Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Red Bull Ring, 2019

Vettel: F1 cannot write a rule for every situation

2019 F1 season

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Sebastian Vettel has continued his criticism of Formula 1’s regulations, saying the sport has gone wrong by trying to create rules to govern every circumstance.

The Ferrari drivers, who vehemently criticised the penalty which cost him victory in the Canadian Grand Prix earlier this month, repeated his call to “burn [the rule book] and start over”.

Vettel believes the efforts to codify driving discipline have gone too far. “The problem is by now we have so many rules trying to basically put in writing what you can’t put in writing,” he said. “It’s just a bit of a mess.

“I think no place is the same. I can’t think of any other sport where case-by-case things are exactly the same. It’s always a bit different.

“Particularly in our sport I think it’s difficult to put every possible outcome and situation in writing and therefore laying down a rule for it. So simplify and give freedom to race each other I think that’s what I would have.”

Following his penalty in Canada, Vettel said F1 is “not the sport he fell in love with”. He said his words should not be taken as an indication he’s thinking about retiring soon.

“You have the admiration for what these drivers do with their cars and how fast they go and so on,” he said. “I think as a child you’re very pure, you’re not thinking about rules. I was never interested whether they were overweight or underweight or legal or illegal. It didn’t matter as a child I just loved to see the racing.”

“I’m here, I love racing<" he added. "I think the cars are great fun to drive, they're very fast, the fastest we've ever had. "Are there things that we can do better? I think yes. Is it up to me? Fortunately not. But as I said before we'll see what the future brings. I'm here now and as far as I know I will be here next year. So I'm not thinking about that." [leaderboard2]

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27 comments on “Vettel: F1 cannot write a rule for every situation”

  1. Still, it should be clear that you cannot be allowed to wipe all the way across the track when a competitor is next to you.

    Someone compared it to boxing where punching isn’t allowed. Indeed punching below the belt is not allowed. So?

    1. Yeah. This was the move Schumacher would always do at the start. Nobody had the stones to wreck him as they should of done and the rules makers never bothered to stop it either so we had a decade and a half of that fool swiping everybody threatening his lead off the track. Schumacher’s move was just an intensified version of Senna’s except the drivers in Senna’s era wouldn’t put up with it as much and wrecked him on occasion. Having said that, I am glad they are going after Vettel on this his signature move.

      1. @darryn

        and the rules makers never bothered to stop it either

        because them doing so wouldn’t have been seen as acceptable at the time.

        For the most part the other drivers didn’t raise it as an issue & i don’t recall it ever been seen as an issue amongst fans who just saw it as hard & aggressive but fair. You won’t find many at that time that felt any differently & if a driver did they would raise it with him after the race & discuss it.
        It’s the same looking back to Dijon 1979 at the time that was just seen as hard racing even though they were banging wheels and putting all 4 wheels off track which would not be allowed today. I don’t think a lot of what Senna did would be seen as acceptable by fans today because fans today have been brought up with the over-regulated non-racing we see today.

        Go back 20-30+ years & nobody would have said anything about what Vettel did in Montreal or even what Ricciardo did at Paul Ricard, It would have simply been seen as hard racing & the fact so many fans of today believe it wasn’t says more about how far the sport has fallen than anything else & how I don’t ever seeing it come back because I don’t think anyone knows what racing is anymore.. How else is nonsense like cheese tyres & drs accepted? Fans of 20+ years ago would have laughed in your face if you asked them about such ideas & i don’t think a single driver on the grid would have accepted them.

        modern society is sadly just full of snowflakes.

        1. Yet the rules do exist now and Vettel broke them. I’ve followed the sport for 30 years and thought what Vettel did was make a mistake and then threaten to cause an accident if the car behind attempted an overtake. It was neither hard or fair, simply the reckless actions of a bad loser.

          Modern society is also full of ignorant people it seems.

          1. @darryn and others, Actually what Schumacher did is still allowed. As long as you are ahead of the other car you are allowed to move across all the way. If another is a car next to you then you need to leave space on track.

            Of course this tends to go wrong when two cars are alongside and then you lose a ton of points, gift your competitor an unlikely race win instead of an off podium finish, and ultimately lose the WDC for a big part.

            So it doesn’t always makes sense to do it either.

    2. I agree, I do think he’s using this as an excuse though, and it’s obviously affecting his driving.

    3. @f1osaurus)

      I completely agree. Not everything can be put in black and white. There will be some grey areas, and it’s the drivers’ responsibility to recognise them or accept a penalty when decisions don’t all go his way.

      What Vettel wants is a more relaxed rule set and less enforcement. I can guarantee you he’ll be crying against the relaxed rules once drivers like Max Verstappen takes advantage of them and tangle with him. Honestly, he’s just complaining right now because he fell foul of the rules. If it was the other way around there’s no way he’d be disillusioned or out of love with the sport.

      He needs to stop acting like a princess and just get down to business.

