibit the last second dart towards the attacking driver even if there remains room aside. It would also prohibit deliberate braking or lifting where that is not to be expected.

      There may be reasons to perform those acts anyway, depending on what is happening ahead or around of the d defending driver. If he blocks a driver in a move to avoid another driver ahead that is dangerous, but necessary.
      Take the race start for instance. Any attacking drive needs to be aware of not just the car in front, but all that is happening; and expect blocking style moves where the driver ahead is limited in his options.

      Many questions remain.
      What if a driver follows the racing line, forcing another driver off track? Is that a move, and prohibited by this interpretation, or not?
      Going straight where the racing line does not, is that a move?
      I’d say No and Yes, but it conflicts with the wording in the current sporting code.
      That was not an issue under the current rules, but the new interpretation would make it so.

      Anyway, that’s what I think.
      Cheers, Bart

      1. @Bart
        “Any move that forces another driver to slow down to avoid contact, leaving no possibility to steer away from it without leaving the track, is considered to be dangerous.”

        I’m with your idea in spirit, but it would need work. I think this formulation of the rule that you put forth (and I understand it is probably off the cuff and not completely delineated and caveated) would encourage bad attacking behavior; e.g. dive-bombing corners. Because if I can get my front wing along side your rear tire going into a corner and your normal driving forces me to slow, then by this rule your normal cornering would be dangerous and could be penalized. Further, since my dive-bomb does not force you to slow down, and since presumably you could go wide (i.e. you have the possibility to steer away from me without leaving the track), there would be little reason for drivers to avoid such attacks.

        Again, I like the idea but this is probably why F1 rules are so insane, as otherwise they get twisted.

        1. Yes, the implication is that it only applies to moves out of the ordinary; following the racing line, braking at the approach of the corner, dealing with traffic ahead are legal reasons to move about.

          Sadly, I already discovered the fatal flaw in my line of thought.
          It would kill racing.

          When a driver gets right under the wing of the defending driver he can move out to overtake at the latest possible moment.
          When he moves out, the defending driver can no longer do so too or he would leave the attacker no other options than to brake.
          But if he does not move out he gets passed like a sitting duck.
          He could not move out early – it would open the door.

          So, strange as it may seem, if we forbid the defending driver from moving out at the very last moment to block the attack, then attacking drivers would use the tow and dart strategy exclusively. As there is no defense possible against it.

          For the sake of keeping racing a sport we MUST allow the defending driver to move to block!
          Once, then back to the racing line but not beyond.

          We need to appreciate that the driver coming up from behind is the one that is taking the risk.
          He can weave and move about unrestricted, unlike the defending driver.
          That freedom has consequences.
          Like the responsibility for not driving into the back of the defending driver, even if he moves to block.

          There are different lines of attack possible. Move out early, make the defending driver move towards you and cross behind (if he does so in time to block you on the far edge) or keep the line (if the defending driver moves in late).
          When you cross behind and he moves back (still allowed, if not past the racing line) then you can cross again and he has to let you go (or it would be a double move). Selling the dummy. THAT is what I call racing.
          Getting out of the tow early makes it harder to overtake, that is the drawback. But then there still is DRS.

          So, it seems the current rules are not that bad after all.
          We just need to understand that it is the responsibility of the attacking driver not to hit the defending driver, even if he moves out at the last moment.
          The attacker must deal with that in a smart way, like by enticing the defending driver to move early.
          I hope we will see more of that in the future.
          And not a rule change and a duck race.

    16. The issue arises with Verstappen because he leaves it to the absolute last minute to defend his position. This means that in real time it looks like he is reacting to the following car’s move. He is walking the line, which is absolutely what racing drivers should do, but I think that he would do well to take this lesson on the chin. It is marginal, but I think he is running the risk of coming down on the wrong side of the line more often than not and if he does that it will eventually result in a massive shunt.

      The comparison with Schumacher is a good one, but I think the lesson he is actually showing he learned from Michael is to give “nothing away” which James Allen discussed at length in “The edge of greatness”. Schumacher never admitted fault for anything, he never gave even the remotest hint that he may be to blame or that he may have done something wrong, he never entertained the idea that he wasn’t the best out there. Max is doing exactly the same. You only have to listen to his interviews post Monaco and the conversation he had with the pitwall during the red flag in Spa to see it. He has clearly learned a lesson that Jos would have seen put into practice first hand.

      1. Or probably in F1 “last millisecond”

      2. Oh, I forgot to mention that the aspect of Max’s driving that scared me most this weekend wasn’t actually his defensive driving, it was the erratic manner in which he drove back to the pits on lap 1. He blatantly cut Eau Rouge and ran well off track in several other places (on the exit of Pouhon springs to mind). I was very surprised more wasn’t made of it, the only mention I heard of it was from Webber in the post-race analysis on Channel 4.

        1. He didn’t blatantly cut Eau Rouge. He went in full speed, that side of his wing was still there,and then couldn’t make it, up top, that part of the wing miss.Sorry :-). Once again walking a fine line,no penalties….

      3. @geemac

        the lesson he is actually showing he learned from Michael is to give “nothing away” which James Allen discussed at length in “The edge of greatness”. Schumacher never admitted fault for anything, he never gave even the remotest hint that he may be to blame or that he may have done something wrong, he never entertained the idea that he wasn’t the best out there. Max is doing exactly the same.

        I think that’s spot on, but I think that’s the case for a lot of other F1 drivers too.

      4. @geemac, I have to disagree with that because, at least in the Formula 3 video linked above, you can see that he is looking in his mirror for Auer to make his move before he then turns to the right – you can see that he is reacting to Auer, not trying to anticipate him. It’s a shame that we don’t seem to have a shot looking back down the straight at Verstappen when he was defending against Kimi – I’d be interested to see if he did the same thing as he did to Auer.

        @keithcollantine, I’d agree that argument could be made about many other drivers – after all, was it not the case that most people here criticised Maldonado for taking a very similar attitude?

