FIA bans the ‘Verstappen block’

2016 Japanese Grand Prix

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The FIA has warned drivers they will now be reported to the stewards if they change direction under braking and force a rival to take avoiding action.

Although no regulations have been altered, the FIA has issued guidance to teams ahead of the United States Grand Prix alerting them to a change in how the existing rules will be interpreted from now on.

Should the ‘Verstappen block’ be banned?
The clarification is as follows:

“Article 27.5 of the Sporting Regulations states that ‘…no car may be driven…in a manner which could be potentially dangerous to other drivers…’, furthermore, Article 27.8 prohibits any manoeuvre ‘…liable to hinder other drivers, such as…any abnormal change of direction’.”

“With this in mind, and with the exception of any move permitted by Article 27.6, any change of direction under braking which results in another driver having to take evasive action will be considered abnormal and hence potentially dangerous to other drivers. Any such move will be reported to the stewards.”

The change in the interpretation of the rules follows two high-profile incidents involving Max Verstappen where rivals of his claimed he had changed his line in a braking zone to defend his position.

Kimi Raikkonen complained about Verstappen’s driving after colliding with him in Hungary. After the last race in Japan Mercedes lodged a protest against Verstappen for changing his line when braking for the chicane while defending his position from Lewis Hamilton, but later withdrew the complaint.

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    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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    110 comments on “FIA bans the ‘Verstappen block’”

    1. In your face “insert young and dangerous driver since 1950”

    2. Very good.

      1. This was always illegal.
        But of course we never wanna punish Max… let’s declare it illegal after the fact

    3. It was dangerous, yes, but I have to admit that I was enjoying the excitement that built up when someone was about to pass Verstappen and you knew he was gonna defend like his life depended on it!

      1. Yeah, I’m also having mixed feelings about it. It is dangerous and this certainly makes it more exciting (for a lot of people, if not everyone, though many wouldn’t admit it). While I enjoy the excitement (the show is improved!), I’m not raring to seeing another big crash with grave consequences. I like Verstappen, but I’m not sure this is the type of element we want added (back?) to F1. Maybe getting rid of DRS would make it safe enough, but as it is it can be too dangerous. In any case, he showed he can fight ‘clean’ already, and it’s just as exciting (even more, maybe?).

    4. Do we not talk about rules too much? It is really annoying. I thought what he did at Suzuka was fair enough. Spa was too far. Instead of tinkering with the rules why don’t they just give him a really stern warning.

      1. +1. Yet it baffles them why fans are disinterested in watching now

      2. Warning of what? Not breaking a rule? He was spoken to twice by Charlie Whiting. I agree rules should not be tinkered and the contstant chat of the paddock but that should only be for things like the helmet change rule etc and not ones that improve safety.

    5. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
      22nd October 2016, 19:02

      This sport is slowly but surely getting more sanitised. Hamilton does dodgy moves all the time, as soon as he gets a bit of pay back, it gets banned. Ridiculous.

      1. The act of two cars jostling for position is actually an inconvenience to these people. Motorsport is an inconvenience to them.

        1. To be honest, from seeing the new regulation, it seems to be worded as openly as possible. It’s basically just saying, the stewards have the right to look at any incident they believe is dangerous. So I don’t think there is risk of anything drastic happening.

          To be honest, the only Max move that really, I myself didn’t like was the Kemmel incident. Which at the time was completely legal. So I think it’s good that the regulations allow steward discretion.

          1. Hungary wasnt too flash either…..they actually made contact.

        2. There’s a difference between jostling for position and driving in to another car when they are in need of applying their brakes just because your car happens to be able to brake later.

      2. Ridiculous indeed. They should replace Whiting.

      3. Hamilton didn’t complain about the move so why bring his name into it? Verstappen has done this repeatedly, it’s a build up of instances that has led to this decision.

        1. Hamilton immediately complained about it.

          1. As did all the drivers in the end of this technique!

          2. Yep. He didn’t even wait until he got out of the car to complain:

            Lap 53: From Hamilton – “Max moved under braking.”

    6. And now the commentators are busy talking about track limits instead of calling it. Grrrr!

      1. I only noticed the commentators talking about tyres. One hour and a half just talking about tyres.

        1. Well, the tyres will be more durable next year. However, tyres will still be a significant factor in motorsport, so it may continue.

      2. As long there is asfalt just race lines are just end of the road nothing more just place grass and gravel next to the lines and let them ride that.