      1. @todfod Exactly, just remember how it was mostly Vettel who was calling for the “Verstappen defending rule” to kerb Verstappen’s overly aggressive defending. Then it was Vettel who actually fell foul first of this rule. After that he was the most vocal one again to get the rule removed. So indeed he was the one and only driver to get a penalty for his “Verstappen rule”.

        Or remember how Vettel was saying that Vestappen deserved his penalty in Japan. Actually also for not “leaving Vettel space”.

        He just sees everything from his point of view where he never does anything wrong, yet all the other drivers need to be penalized all the time.

        1. @f1osaurus

          He just sees everything from his point of view where he never does anything wrong

          Very Schumacher-esque in that regard. Which is not surprising.

    4. Reality is that Vettel wouldn’t have received a 5s penalty a few decades ago. He would have been black-flagged instead.

  2. GtisBetter (@passingisoverrated)
    27th June 2019, 18:35

    They have not created rules out of thin air. Teams have demanded a ruling for actions on track and that has resulted in rules. And you only have to listen to grosjean to realise that drivers are the driving force behind these demands. You reap what you sow.

    1. This sounds like an argument for rules makers to not listen to Grosjean, not an argument against the substance of Vettel’s critique.

      1. GtisBetter (@passingisoverrated)
        27th June 2019, 20:06

        That depends. I actually am not sure what the stewards procedure is when a team files a complaint. Do they have to consider it, or can they just ignore it? The two are related though, teams and drivers want to race, but they also want to win.

        “Tactical” radio message everytime something happens is a choice and many drivers, including Vettel, choose these radios over racing and now he is saying it’s “the sports has gone wrong” while he (and others) is responsible for it and complaining about it when it backfires feels just as opportunistic as Grosjean message about unsafe re-entry after Vettel got a penalty the week before. Nothing has been learned, just the same behaviour, trying to get an advantage with games and schemes and not racing, this time by complaining about the system and rulebook. Not that we can’t have a look at the rules, but they seemed fine when other people got the penalty.

      2. The way Vettel moans repeatedly on radio about others (he had a rather epic whinge about Max doing a similar thing to him last year compared to Canada … worse than anything Grosjean did, IMO) should be enough of an argument against the substance of his critique.

      3. @passingisoverrated @aldoid I think it’s the stewards job to consider teams’ complaints, but equally they are free to take no action.

        I agree with you both that Vettel (and most drivers) are hypocrites—that comes with the territory. Because their goal is to win and appealing to the referees is a well-proven strategy, I don’t blame them for doing it any more than I blame corporations for seeking to maximize profits. To me, it just shows that a strong regulating body is necessary to keep them in line.

        I just wish the FIA would resist the temptation to give in to drivers’ and teams’ demands and focus on creating rules of engagement that encourage hard, exciting racing. In other words, exactly what Vettel is saying here (even if he is not the cleanest messenger).

  3. Exactly @passingisoverated…the teams have a lot to do with how the rulebook evolved, because they want exact clarification of everything. And I agree with Vettel that it had gotten out of control. The problem is that there is a lot of ambiguity in interpretation…namely the provision whether someone gained advantage by going off track or not. Another one is the argument that the driver did violate track limits in order to avoid a collision…which somehow makes it OK. These views now led to slow-motion dissection of every minute finger movement, while it should not be an issue at all because everybody putting all four wheels beyond the line should get identical penalty regardless of reason…period. If there were gravel or a serious rumble strip pavement, there would be nothing to talk about. Track limits are there for a reason and should be strictly enforced.

  4. Neil (@neilosjames)
    27th June 2019, 20:23

    And if we got rid of rules for every eventuality, people would complain the stewards were inconsistent, or unfair, or whatever else…

    Some people accept rigidity, some accept inconsistency… and in classic F1 style, a lot of people flip-flop between the two views depending on whether they/their favourite driver/team benefits. The rulemakers can’t win.

    1. @neilosjames

      people would complain the stewards were inconsistent, or unfair, or whatever else…

      They do that anyway & TBH I don’t think stuff like that should be taken into consideration at all at making the regulations.

      People are always going to be against stuff that affects there favorites & in favor of stuff that hurts those they don’t like. I have a suspicion for instance that the view on the Montreal penalty would be different for many if the roles had been reversed because it’s pretty clear that many on here simply don’t like Vettel & don’t rate him as a world champion.

      When its Hamilton saying there are too many regulations & drivers need to be allowed to race (As he has done many times) then everyone on here agrees. However if it’s Vettel or Verstappen making the exact same points then it’s the worst idea ever & there should be rules and so on.

      1. There’s a huge difference between Hamilton saying he’d like to see more racing and Vettel & Verstappen making fools of themselves on track, then moaning about the rules. If the rulebook was burned, we’d see the pair of Vs driving like drunks, pushing their way to the front and caring little about sportsmanship. Both of them have attempted the borish “I’m coming through, get out of my” tactic in the past. Only the rules are stopping them from trying it on now.