    17. I agree with @wickedwicktheweird. Making the defensive driving even more pointless is the last thing our sport should do. F1 should get rid of the DRS or at least considerably reduce its effectiveness before even considering any new blocking rules.

      I also do not think that rules should be changed just because of one driver’s behaviour. If Verstappen wants to win the world championship, he will not be able to afford that kind of aggressiveness in the future simply because it will inevitably lead to collisions and lost points. If he indeed needs a “big crash” to understand it, then so be it.

      1. DRS is not dangerous, blocking is.

        1. Rick (@wickedwicktheweird)
          30th August 2016, 16:09

          You are missing the point. Emplementing the indy rules with the current effectiveness of DRS would just create highway passes, boring as hell.

          1. I am completely against implementing Indy rules, but still that kind of blocking in high speed is very dangerous even if it is legal. Good wheel to wheel battles are the reason I watch F1.

          2. At least half the passing in Spa was highway passing, and it was an unusually low proportion there, so we already have the situation that not implementing Indy rules was designed to avoid.

    18. LOL, 18 year old kid makes the big world call for change of rules again.

      1. He isn’t an 18 year old kid, he is a grand prix driver for a world championship quality team. There are standards grand prix drivers have to abide by, him included.

        1. Hmm…Is ‘the big world’ calling for rule changes? Also, according to the absence of even an investigation of anything Max did at Spa, he is living up to the standards of Grand Prix drivers, no?

    19. Verstappen’s move looked dangerous, but on the other hand I was disappointed to see so many drivers just moving over, letting the other car past, probably thinking ‘I have no chance anyway’.

      It’s not like they ran DRS for the first time at Spa. They should know by now that it doesn’t work as implied – still the DRS zone hasn’t been altered accordingly.

      With higher drag and a more effective slipstream, speed deltas could increase for next season.
      Although they ignored every criticism of DRS so far, they should start to look into this!

      1. Totally agree with you on drivers moving over > that’s no racing. Even with DRS they should at least try!

      2. @jon-thereyougo I do wonder whether DRS is leaving drivers with a choice of doing as you say and basically pulling over, or defending in the kind of way Verstappen is getting vilified for by some.

        1. In many cases, it’s the driver knowing that defence within regulations won’t work and that staying behind the driver is the better course of action for their tyres, if not necessarily their fuel. Resource management at play.

    20. Your article really doesn’t make sense to me. Why are you showing so much support on VES who has showed skills and stubbornness beyond measure? And you are blaming DRS for that? I mean, it’s like saying “if RAI wasn’t quicker than him, that would never happen, so the solution is to make sure RAI is slower than VES”. You serious??? What Max did, and has done in the past, is to establish himself as a driver who will not give up easily. This is something different from diving into the 1st corner and causing a collision (ruining other drivers’ race), or dancing around the track. It would even be OK to do this from time to time, but back to back races? You should think about how this is going to evolve if continues to go on, it won’t end up well.

      1. @petrucci The article has nothing to do with supporting (or not supporting) Verstappen. It simply points out that Verstappen’s defensive moves at the Belgian Grand Prix were not illegal. If one does not want to see such moves, then they should be expressly forbidden. If one deems them to be unsafe, then getting rid of the DRS is an option. You cannot penalise or disqualify a driver simply because he is stubborn, aggressive or irresponsible. The same goes for the start incident as no rule forbids Verstappen to try to overtake other cars in the first corner the way he did.

        I do not think that F1 needs to change any rules because of Verstappen’s behaviour (it should get rid of the DRS anyway though) but I fully agree with @KeithCollantine‘s analysis.

        1. Well, I guess then I would like to see those moves expressly forbidden cause I think that they spoil the fun. They will spoil the fun when we ‘ll have an accident, they spoil the fun every time we miss some nice overtakes, they spoil the fun because we have drivers like RAI or VET struggling with their race strategy instead of fighting from the lead/podium, and all of these are only in favor of Verstappen’s vanity of becoming the new legend of F1. I never liked when HAM’s talent was consumed in collisions with MAS in every race, I really liked HAM when he drove from start to finish with maturity and respect for himself and his fellow drivers around.

    21. For those who think Verstappen’s defensive moves are acceptable I have two words, the late Jeff Krosnoff.

      It’s ironic that the color commentator is one Danny Sullivan, who was the driver steward at Spa

      1. There is a difference in that Stefan Johansson wasn’t moving over to block/defend against Krosnoff, He was moving over to setup an overtake on Emmerson Fittipaldi & simply didn’t know that Krosnoff was there as he was in his blind spot.

        1. But this still shows what getting blocked in 300km/h and losing downforce can lead into. F1 cars don’t have landing gears.

        2. You miss the point completely.

          1. The point being “the late Jeff Krosnoff” having not 2 but 4 words? ;-)
            Well, I can see what you are trying to prove, but I also believe comparing a 20 year old accident in 1990’s Indy Car racing with modern day disinfected & sanitized Formula 1 is pushing it a bit too far.

    22. Am I the only one who saw Perez overtaking Verstappen on the Kemmel straight and then gotten pushed off the track at Les Combes completing the overtake on the run-off area? I cant find any video, but I am pretty positive that is what happened

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        30th August 2016, 14:08

        They showed the replay on TV. @kaiser
        IMO right call to let Perez keep that position.

        1. @coldfly – Agree with your assessment.

      2. @kaiser @coldfly @hobo I think the reason they let Perez keep the position was because Verstappen also went off-track (not by as much as Perez, but he clearly had all four wheels to the left of the white line).

        1. He also left the track when Kimi passed him, the Ferrari driver should have kept the place….

    23. Verstappen’s driving this weekend was a calamity. Putting the “blocking” aside for the moment, he also drove 2 (3?) drivers clean off the road at les coombes and made a few horrific, high speed excursions off the circuit with a damaged wing on lap 1. Going back to the blocking though, the move was definitely reactionary and had raikkonen connected (ala webber at valencia), he would’ve been onto the old circuit halfway to malmedy.