    7. Michael Brown (@)
      22nd October 2016, 19:16

      Unless Verstappen can weave while braking and still make a corner, he moves right before braking.

      1. As the other drivers are universally caring so much more speed than him, I feel that he brakes late, let’s up on the brakes to manoeuvre then brakes again. would love to see the fia graphics with the g-forces imposed on top of one of those moves

    8. The new ‘clarifications’ clear up exactly nothing. What is deemed driving potentially dangerous? Driving 1 inch from an other driver is potentially dangerous, so is outbraking another driver. What is the point where a manoeuvre is ‘abnormal’? Are drivers only allowed to race three driving lines, the normal driving line, an attacking one and a defending one? What is the point you have to commit to your line?

      This opens up more possibilities for team to dispute certain actions which are normally considered fair.

      It would have made more sense to better enforce the rule that is at the base of this entire story, “not changing direction in the brakingzone”. Charlie Whiting already planned to start using telemetry data for this. While difficult to enforce during the race, it would allow for a more fair outcome. There could be a high number of penalty points for the super license. This would rein in those who use these manoeuvres, but still allow them to race on the edge, which is what we all want to see.

      1. “not changing direction in the brakingzone”

        Would not have applied to Kemmel.

        1. Which would already have been covered by the existing rules. Blame the Spa stewards for not opting to act on that ocation, like many other moments during the Spa GP.

          1. Was it? Can you elaborate? (I am dumb, teach me)

          2. Exactly. It doesn’t change anything really, but it seems to indicate the stewards will actually start enforcing the rules.

            Much like how they completely ignored the double waved yellow flag rules etc etc etc.

            The problem is not so much the rules, but that the stewards seem to be less and less competent in actually applying the rules. They either seem to not know them (which makes sens if you are steward once a year) or they were told not to interfere with the driving too much and let stuff slide for the sake of entertainment.

            Verstappen got an overtake of the year award for overtaking a driver with all 4 wheels off track. It was a cool move with him using 4 fresh tyres against a driver who was just about to pit, but it still was an illegal overtake.

            Perhaps it was the fact that Nasr was heading to the pit on his worn out tyres anyway that made the stewards decide he would have gotten the place anyway and therefore no penalty, but still.

            1. The biggest reason: “The Show”. Rather than having a fair championship the stweards and most of the F1 companies understand they need more excitement and having controversies brings in the viewers. The long term fans don’t like it because we want fair racing whereas a lot of the top people want more figures and that includes literally ignoring the rules when they want to.

              Football was like this until goal line technology. FIFA said it added more excitement and talking points for the game rather than saying, look its a sport and we need to make it fair for EVERYONE so we will make sure goals are given when they should be and vice versa.

    9. Maybe if they didn’t ruin the art of defending a position giving the chasing driver such a massive advantage in the shape of DRS, we’d not have reached this point where EVERY manouver is defined tightly by rules.

      I know the Verstappen block was on the ragid edge of the regulations, but it has been perfectly executed most of the times. At Suzuka it even looked like in slow-motion.

      Also, if they want to stop this things happening they should not start with restrictions in F1… maybe they should start in lower formulas… but that’s also getting DRS too, so there you go… overtake me now you have a 10 km/h advantage, cuz I can’t do nothing.

      1. If you are going slower and the car behind is going quicker on any piece of tarmac, blocking that car is nothing to do with “art”. Art would be to allow that car past, but compromised, then exit the next corner better and retake the position.

    10. Rick (@wickedwicktheweird)
      22nd October 2016, 20:23

      Maybe they should give the cars indicators aswell, to ensure safe clean DRS highway passes.

      1. As soon as the one behind you indicates he wants to pass, you’ll have to keep to the right.

        1. Rick (@wickedwicktheweird)
          22nd October 2016, 23:24

          Exactly! Keep your lane :p

      2. @wickedwicktheweird – oh, don’t give such ideas even in jest, the FIA might think it a good one and implement it!

    11. So cornering with a car behind you is now banned.

        1. “any change of direction under braking which results in another driver having to take evasive action will be considered abnormal”

          Cornering itself is changing direction. So the attacking driver merely has to dive on the inside and the defending driver is then not allowed to take the apex.

          If the rule is applied as written….

          1. As Mike said : No

            If you need more: taking a corner does not constitute a change of direction. I know you “think” it does because the car is physically changing its direction, but that doesn’t constitute one in terms of the track or racing line, which is the context the rules are written in.