      2. When its Hamilton saying there are too many regulations & drivers need to be allowed to race (As he has done many times)

        Hamilton has never said any such thing. Hamilton has hoped and called for strong competition, he has never called for a demolition derby that this fool vettel is calling for. Every sport in the world has rules, but because vettel keeps making mistakes he wants everyone to focus on the rules rather than his continued incompetence.

        There is nothing wrong with the rules, there is everything wrong with vettel constantly breaking them. After vettel’s behavior in Baku 2017 and brazil 2018 nobody should listen to anything this unhinged fool has to say.

    2. @roger-ayles

      “I have a suspicion for instance that the view on the Montreal penalty would be different for many if the roles had been reversed because it’s pretty clear that many on here”

      also this response is valid for drivers!
      “a lot of people flip-flop between the two views depending on”
      vettel said in japan that eventhough he doesnt like penalties, he sees the unsafe entry was the reason, but when he does it, he suddenly forgets look at rules objectively!

      checo penalty was not for safe entry he joined in a way that gave him advantage, and having the excuse of i cant check/know about people behind me…

      1st ric penalty was about not gaining an advantage exactly but forcing another off, people say he joined safely… his signature move is mostly lake breaking and dive bombing at corners/chicanes! he was frustrated and overdone his move and should have lost the place, because he was not that much ahead of norris, and he went ahead bcoz he late breaked too much! so he actually gained by this move otherwise he wouldnt really got ahead of norris in the chicane! he could have easily passed norris before next corner! same with kimi!

      i actually like palmer’s review of ric’s case, and many people missed hulk’s move on norris and how he also forced norris off the track!!! norris was side by side, but hulk drove him off the track… only difference is hulk had the racing line so did it within the edge of the rules! since rules allow this move when on the racing line, and natural flow of the car will make this pass on rule book because he didnt swerve out of control to push norris off but car would follow the rules of nature! this is competitive! not ric’s move, not vet’s canada move nor max’s japan move! checo clearly followed the rule but it was not an excuse to overtake two cars where he wasnt forced off by anyone, or for avoiding collided cars…

      these rules are there to prevent people saying “ooops i did make a mistake, i did it again” song repeat again and again…

      everyone just should ignore track limits because track allows these innocent mistakes…

      will you guys defend SPA 2008 this hardcore?

      Ham not only followed the rules after cutting the corner, he let the driver pass! worse than checo and max’s mexico situation! and he received not 5 not 10 not 15 not 20 but 25 seconds penalty of a yoke! thats why people kept calling FIA as ferrari international assistance… now they give penalty left and right, they are ham fanboys instantly!

      check people’s penalty history before you make judgements…
      vettel is not a fan of penalties because he gets them a lot for a reason… obviously and honestly, you wouldnt expect him to like them…. he even had the face to blame kvyat when kvyat made a perfect move on him!
      him criticizing kvyat:
      for this:
      i crashed, red bull coming from the inside like a mad man! seriously! what are they doing? ping pong?

      after this incident, and his criticism, i dont take vettel as an honest man… or value his inputs on incidents like these! you shouldnt too!

      1. @mysticus Interesting too that after seeing more footage of Riccardo on Grosjean, Palmer agreed that Grosjean had a point; not bc. Riccardo crowded him, but because he overtook him with all four wheels off the track – different location, in a corner, but to the rules, not different from the RAI one he was penalized for, so why didn’t they investigate?

        I value Palmers seemingly impartial view, and willingness to change opinion when given arguments and evidence.

  5. Vettel’s first incompleteness theorem — “Any consistent formal system F1 within which a certain amount of elementary racing can be carried out is incomplete; i.e., there are statements of the rules of F1 which can neither be proved nor disproved in F1.”

    Vettel’s second incompleteness theorem — “My trophy room is incomplete.”

  6. This clown vettel just want to be able to crash into people, like Turkey 2010, or Singapore 2017 without any repercussions. He continues to make mistake after mistake, and rather than focus on fixing that he continues to deflect the blame in any direction other than his.

    No multiple wdc driver in F1 history has ever been this pathetic.

    1. Panagiotis Papatheodorou (@panagiotism-papatheodorou)
      28th June 2019, 11:23

      You would have loved Senna. He won his 2nd title by crashing out on Prost. Vettel isn’t the first nor the last to make mistakes.

    2. @panagiotism-papatheodorou
      perhaps you would love it like these, because vettel wants this kind of behaviour as competitive racing, and should be allowed…
      or you prefer honest mistakes like this

      also funny “You would have loved Senna. He won his 2nd title by crashing out on Prost.” because you failed to mention prost’s win due to crashing into senna previous year, and senna using escape road to rejoin the track dnf ed him by fia! to gift wdc to prost… senna was hated by fia and punished for this for too many times, and he had to act… ham had the same treatment…

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