      Regarding DRS, while i’m no fan of it, the closing speed issues should surely just mean drivers adjust and make sure they move earlier. I’d also be interested in the effect DRS has once a car is launched, it is designed to shut in the case of failure, but that’s under normal airflow conditions, what happens when the car is travelling with the nose pointed upwards?

      1. Once the car is in the air, I wouldn’t have thought the rear wing was of much effect anyway, regardless of its DRS status.

      2. DRS would still close as soon as a driver hits the brakes @naz3012

    24. Remove DRS and use the Indy Car defending rule.

    25. Great article Keith. The Indy concept is what we need. Similar to the block vs charge distinction in basketball. Needs to be properly and consistently policed by professional stewards. Make them part of Charlie’s team. Identify them, make them explain their decisions.

    26. The present 1-move rule should had been scrapped the second DRS was adopted because it put one driver at a severe disadvantage to protect his position. Like I told others, while dangerous, Verstappen’s move was legal. Others had done it in the past. Of all the things “borrowed” from IndyCars by F1, I don’t think they would accept their definition of blocking and defending. Just watch this past weekend’s race(last 10 laps) from Texas and see high speed defensive driving at its most intense.

    27. 1. Verstappen’s defensive move on Kemmel was succesfull ánd legal. Especially smart since other drivers seemed far less succesfull against the overpowered DRS, indeed merely looking like they were “conveniently pulling off the racing line to let their rivals past”

      2. Verstappens defense into Les Combes was legal and Raikkonen beeing on the outside could have (and imho should have for the sake of his own race) pulled out.

      3. Verstappen’s L1/T1 dive-bomb was too risky but ultimately not illigal and it was Vettel who took a big swooping and unnessary shallow line which squeezed Raikkonen.

      The people calling VES a ‘spoiled brat’ or an ‘immature moran’ are the ones way out of line imho and should take a long hard look in the mirror.

      1. Just stopped looking in the mirror, found out my hard look is very convincing.

        Well Verstappen ended 11th so his race wasn’t very successful, and just ended up making many fans angry, except Max fanclub of course.

        And btw, he is a spoiled brat.

        1. His race was hugely unsuccesfull, but non of his actions were illegal.

          This is not about me beeing a fan of Max or not, it’s about people posting hatefull, imature comments despite the above. This generally is a sophisticated F1 blog and to me these emotional primal and childish outburst should taken elsewhere. That’s just my 2 cents though, I see you don’t agree.

          1. “His race was hugely unsuccesfull, but non of his actions were illegal.”

            forgot to add that his race overall was unsuccesfull but that particular defensive manouvre wasn’t.

          2. Rick (@wickedwicktheweird)
            30th August 2016, 16:14


        2. Rick (@wickedwicktheweird)
          30th August 2016, 16:12

          So what you are saying is that everyone who does not hate Max to the bone is a fanboy and a Trumpvoter? Interesting analysis..

          1. I don’t hate Max! I have liked many of his races and overtakes. And in the the post you are referring to I just stated that “Trump – Make America great again” and “Max – Make F1 entertaining again” are both equally stupid statements.

            1. Statements only you brought up, PeterH

    28. I like the indy car block / defending rule & I agree with kimi’s comments of max’s “driving down the center & waiting to make his single move”. That tactic is crap IMO my max.

      The race stewards need to be a bit more consistent & do their job vs watching a race while on holiday.

      However, I like max’s fight to the end, as he doesnt give up until your 110% passed! He is relentless… I see it like futbol, max will battle shoulder to shoulder & if he loses the ball, he is right there to win it back…. as you should be.

      1. Other problem with high speed blocking is that the risk is quite asymmetrical, if you are the defender you probably get your rear destroyed and DNF, but the overtakers downforce will disappear and he will be a space rocket with unknown consequences.

    29. Verstappen’s behaviour is being linked to that of Senna and Schumacher, and lauded as such by the media. What’s disappointing is that this is being approached in exactly the wrong way; he’s being lionised for a “do anything to win” attitude which involves putting other people in danger. There is literally no excuse for taking the position that a driver who takes a deliberate decision to risk an injury to another person, either competitor, Marshal or spectator is justified in doing so because it “shows fighting spirit”.

      I don’t care who does it. It was wrong when Maldonado almost killed a marshal. It was wrong when piquet smashed into a barrier inches away from spectators. It was wrong when Schumacher did it to hill, Villeneuve, and Barrichello. It was wrong when senna did it, lied about it and produced that pathetic defence that the media like to forget was torn apart by Stewart right after he said it.

      The only reason it’s being considered debatable is simple: he keeps getting away with it, thanks to the skill of the other competitors. The day he doesn’t get away with it, someone will get hurt. Then there’ll be another knee jerk reaction and everyone will pretend it wasn’t inevitable and nothing could have been done.

      He’s dangerous, entitled, and stupid. Getting away with that doesn’t make it OK. Grosjean didn’t change his behaviour until he got a punishment. Neither will this guy.

      1. “It was wrong when senna did it, lied about it and produced that pathetic defence that the media like to forget was torn apart by Stewart right after he said it.”

        Why let facts get in the way of a good soundbite @hairs? ;)

        1. @geemac There’s an article on the subject on this very site if you don’t believe me. Or watch the full interview, where Stewart expertly demolished the “if you no longer go for a gap….” comment, which sadly never gets reported.

    30. I don’t care too much about what Verstappen did on the straight: making dangerous moves like that have been considered okay since the Senna/Schumacher days.

      What I have a problem with, is Verstappen pushing Kimi wide without being able to keep it on the track himself. I still don’t understand why the stewards decided to take no action there, as “pushing a driver off the track” is clearly forbidden in the rules.

      1. Yes, but it comes down to wether driver A pushes driver B off track or whether driver B makes an unsuccesful attempt to overtake and finds himself off track.