            1. There are multiple racing lines so it is impossible to enforce this rule.

            2. @godius

              It’s not about that, it’s about drivers suddenly changing direction in front of others. Put it this way, if the driver behind looks like he’s had some sort of mental fit on the wheel trying to avoid the guy in front, they’ll investigate.

            3. Exactly. Think of it like this…on a normal roadway you wouldn’t be advised to change lanes in front of a transport truck that is trying to brake for a coming stoplight. Once he’s committed to stopping within the normal range that he can, there will be nothing he can do but run someone over if they suddenly leap in front of him.

              Same with F1, and to me this isn’t even a re-interpretation, but moreso a reminder. Why would you put yourself in front of someone that will not be able to slow any more than they already are, such that they’d either have to hit you or go off the track? That’s simply not respectful, reasonable, nor within the code of ethics.

            4. Martin, the distinction you are making between physical line changing of the car and logical line changing of relation towards the hypthetical ideal racing line… …isn’t in the regulations. It’s common sense, but the regulations do not operate based on common sense.

    12. Utterly pathetic. Sanitised, dying sport.

    13. Nothing, absolutely nothing about Verstappen vs Hamilton was dangerous. This backlash is stunning. The drivers that complained are hypocrites (and this includes the driver I support) who have gotten lazy and complacent and have been shaken up in a way they don’t want to deal with. This sort of behaviour is killing the sport.

      1. @hahostolze, I don’t think that the Hamilton-Verstappen case in Suzuka was the trigger, rather it was Verstappen’s blocks on Kimi in Spa that seem to have been the trigger point.

        Incidentally, I would be interested to know how you would have reacted if, for example, Verstappen had collided with Kimi in Spa and had caused an accident in that case. Would you still support Verstappen’s behaviour, or would you instead be complaining that the FIA hadn’t done anything to discourage his behaviour?
        I can’t help but feel that some posters here would say that Verstappen should be allowed to continue what he does right up until the point where something goes badly wrong, at which point they’ll start complaining that the FIA should have stepped in earlier – despite the fact that they would have complained if the FIA did actually step in at an earlier point in time.

        1. camel, straw, back. Suzuka was the trigger.

          1. In the article From a German publication that someone posted elsewhere it was clear why the elder drivers wanted the move under braking banned.

            Rosberg said that in the TV it looks really cool but at 200+ km/h, with tunnel vision kicking in it’s not so fun. Alonso also said that the driver behind has really little time to react and it could lead to a crash like the one he had in Australia where the car in front was slower and moved unexpectedly.

      2. Verstappen being a threat to both Ferrari and Mercedes was the trigger.

        This whole discussion was a non issue in 2015, now Verstappen is fighting Ferrari and Mercedes all of a sudden it’s a big thing. All for the cause of safety…. I don’t buy that, Verstappens defending has never caused any crashes, firm but within limits. The FIA chnging the rules cause Ferrari drivers complaining is utterly disapointing for the sport

        1. @Matn They haven’t changed the rules.

          1. They added a line, which can be considered a change

    14. It does say reported to the stewards, that does not say the driver will be found guilty.
      It is not like the “slam dunk” offence of speeding in the pit lane.

      1. He didn’t listen to complaints by drivers or words-in-your-shell-like by Whiting. Next time he reflex blocks (assuming it’s this year), it’s a slam-dunk.

    15. Jelle van der Meer
      22nd October 2016, 20:34

      So sad and so funny – Sainz said it best – this is not new and has happened more frequent in recent years but because people higher up the grid are effected does it suddenly become an issue.

      Worsed of all – even more advantage is given to the attacker who already has the benefit of DRS. So with this latest rule you are no longer allowed to move just before you break however as attacker you are allowed to dive bomb on the inside of the turn, pray you make the corner and in case you hit the car you wanted to overtake you only run a tiny risk of getting a pointless 10 second penalty (Rosberg on Raikonnen in Malaysia).

      If Verstappen’s defensive move on Raikonnen in Hungary and Hamilton in Suzuka is going to be penalized it will be a very sad day.

      PS would Hamilton get punished as well in the future if he repeats his overtake on Rosberg as he did it last year in Austin. Breaking extremely late, diving to the inside of the corner and pushing the person he overtakes off the track.

      1. Or should Rosberg have got a penalty in Spain, for putting Hamilton on the grass.
        Your guess is as good as mine.

        1. No Rosberg was doing his one allowed move to defend. LH simply chose the wrong side, a side that was always closing, legally. LH put himself on the grass. Nico never forced LH to make an evasive maneuver by suddenly getting in front of him…he was already in front, moving to the right to defend, and clumsily LH decided somehow there would be room for him on the right too. This instance does not apply to the Max thing.

          1. That is wrong. He wasn’t making a legal move to defend at all. He moved after Hamilton went at it.
            Even if it was the legal move to defend he is not allowed to continue running out of road a car that is already by his side on a straight.
            He tried to squeeze the other car on a straight. What he did was worse than VS.
            The only reason he wasn’t penalized was the reluctance of stewards to interfere in the championship.

    16. Also, for the sake of fairness, they haven’t banned the Verstappen block per se. In Suzuka he claims to have moved prior to braking and that’s still not illegal in my interpretation.

    17. I would love to know how some of these drivers would have faired 10 years or so ago when blocking was allowed, with multiple direction changes.. F1 is getting far too clinical…

      1. You are wrong to say 10 years ago blocking my was allowed. Nor with multiple direction changes. There has always been a code of ethics that you don’t leap in front of someone in a situation where you know their only choice, since they’ve already committed under braking, would be to hit you or go off the track.

    18. RossoTorro (@)
      22nd October 2016, 21:22

      Nothing changed other than that moves will be automaticaly investigated, since the rules are unchanged the move is still legal.

      Wonder if they will also investigate the mid-field incidents, I have seen a copy of the move at least 4 times by mid-field drivers in Japan.

    19. I heard Martin Brundle talking about Verstappen’s moves on Sky F1 today, where he discussed what Verstappen said about the Hamilton incident. Verstappen said that he waited to see which way Hamilton was going to go and then made his move to block. Brundle’s analysis of that statement was two-fold:

      1.) He has incredible talent to be able to judge braking point whilst looking in his mirrors to keep an eye on what Hamilton was doing, all in a split second.

      2.) That regardless of how impressive #1 is, blocking a driver by waiting for him to commit and then closing the gap, is over the line (in Brundle’s view).

      It’s actually the most reasonable argument I’ve heard (more so than whether the move was made in the braking zone or not) and is based on Verstappen’s own account of events. I therefore think the FIA’s decision here is far from unreasonable.

      This is not about “sanitising the sport” – there are genuine safety concerns when it comes to these types of moves and saying they’ll be sent to the stewards for review (i.e. not an automatic penalty) seems like a sensible next step. This is grey area stuff and no rule set you could ever define will get around the fact that subjectivity is involved on individual incidents of this kind. The FIA and stewards get criticised a lot for sometimes making inconsistent decisions, but let’s not pretend there is a black and white answer to this problem.

      1. @simon999: I agree with “1, but not #2: If You have a driver capable of doing this, as VER apparently is, and a team able to produce a car with a braking balance, which is capable of providing the driver with this kind of capability, then the guys, who want to overtake just have to take better care.
        Racing must be dramatic and a little dangerous – when everything gets regulated this way, it becomes irrelevant: First they have handed the DRS to the teams and drivers with the fast cars, so they can overtake easier, and now they get the benefit of all advantages when coming from behind up towards a corner also. VER’s approach linked with the incredible downforce of the Redbull under braking was actually giving us more excitement, but now they try to remove that possibility, because they think that the excitement of an F1 race is proportional to the number of overtakes. As if soccer would become more exciting if they changed the rules to get the same amount of goals as in handball?

      2. +1 for Simon999 ,best comment here..Also I agree with M.Brundle except #1.I don’t think it is that much talant involving to block an attack-every racing driver should be able to do it..Well ,some are clumsier than others,but these type of drivers rarely try this anyway(M.Schumacher ,N.Rosberg spring to mind as exceptions).The point here is simple: Do not defend position in any way which will force the attacking driver to take evasive actions-one out of the bag with Unwritten racing rules.Having said this I feel strongly against any written rules and penalty enforcing-let drivers sort these out between them..

      3. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
        23rd October 2016, 11:30

        #2 is in the very fabric of motor racing. Kill that and they may as well go home and not bother.