        The rules describe who has the right to hold on to the racing line through a corner which is determined by the position of the cars on the track and their relative position at (and this is the crucial part..) corner ENTRY. We as spectators focus too much on the corner exit situation (because there is the get together)

        1. @mayrton

          Raikkonen was ahead, Verstappen just broke very late and then couldn’t make the corner, pushing Kimi wide

          1. I agree. This is where it gets in a gray area. If you can’t make the corner than your action was to optimistic. This is the spectators disadvantage over the much more footage the stewards have. Working with what we have you see VES having to make a steering correction because RAI did not back off going into the corner (surprised as RAI was because some need to get familiar with the late braking VES has proven to be capable off – see especially last years season). This correction makes VES slide to the outside a bit directly following the correction (he had to turn the weel slightly more inwards on corner entry than he would have without RAI being there). So definetely room for various interpretations there, I agree.

      2. Daniel Neukirch
        31st August 2016, 10:16

        This! +1
        I find it perplexing that people are looking over this point so easily. He pushed kimi off the track, ran off himself as he wasn’t able to stay within the track due to too much speed and not taking the racing line, then kimi was told to give the position back!? Perhaps worse than Rosberg’s recent penalty. At least rosberg didn’t leave the track when he defended.

    31. Since FIA aren’t able to own up for their mistakes and rather put more rules in place to try and make the rules that didn’t work, work, I think it might be an idea to tweak the DRS rule and let the driver decide where to use it, only 1 time per lap and with a maximum number of uses per race. Think DTM had that before. Or implement some sort of push-to-pass like A1GP had.

    32. Nice article @keithcollantine! I would opt for getting rid of the DRS and no further action. What’s the pinnacle of motorsport without any chance to defend your position? I mean we all want to see professionals doing their thing. The whole DRS was a slap in the face of motorsport anyway.

    33. The DRS point is again the same nonsensical stuff as usual. Before DRS these accidents were happening as well when drivers were blocking. The root of all evil is blocking.

      Otherwise the root of all evil would be overtaking and one might argue that:
      1) We need a speed limit on the straight. Make sure no car is faster than the other.
      2) Make sure they all drive on the same tyre compounds and make a pit stop at the same time. So it can’t happen that one driver gets better traction out of corner than the other.
      3) Also make sure there is no possibility for slipstreaming. Dangerous speed difference could result.

      Blocking indeed isn’t banned in the F1 sporting regulations, but drivers have been sportsmanshiplike enough not to do it for decades. Besides Rosberg in Spain and Schumacher of course, but even Schumacher didn’t do it every possible occasion.

    34. I think it’s ridiculous to say it’s not allowed to react on a late move like Max did on Kimi in Spa. Why should you be a sitting duck if someone chooses to move really late. Racing to me is reaction to eachother and moving ones should be allowed, like it is now. There are other ways to overtake if you’re faster, like selling a dummy for example (and forcing the defending party of line, leaving him not allowed to move fully back. THAT will be blocking in my opinion).

      1. You are right. It is far better that the one overtaking throws a dummy off the racing line, then immediately returns to the racing line. The defending car then will initially move off the racing line and then returns to it, knowing he is obliged to leave a cars width. So the attacking party should never be in trouble. Downside to this is that you can only overtake on the racing line which in most (if not all) cases is on the outside of a corner.

    35. Did VES only block Kimi or did he brake/ go off throttle as well?

      1. As Vettel said this site is no ” Kindergarten ” !!

        Read read Keith’s article again.

    36. @keithcollantine,

      I agree with you about the defense issue of Verstappen. It was dangerous but legal, so what if other drivers are not that aggressive.. So the FIA has to act there (like killing DRS), if they think that is too dangerous too.

      What about pushing Kimi off track though? From my personal opinion I think you should be able to hold your line, so basically none of the scenarios should be penalized. However recently Rosberg and Vettel were penalized for pushing other drivers off track without even making contact or leaving the track themselves. Do you agree that there is a double-standard enforced by the stewards?

    37. 👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👏👏👏👏👏❤️❤️❤️❤️
      Thumbs up for Keith Collantine.

      All comment’s positive or negative tell something about the people who react.

      Before you are making any comment reading comprehensive is not easy for a lot of people on this forum

      1. To me ROS had the racing line both against HAM in Austria and VES in Germany (see I’m not just beeing a Max fan :-P) just as HAM had in Canada and USA in 2015. HAM didnt get pinalized then and ROS shouldn’t have been this year imho.

        Raikkonen took the long way around like ROS in in those instances. If you do that you have out braken your opponent by quite a margin while managing to get enough traction on exit to finish off the move. That to me is why going around the outside is succesfully is so hard to do and what I admire as a fan. Simply putting your car on the outside and matching your opponent, who is on the racing line, on the brakes isn’t getting it done. A move around the outside therefor often results in backing out if the opponent defends well enough. That’s what ROS should have done in Canada and USA last year, what HAM and VES should have done in Austria and Germany thus year ánd what RAI should have done this sunday.

        If the guy on the outside doesn’t back out and goes off track or hits a wall that is his loss imho

        It’s racing people, come on now! We want to see batles where no quarters are given nor asked, don’t we?

        1. In Austria I disagree because Ham was clearly in front, so Hamilton turning in means Ros drives into his side. Everything else I agree.

    38. I think with maturity Max will be wiser in his driving decisions. It could be a testosterone thing… his manhood is being challenged by someone passing him.

      I’ve pointed this one out before but for a different reason. The attitude of Jos comes through in Max. This isn’t a comparison of their driving, just their attitudes.

      Jos takes out the race leader, Montoya, while being lapped at Brasil in 2001. Montoya had pulled off an incredible pass on the restart to take the lead from Schumacher and was looking for his first F1 victory.

      Jos claims he was not to blame.
      “Jos Verstappen claims the accident which punted race leader Juan Pablo Montoya off the Interlagos track was not his fault – but he will apologise anyway.”

      1. dbHenry
        You must be a DNA expert.

        1. I wish I were a DNA Expert. Better than the current Oil industry I’m sure.
          Actually, I was/am BMW fan, and as such was a Montoya fan. I enjoyed his racecraft in F1.