      4. @simon999 Well said, as was Brundle’s summation of it. What he also said was that there is a code of ethics to this. There needs be a respect amongst the drivers such that they know they can trust each other when making passing attempts particularly at speed. Drivers know that when their fellow drivers are already committed and under braking in a corner there’s little they can do to react to a sudden and unexpected object in front of them. They would be handcuffed if someone did it to them, so they should not do it to others and expect anything different than either a crash or an angry race mate. Each incident needs to be looked at and certainly some are more blatant than others.

    20. As useal F1 fanatic is not telling the whole truth and making a lot of fuzz for nothing.

        1. Exactly Keith.

          It might wake some of the armchairs up on here if they realise that for example, shifter/gearbox karts that race at that very circuit at speeds of up to 170 or so…

          Do not have mirrors…

          Kind of says it all about the new Verstappen move.

          A year in a lower class would have given him the perhaps some understanding of developing peripheral vision while racing and would without doubt have made him a far more skilled as opposed to computer developed racer…

          Honestly stuns me they have put up with this crap so long.

          1. Arnoud van Houwelingen
            22nd October 2016, 22:43

            You are 180 degrees wrong .. it is because he has great peripheral vision and being a superb skilled driver that he can pull this of .. this is in line with what Martin Brundle said.

        2. Well I guess headlining the article “FIA bans” when they have done nothing of the sort is rather misleading.

    21. Still they are not doing anything about it because it says braking zone who’s braking zone? and when Max moves before the braking?
      Still maybe they don’t want racing but driving around a circuit and if you want to pass the defender must let you through sounds like a double drs to me.

      1. If Max makes his one move to defend and one move back to the line he’ll be fine. If he moves in front of someone who has already committed to a corner under braking, leaving them forced to hit him or go off, that will be looked at. I don’t think it matters if Max has the car or the brakes or the talent to brake later…if the guy he is dealing with has already committed, then he can’t force that guy to do something that is now impossible since he’s already committed.

    22. Complain all you want. None of you are in the cockpit. Its was a gentlemans agreement for years. An 18yr old had it force into writing.

        1. No it was already in writing. They’re just reminding drivers how they will interpret this rule, but the reality is they’ve been down this road before. This is a very old concept in racing which is why there has been a code of conduct. It’s what they mean when they talk about a respect amongst the drivers. This is moreso a reminder the way I see it. You simply don’t put a fellow racer in a jam that you know will be impossible for him to react to in any reasonable way.

          1. Yeah I know that. I’m.just saying they were forced to put it out to the writing.

    23. I think that the FIA should make a year in gp2 mandatory for a place in f1. These days there are young guys coming up straight from f3 with a lot less experience. And their driving shows it a lot of the time. I’m sure a year in gp2 would iron out a lot of the blocking and ‘on the edge’ moves that Verstappen makes. Perhaps he would have ended a few of his races due to other drivers not taking avoiding action. And that would help him to adjust his technique and defend in a kite gentlemanly manner, like a proper sportsman, and also help him to realise and accept that sometimes he has to give a place up. Drivers like Alonso and Hamilton don’t block, but have a whole art to defending and they do it really well. And they do it well within the limit. Just look at their battles with other drivers and you’ll find no malice or the guy behind taking evasive action. I’m glad these incidents will be investigated in the future because #1 it can be dangerous and #2 its unsportsmanlike and ungentlemanly, and possibly #3 it shows a drivers immaturity that he’s not willing to accept another driver and another car is better than him.

      I race fairly and gentlemanly on sims online and we have some great battles (with gt3 cars), yes we push each other wide, but each person knows when he has a right to the corner, each person knows when to back off, when to hold back, when to dive down the inside and when to hold back and want for the next corner. When I’m ahead I have the right to the corner, the guy behind must back off. If I choose I can leave him some room on the exit, to be more sportsmanlike. But I dont have to. If he is ahead, its my responsibility to make sure I dont hit him and stay as close as possible. If we’re both even, then we both leave room so both can go side by side through the full corner and stay side by side. It’s the gentlemanly thing to do and you get some great replays out of it, and some great showcases of good hard clean racing.

      Lack of experience shows in some young drivers and Verstappen has shown this as well. Yes he has had some great races and a freak win, and yes he has shown some maturity but I just can’t help but think that he should have had at least 1 season in gp2, or 2 or 3 years in a smaller midfield f1 team. Vandoorne has massive talent yet he has to spend ages and ages in gp2. He’s gonna have a much shorter f1 career, but we all saw how well seasoned he was in his first race. We saw him battling and saw how he was a mature and respectful driver. He didn’t have the characteristics of a rookie which are usually prevalent. Well prepared from gp2. Can’t wait to see him next year.

      1. 1. Go sell ‘gentlemanly’ to Senna and Schumacher
        2. Racing sims makes you an expert?
        3. I don’t get your Gp2-line of reasoning. Is it better to have someone end up in a tree in Gp2 than in F1?
        4. Do you seriously think Stoffel chose to wait this long?
        5. I welcome this clarification, but only because less talented people will get in serious trouble trying to copy Max’ moves
        6. Still, this clarification poses its own questions. Is braking into a corner following the racing line moving? If so, it will invite divebombing. Is taking evasive action tantamount to being forced to do so? If yes we’ll hear even more whining. Maybe the best thing would be to get rid of the talk-button

        1. 1. That’s just proof that a driver can be gentlemanly and aggressive on track

          2. Yes, otherwise the teams would not spend millions on their own sims

          3. Fast track through formulas leads to less experience in f1, if the vestappens are vying to get into gp2, then they are learning their craft in significantly slower formulas. The net result will be better drivers at the faster formulas with the people who defend dangerously learning why it’s dangerous before asking the best to make up for their lack of talent

          4. Of course not, it doesn’t matter, he did wait that long and his skill is higher. It’s a single data point, but a compelling piece of evidence.

          5. No matter how much talent someone has, they will always run out of it – think Hamilton in Azerbaijan, rosberg in Monaco rain etc. The problem is, with running out of talent while jinking your car into the braking line of a faster car is that you will cause contact at literally the most dangerous point to have contact, a point where downforce levels are decreasing and tyres are on the limit of losing traction. Accidents into corners are significantly more serious, on average. It should have never needed to have been clarified, max should understand that he will have off moments and respect his opponents. It was telling that when a driver didn’t respect him when he was faster and stuck behind, he was whinging over the radio within a lap, and that was most damning of all, to my mind, he doesn’t want his own medicine.

          6. It really doesn’t, I’m at a loss for words that this argument is even being attempted

    24. I don’t believe the gentlemens agreement b… It is because most of the cars are not very controllable under braking:
      Hulkenberg admits that his car would end up on the moon if he tried.
      VER has a car with which HE can do it, and of course he should utilize the advantage – as long as he don’t move into another car that already has moved alongside. The drivers who don’t have the car to do it, or don’t master the technical level to manage how to get around it, they must stay behind – which is perfectly fair. They can use the totally unfair DRS to try to pass. VER’s technique has just lifted the difficulty level.
      Very often we see drivers who are pushing others outside the track, even if they are almost alongside, and this is not deemed dangerous or unfair, it happens because the g-forces are causing it.

      1. ‘Ver’s technique has just lifted the difficulty level’. This is true. So we ban it, because the normal drivers can’t compete.

    25. Guybrush Threepwood
      22nd October 2016, 23:23

      Finally they’ve put in writing what anyone with any racing experience has known forever. The fact these sorts of moves were ever allowed in the first place is the real problem.

      1. Nothing more has been put in writing. They’re reminding the drivers of how they will interpret the rules already written. These sorts of moves have actually never been allowed and have always been looked at and it’s about a code of ethics and a respect which is why we don’t really see a lot of this. Max has decided to push the envelope but consistently with F1 over the years he and the other drivers have now been reminded this is still not on. Never has been.

        It’s one thing for Max to have the car and the talent to be able to out brake someone…that’s not what this is about. It’s about not getting in front of someone suddenly, who themselves have already committed and who would be handcuffed to do anything about someone suddenly appearing in front of them. There’s reasonable expectations and then there’s actions one could not reasonably expect a race mate to react to in time knowing they’ve already committed.

    26. The Dutch satirical news website De Speld (sort of like the Dutch version of The Onion) wrote a little piece about the ‘heated driver’s briefing’:

      Roughly translated this is what it says:

      Drivers: ‘Seems like Verstappen thinks F1 is a race’

      Max Verstappen acts like F1 is a race, other drivers say. They want new rules in place to prevent it from happening again.

      “Max basically tries to overtake every race,” complains Jenson Button. “It seems like he wants to be the first one over the line no matter what.”

      “We just want to drive around at 330 km/h while having a nice time,” adds Kimi Raikkonen. “You must be crazy to overtake with speeds like that. That’s very dangerous.”

      “If I wanted to put my life on the line, I’d have picked a more risky sport,” says Nico Hulkenburg. “Max can go parachuting, but let us be.”