    39. What annoyed me most is that Max blamed Kimi and Vettel for the troubles he had in the first corner. It was Max’s decision to engage in a threesome in the first corner, and he should be aware that the he needed two drivers to make that work, while it is not unlikely that at least one of them (the one on the outside) doesn’t see him, which is what probably happened according to Vettel. (Same with Kimi, Vettel and Kvyat in China. Kimi for sure didn’t know Kvyat was in the corner as well..).

      If you engage in a high risk manouvre don’t blame others if something goes wrong.. Kvyat was lucky, Max wasn’t.

      1. | It was Max’s decision to engage in a threesome in the first corner,

        No, it was not. When VES decided to take the inside in La Source hairpin VET was driving on the left side. It was when VES and RAI were already side by side at the entrance of the corner when VET took a sharp right turn and got them engaged in a thresome.

        1. Sebastian didn’t have space on his left to avoid that, and besides it is unlikely he could have seen what Max was attempting due to the geometry of La Source – Kimi’s car would have been in the way. All he would have known was that he was leaving Kimi one car’s width, not two, and that it should have been fairly obvious what was going on. Kimi’s angle in relation to the La Source apex meant it should have been obvious to Max that there would not be space for him on Kimi’s right, even if he could not see where Sebastian was.

          Max’s move on the first corner has a long history of not working, and sure enough, the laws of physics haven’t changed since previous instances where going for a space that was always going to close occurred.

          1. Vettel had a Football field on his left..stop lying. Vettel took a sharp entry, could have seen Kimi was not moving further inside and steered to avoid contact, all nothing to do with max.

            1. @maxv I take it you did not see the Force India alongside Vettel on his immediate left when he positioned himself for his move?

        2. @rinodina, @maxv

          After rewatching it on Youtube, I have to say you are right. It wasn’t even that optimistic of Verstappen, he was next to Kimi already on the straight. Kimi tried to squeeze him. Vettel tried to squeeze Kimi (probaly didn’t know Verstappen was on the other side) but well it could have been someone else as well, so he shouldn’t have made it as tight and leave more room..

    40. Max had and have still 100.000 reasons to blame Vettel as Arrivabene did too.

    41. Maybe the solution is to ask Max if we need to add rules to stop this behaviour, or will he do it of his own volition? If he says he won’t do it again, then leave the rules as they are, and if he says he doesn’t see why he can’t wait until a driver in a faster car is actually in the process of passing before moving in front of them and obstructing their path, then change the rules. Overtaking is a basic right on a race track, you shouldn’t need rules to enforce that.

    42. I don’t really have an opinion on the events in Belgium but I don’t think DRS is the root of all evil. I think it helps tremendously to avoid parade racing. Although it makes overtaking a lot easier than it used to be, have you ever seen a car that passed with DRS get repassed by the car it was following and stay in front (without a mistake, lockup, penalty, etc) ? I don’t think I have and that clearly shows that the car that had DRS was clearly faster than the one in front and it has now left the parade and gone on to do something else.

      1. @thejaredhuang

        have you ever seen a car that passed with DRS get repassed by the car it was following and stay in front (without a mistake, lockup, penalty, etc) ?

        Surely the correct benchmark is whether a driver who put on an impressive DRS-free pass when then repassed by someone using DRS? And that does happen all the time – Verstappen used DRS to re-pass Vettel on Saturday. And when Webber put that amazing move on Alonso at Eau Rouge in 2011, Alonso re-passed him by blasting past in a straight line with DRS.

      2. @thejaredhuang, such behaviour would be sub-optimal use of DRS – fuel-saving means that the optimal use of DRS from a fuel perspective is to swap at every available opportunity, for slip-streaming purposes. Of course, each time this is done, energy is taken out of the tyres, so the decision of whether to attempt a move or not becomes a juggling game of ever-dwindling resources. The amount of energy lost by getting out of the zone affected by car backwash (typically rather larger than the 1 second DRS covers) and then getting back into the zone to do the re-pass, in all cases outweighs the pass-or-stay-put question.

    43. HA! DRS makes for unsafe overtaking speeds.. Bann it at once FIA. Remember, safety first!

    44. Really struggling to see how this is still a debate. He looks in the mirror and waits for a move to be made and then makes his move, its blocking and shameful “racecraft”! If this wasn’t F1’s Golden boy and rather: Grosjean, Perez, Gutierrez they would be banned right now.

    45. “But why shouldn’t Verstappen, or any other driver, learn from Schumacher’s example of the kind of driving which wins you seven world championships and 91 grands prix?”

      Wow, I didn’t know that Schumacher pulled those kind of manoeuvres in every single race he won and in all of his seven world championships, and that that “kind of driving” was a primary reason he achieved all of his success.

      1. It was one of many reasons, and a student who has determined to learn all they can about the most successful racer in F1 history probably would have looked at the move in archives and learned from it. Of course, there’s always more than one lesson to learn from any given move… …but if one of those lessons is that such a move is within bounds, why not dust it down and show it off again 16 years later? (Apart from, you know, Article 30.13 didn’t exist back in 2000, nor was it created in response to such a move, as it was only introduced in the 2008 Sporting Regulations – back then it was Article 40.7).

    46. I like the fact Verstappen is fighting for every position (conversely, during the race I was constantly wondering why Kimi wasn’t making any attempt to overtake Massa). His move into Les Combes was on the limit, but ultimately I think I’m okay with it. I do think his move on Kemmel was over the limit, just because of the sheer danger of it. He was very lucky it was Kimi who was behind him, because a lesser driver might not have reacted in time. The most disappointing thing about it however was his reaction after race on Dutch television; suggesting he’d rather drive the Ferrari’s of the track than letting them past after the first corner incident. Ultimately I think it comes down to the inevitable hormones getting the better of him this time around. I hope Monza turns out better.

      Just a random thought: could Nico’s move on Lewis at Spain be considered blocking as well? I think it can.