      By the way, Dutch television factchecked the story (the real one, not this one haha) with Button and Grosjean, and they denied having started the discussion or even having said anything about it at the briefing. So that story is probably blown out of proportion a little bit.

      1. Well, that’s not the most funny Speld-article, is it?

        For your second comment, about the drivers briefing, Grosjean denied saying harsh things about Verstappen, but did say the issue was discussed during the briefing. This FIA clarification seems to be a direct result from that briefing. So it looks like the drivers (GPDA) initiated the issue with the Stewards and got what they asked for.

      2. Let’s just remember, a race implies rules. Boxers don’t kick each other because the “fight” they are having has rules. I can’t just knock your king over and claim victory in chess because the game has rules. Footballers can’t pick up the ball and dive over the goal line because they also have rules. Max may believe he’s driving a war truck across the Aussie seabed, but in fact, he’s in a race and if he can’t will by the rules of that race, we’ll, there are plenty of farmers fields with banger circuits which would welcome him with open arms

    27. Too bad, I was hoping for a return of the “Nigel dummy”

    28. Guess I am going to buy a Carrera slot-car set. Probably more exiting than F1 racing.

    29. Until now it was more or less a gentleman’s agreement to not do something which is so dangerous and stupid. Max chose to disregard the status quo.

      People who grow up in an abusive family tend to be abusers themselves. Lack of respect for others is a hallmark of abusers. So Google Jos Verstappen assault and consider where this problem may have begun.

    30. This clarification is good for the sport.

    31. Good change. Investigate if the move was endagering other driver. If it does penalize it. If not let move stand.

      I cannot help to feel disapointed, for this guideline only to be introduced after it was done on Hamiton once, and not in a perticullary dangerous fashion. Meanwhile Kimi incidents were “ok”.

      1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
        23rd October 2016, 11:38

        Yup I agree, and I do not believe that Hamilton did not have anything to do with this or the Merc protest.

    32. They all have to drive i a train and let each other pass like on the motorway. Some indicators might help them elderly drivers. What a joke.

      1. So the rule s changed to ban dangerous defending and somehow that means only overtaking is possible using DRS?

        This interpretation change does exactly the opposite. At last now Verstappen knows it’s not allowed to ram the other driver off when they try an overtake in a corner. So we can actually start seeing some overtaking again.

    33. Quite sensible weekend in F1. They listened to the drivers and took appropiate action. I like the blue flag change and also this one. They take the part where drivers go the fastest just before the braking zone and say:”if you do something dangerous, we will take a look.”

    34. Can Charlie give a retrospective judgement on each of the two Spa incidents and the one at Suzuka, for us fans to have known how those would have been judged if this clarification had been in effect then?

      1. @phylyp yeah, I’m very curious about that as well, because I’m pretty sure there still won’t be a penalty.

    35. Absolutely disgusting.

      They’ll probably ban all non-DRS passes in a season or 2.

      1. Again, it’s exactly the opposite. It’s the “I will make sure we both go off if you try overtaking me” style of defending that gets banned. It gives overtakers a better chance of making it stick rather than every overtake attempt resulting in a driver being pushed off track

        This makes overtaking possible again in corners. Instead of just in DRS zones.

    36. Utterly pathetic, dying sport.

    37. They didn’t ban the “verstappen block” they just judging after a questionable move if it’s legal or not. So practically it all stays the same.

    38. There’s a lot of wriggle room in this regulation. The sceptic in me thinks this is as much a vehicle to continue double standards as anything else. The optimist in me hopes this reminds stewards that dangerous moves are supposed to be treated as such (and non-dangerous moves that may be of similar construction are permitted).

    39. Like blocking never happend before. All hypoctcrits


    40. Haha…..”Verstappen block”……love it.

    41. At the end of all we see how Perez runs across Kvyat on breaking yet Kvyat gets penalty and points. Whatever FIA does on sporting rules they only become worse.

    42. Folks, let’s not get on our high and mighty horses about this new rule interpretation. It’s MUCH better all around to have this now BEFORE there’s a huge accident. That’s the point after all: to avoid locking wheels and sending a car airborne, not to remove the excitement of an overtake.

      Think about it. Once a car has started heavy braking, it’s very difficult or impossible to safely turn and and maintain control and avoid another car that moves suddenly. Yes, Verstappen has avoided serious on track consequences with his moves but they ARE dangerous.

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