      1. Kimi’s car was most likely damaged from Max’s and Sebastian’s first-lap incident with him. Kimi is cautious about overtakes in the main, but it’s hard for anyone to do an overtake cleanly with a substantially-damaged car. The difference is that Ferrari doesn’t go out of its way to give figures for extents of damage when it doesn’t trust itself to mention Max’s name without exploding.

    47. This article starts from a non-sense point.
      VES did push RAI outside the track and that goes against the rules. ROS got a penalty for that just 2 weeks ago.
      Listening to VES postrace statements proves that this teenager really needs to grow up and it’s simply indefendible. How this blog can come up with such premise is highly questionable.

    48. In Spain, before Hamilton and Rosberg crashed…was that not blocking? Why is no-one accusing Rosberg?

      1. I had the same thought but I think the difference is that in Spain, Rosberg moved first. I still think that was not really a fair move because when you basically take a sharp diagonal across the full track, with the intention of blocking, you leave the guy behind with a choice of racing you to the opposite side or slamming on the brakes, either of which could end in tears.

        1. When fully ahead, the driver in front is allowed to go across the whole track if he wants, as his ‘one move to defend’, after which his next move has to leave a car width, which we didn’t get to see because LH ran into him after going on the grass and losing control of his car. And @Mike perhaps you missed it but practically everyone on this site blamed NR for ‘blocking’ or at least an overly aggressive move, which was indeed completely legal, hence no penalty.

          There’s been a lot of reference to Schumacher here, and he reinforced the ‘swerve’ as being legal by getting away with it time and time again. Initially drivers were livid and complained but were told what he was doing was legal. He’d even line his car up at an angle on the grid, literally showing exactly where he was headed as soon as the lights went out.

          So the fact is that as long as a driver is fully ahead he can make his one move to defend across the whole track and at whatever rate he chooses, so when he goes across the track rapidly it looks like a block, but as long as it is during his one move it doesn’t matter if he is slowly crossing the track or cutting across it quickly and forcing the rearward driver to back off or take evasive action.

    49. Maybe F1 should adopt IndyCar’s “push to pass” system? i.e. an extra bit of electric recovery power for overtaking- but drivers only can use it a certain amount of times.

      1. Then again youhl have a big speed differential, only more unpredictable, which leads to more crashes

    50. Please, don`t compare VES with Schumacher.

      1. Why not? I thought the two moves on Kemmel had obvious similarities.

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          31st August 2016, 10:24

          And please stop writing stuff people might disagree with :p

    51. I believe the constructor and manager of the Drs devices in the cars and on track must be a real good friend of someone quite powerful in f1. Maybe this needs investigating. They JUST WON’T LET GO DRS NO MATTER WHAT

    52. Woody (@woodyproducts)
      30th August 2016, 22:16

      One thing is obvious: overtaking is not Kimi best skill. Remember how he 20 laps follows VES in Spain, with a faster car. Also in Spa we saw a few examples, not only with VES. Just like ROS, their overtakes are seldom smooth.

      I don’t think VES should do anything about his defensive action. That’s also racing. And that’s a kind of racing we haven’t seen for quite a while. Just like his overtaking manouvres. I think it’s refreshing for F1, but not every racefan likes it, apparantly. (Maybe because their idol is victim?) That’s everyones good right.
      And I think the car with 20 kms higher speed because of DRS should be more aware than the slower car without DRS. Though I fully agree killing DRS. No other rules, just let’s see how it works out just without DRS.

      1. If one is not good at overtaking one should absolutely not try to do it on long straights, at high speed, with DRS, in Formula 1. Like in everyday traffic the driver of the car behind should always be sharply aware of the (changes in) movement of the car in front of him. Tailgating should be discouraged. End of lesson.

    53. If everyone starts doing that then DRS becomes moot. May as well get rid of it.

    54. I am definitely no fan of DRS, but this row is not the fault of DRS or the people that put it in place. If there was no DRS activation on the Kemmel straight, would Verstappen’s move have been acceptable? People may say ‘ah but… speed differential’. Ok then, what if he was in a much slower car, e.g. last year’s McLaren or Renault?

      A lot of commenters should remember/understand that the rules on weaving/blocking/moving off line have developed for very good reasons, e.g. the huge danger of cars tangling at high speed. This is not something exclusive to F1, it’s an ever present risk, particularly in open wheel racing, but speeds tend to be higher in F1, and also driving standards are expected to be the highest at the highest level of the sport.

      Also, if most of the rest of the grid considers it unacceptable, that pretty much says it’s unacceptable. The current grid has 11 years worth of driver’s championships between them. They didn’t get them by being overly meek and cautious, i.e. they are/were prepared to take the risks they needed to. They are the cream. Does Verstappen really think he knows better? He should settle down and let some solid results and fair racing do the talking, not let moves that can be widely judged as dangerous be what he is known for.

    55. Disallow blocking. Moves like verstappen’s will ruin passing in F1.
      It is dangerous as well. I do not want to see that move again. It is sad that we have to make a rule for this. Unfortunately, it shows his immaturity.

    56. There is already a regulation that prevents the specific move of Verstappen’s that Keith discusses: Article 30.13, which among other things states:

      “At no time may a car be driven… …in a manner which could be deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers”.

      Verstappen’s move there seems to me a crystal-clear example of a breach of this regulation. However, I could settle for this not being investigated had Max received consequences of any kind for the two collisions he caused during Sunday’s race: the Ferraris only crashed in Turn 1 because Max decided to go for a gap that was never going to exist by the time he got there, and Kimi got hit in a particularly badly-thought-out defensive move later in the race. No wonder Kimi was fed up of Max.

      As it stands, it is difficult to escape the conclusion that Max is being protected from the consequences of his actions by officialdom, effectively being allowed to drive to a different set of rules to everyone else. I must also wonder how much of the FIA rulebook exists because of a lack of interest in enforcing consistently pre-existing regulations.

      1. F1 is dangerous, the rule is vague, research why it is there before making assumptions. So an overtake at 300km/h is dangerous, so the rule can be used to not allow the overtake in your view.

        Rest of the FIA is protecting Max. Good luck with your tin foil hat and getting probed by aliens..

        1. @maxv I researched why at the time it was introduced. It was specifically to avoid unusually dangerous situations like high-speed last-minute blocks and virtually-zero-percentage-chance overtaking moves; in other words, the sort of driving Max was doing for much of Sunday. Michael Schumacher may occasionally have indulged in such things back when they were legal, but in the brave new Hamilton/Alonso/Raikkonen/Massa era, such a rule was seen as necessary to prevent new ways of driving dangerously from becoming commonplace (concern about bad driving is not new). To cover all such situations, the rule has to be vague – and vagueness doesn’t stop the FIA when it is motivated sufficiently (see, for example, the Renault mass damper situation in mid-2006).

          300 km/h overtakes are not unusually dangerous and would not be barred in practise if no major additional risks are added – though you are correct to note that there is nothing in the regulations that would stop an overzealous stewarding team from interpreting it thus. Since 2008, all stewards have received at least one day of F1-specific training to ensure that they are using F1 measures of risk and not other series’ (which can vary from considerably higher to considerably lower tolerances of risk, and have different tolerances for types of risk).

          I’m surprised you say you believe the rest of the FIA is protecting Max, because that would generally be interpreted the way Jacques Villenueve used it – the notion that the FIA has decided that Max is allowed to race to a different rule book to everyone else and may do things that any other driver would be penalised for doing, even if the consequences of the other driver’s actions were identical. As you are clearly a fan of Max, I would have assumed you would have disagreed with such an idea and said that Max is simply finding a new (or refurbishing an old) way of complying with the regulations.

          Quite why anyone would assume that learning the regulations is connected with associations with aliens remains a mystery. Also, anyone who thinks what I have written constitutes paranoia should probably avoid doing much in the way of analysis of F1 regulations, because there are some actually scary bits in there…

    57. I suspect Max is good for TV and that this has created some blind spots. He was certainly good for a crowd at Spa and he’s definitely got F1 talking. Possibly a good thing, but perhaps at too high a (potential) price.

      What will definitely happen now (without enforcement and clarity) is that a few drivers, and trust me one Finnish Ferrari driver will be first cab off the rank, will decide if it’s ok for Max to defend like that it’s OK for Max to be defended like that. Kimi is not afraid of taking people out to make a point.

      Max is a great young driver, but there are certain things that belong in GP2 or Formula 3 which don’t belong in F1. He will either learn that or be taught it. I hope it’s not the latter because I am convinced that will end badly.

      That’s how overtaking is done and how the front cars behave…unlike VAS do…

    59. pfew, finally the word is out….. ‘the move was legal’, like the previous ones.

      My guess is Verstappen uses the F1 rules as a sleeping pillow, he has been studying it to the outher limits, watched a lot of footage from previous years to use that in his race. Start in Spain, outside overtake on Vettel… copy from previous footage. You don’t tell Verstappen what’s in or outside the rules, he tells you, learned the RBR car in less then a week while Hamilton and Rosberg struggled with their settings at Baku and Silverstone.

      There are a lot of opinions against Ves after Spa, but no matter how we all feel about it, Ves has the stewards to back up his driving, no investigation, no penalty all completely legit. If it’s all wise and safe is irrelevant, that’s up for the FIA to decide.

      The most controversial move had to be defending on Kemmel straight, I’ve seen several cracks analyzing this.
      Ves defending was on the edge although he made that one defending move… how come it’s a talking matter then?
      Raikkonen came in at high speed, maybe 20 km/h difference at ~300km/h? All thanks to DRS, Raikkonen must have known a move would come, but didn’t choose a position on track what made Ves stick to his line as well waiting which size to choose to defend his position.

      Raikkonen can be all mad and stuff, but he was the one to make the initiative, he was the one overtaking.
      If he would have chosen position earlier on Ves would have defended and Riakkonen would have had time to go the other way round.

      Start was analyzed as well, although Raikkonen was kind of stuck in between, he was very early on the breakes leaving the gap for Ves. His overtaking move on Grosjean wasn’t spot on as well, they even touched.

      Maybe it was Vettel and Raikkonen making some slip ups, but blaming Ves that made his blood boil, not very smart, but racing is emotion.

    60. I don’t see the issue, in the “good overtaking age” of F1 it was perfectly normal, it’s what faking a move came from. It allows cunning and driving skill to be the method of overtaking (although DRS makes it a bit more dangerous now, so remove the obvious stupid thing called DRS).

      As an example, watch the vid in this tweet, Schumacher and Verstappen did pretty much the same thing.

    61. It’s a legal but dangerous move.
      If RAI did hit VES, then FIA / stewards might actually do something in terms of penalty or rule changes.

      1. Verstappen is defying the laws of tradition

        Verstappen did hit Grosjean in Monaco, that was quite a large and radical defensive move
        Alonso did hit Guiterez in Australia, that was a rather near invisable defensive move

        If Verstappen was to blame, Alonso was as well, but more interesting the discussion has been put the other way round, we are now talking about the defender beying dangerous.
        Last year Monza, Verstappen and Maldonado fought their ass off, Verstappen heavily defended his position, Maldonado nearly lost his car, Verstappen was the ‘hero’.

        How has that changed over a year..? My suggestion….

        Last year Verstappen was fighting the lesser hero’s in F1, Ericson, Maldonado, Sainz came only close to the podium twice. This year Verstappen is fighting the big seasoned hero’s like Vettel, Raikkonen, Ricciardo, Rosberg and even Hamilton. These guys do have status and lots of fans, suddenly it’s much easier to be against Verstappen, besides the rules there’s also a bit of emotions involved. Verstappen can’t possibly be better….. or is he..?

      2. “It’s a legal but dangerous move” is a contradiction in terms; dangerous moves are banned under Article 30.13 of the Sporting Regulations. So either the move is not dangerous, or it’s illegal.

    62. So now that the Stewards refuse to punish Verstappen, the rule unclear.

      It’s been clear all along….

    63. I hope this is a non issue for the FIA. This is the kind of move you need to make to defend against DRS overtakes. I loved it! Reminded me of Schumacher and Hakkinen at the same spot in 2000 and Also Hamilton and Alonso at Indi in 2007. Pretty much the only way to defend against massive over-speed. This is way more exciting and interesting than a simple overtake.

    64. Aero-limited close-proximity racing should be the self-contradiction it sounds like. Pursuing cars not able to follow in close enough proximity to effect a pass is the very antithesis of racing. Sort even 30-40 % of that issue and DRS will duly be consigned to history. Nothing improves the “show quality” more than actual wheel-to-wheel racing.

    65. As far as i can see it, most of the cars aerodynamic design, creates dirty air behind cars nowadays. Making it nearly impossible to overtake (like they used to in the 90’s) without DRS.

      So if we remove DRS, we should also do something about this deliberately creation of dirty air.

      1. Simple: Reduce wings & Allow ground effect.

    66. I believe that the first statement in the above article is inaccurate . Verstappen’s move to hinder Raikonnen WAS illegal as well as being unsafe. Note the language in the Sporting Regulations 20.5 which says in pertinent part :” Manoevers liable to hinder other drivers…or any abnormal change of direction are not permitted .”
      It seems clear that Verstappen HINDERED Raikonnen and perhaps more telling is the fact that they were on a straight and thus the departure from a direct line by Verstappen was ABNORMAL .
      It appears that the Verstappen’s move is the EXACT type proscribed by the rule and we know that it was Verstappen’s intent to HINDER Raikonnen to extract a bit of revenge because Verstappen said as much and we know that it was ABNORMAL because no driver would depart from the shortest ,fastest racing line for any reason related to maximizing his speed and time and trying to maximize one’s speed and time is NORMAL..

    67. “Let’s be clear about this point: Max Verstappen’s defensive move against Kimi Raikkonen on lap 13 of the Belgian Grand Prix was legal.”

      I’m not sure this could be said with such confidence, let me quote the rule book:

      “27.5 At no time may a car be driven unnecessarily slowly, erratically or in a manner which could be deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers or any other person. This will apply whether any such car is being driven on the track, the pit entry or the pit lane.”

      It all depends on the interpretation of “dangerous to other drivers or any other person”, was Verstappens’s blocking dangerous to Raikkonen and others? If so, I don’t think a rule change is necessary, just a technical clarification to 27.5 that describes late blocking as a form of dangerous driving.

      1. Who was really taking the risk here? It is always the car behind that should do a safe overtake. The lap before Raikkonen tried to overtake Verstappen, but had to give his position back. Raikkonen did _not_ give his position back for the whole lap, he did it just before “La source”, so that he (thought he) could easily overtake Verstappen. That was the main cause of it.
        The main problem, which nobody talks about, is that overtaking is an art and Raikkonen is pretty bad at it, and his choices, or rather the absence of it, put drivers at risk. If an accident would have happened, it would have been Raikkonen’s fault (he is the car behind).
        I can think of only one incident where Verstappen was wrong: hitting Grosjean in the back at Monaco last year. Grosjean braked early, but he, as the driver behind you should take that into account. For the same reason Vettel was completely wrong in turn 1: he hit Raikkonen “assuming Raikkonen would go out of the way”. I was very surprised to see Vettel did not get a penalty for that because a clearer example of “causing a collision” is hardly possible. He had 4 car-widths to spare in La Source and even more puzzling: the more-outside-line would have been faster for Vettel, carrying more speed into Eau Rouge.

        1. He was overtaking ‘safely’ as you put it, had verstappen not made a very, very late blocking move. It takes two to tango. Anyway, I wasn’t putting the blame on anyone here, just pointing to the fact that saying there is nothing illegal in the move isn’t fully accurate as any move deemed dangorous is illegal as per the role book of F1.

          In my opinion, neither this move, nor the one you described before (Kimi didn’t have to give the place back) or the one at T1 deserve punishment. But all should have been investigated and explained to the drivers and us all.

          1. Well, Raikkonen uses the DRS (or the trick by giving the position back only just before La Source) so the speed difference is caused by him. Verstappen was going flat and has the right to move once. The trick in overtaking is to make your opponent move once and then go past the other side. What Raikkonen does is to run up to Verstappen without making up his mind what to do and then use the speed difference to get past, but that is very dangerous as we have seen. It is not Verstappen that needs to change his driving but Raikkonen. Verstappen has a game-plan, Raikkonen does not.
            I remember the days of Schumacher, he was very good at overtaking. He positioned himself for at least a lap to make sure you don’t approach the car in front of you too fast. In particular at the Kemmel straight, you cannot be too close at Eau Rouge (which Raikkonen did), but you also need to have passed the car (fully) in front of you _before_ the break-zone. If you’re still side-by-side at Les Combos you loose because the next corner after that is to the left and you get pushed out.
            It is about timing, and some drivers just don’t have it and blame other drivers.

            What is also questionable is if Verstappen really “reacted” to Raikkonen, because the speed difference was huge. I think he intuitively guessed and moved at the same time as Raikkonen. So is that really “blocking” or clever anticipation? Even if you have the advantage of the speed difference (with DRS) it is not easy to make safe use of it (as we have seen) and you should know how and when to use it.

            1. I’m sorry, but I don’t follow your logic. Clearly Raikkonen is the one who made his mind and initiated the move, and Verstappen reacted too late so he is the one who has not made his mind according to your logic so he is at fault here?

              And it is Kimi’s fault to use DRS? I would like to have some of whatever you’re smoking now.

    68. I didn’t know there were so many people who want drivers just to roll over when they are being overtaken. Maybe it’s better if Max just stops after this season. I guess the racing world is not ready for him yet. It was fun while it lasted!

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