Romain Grosjean, Haas, Silverstone, 2020

Drivers to debate ‘weaving’ rules further following Grosjean incidents

2020 British Grand Prix

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The stewards’ response to Romain Grosjean’s defensive driving was prompted by calls from drivers to clamp down on aggressive weaving moves, says F1 race director Michael Masi.

However the drivers will discuss the rules further in light of events in yesterday’s race, he added.

Grosjean was shown the black-and-white flag for his driving while Carlos Sainz Jnr was trying to pass him, for a move the McLaren driver called “very dangerous”. The Haas driver was later given a warning for a similar move on Daniel Ricciardo.

Masi said the incidents were the first example of the stewards responding to feedback from drivers on how such driving should be regulated.

“Following extensive discussions with the drivers throughout last year, one of the big areas that the majority of them asked for is for a clamping down of cars moving under brakes and drivers moving under brakes,” said Masi. “So as a result, this is really the first element of that we’ve seen this year.

“The first time it happened the black and white flag was shown and on the second occasion it was referred to the stewards for them to do a further investigation.”

The topic is likely to be discussed prior to this weekend’s second race at Silverstone to clarify the treatment of drivers who change their lines suddenly under braking.

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“We’ve agreed that we will discuss it at the next drivers’ meeting and go from there,” said Masi. “But it’s actually come about as a result of the drivers requesting a crackdown in that area because they thought it was something that needed to be clamped down on a bit more.”

Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, Silverstone, 2020
Grosjean “should know by now what he’s doing”, said Ricciardo
Ricciardo described Grosjean’s defending as ‘sketchy’ on the team radio. He said the pair discussed the incident in the stewards’ room.

“I didn’t want to go in and educate him because, as I said, he should know by now what he’s doing,” Ricciardo said, “but, I just said, look it’s not only me that that is in danger, obviously with a late move and a reaction, but it’s maybe I break my front wing, but likely that you get a puncture as well. So it’s really for both of us in that scenario.”

“I just said, if you time it and just move a little earlier then I’d probably go to the outside and you actually probably have a better chance of defence as well. But it’s I think it’s all stuff he knew. I think when he saw the video, he realised it was a little bit late, but I didn’t feel the need to go back and forth.”

Ricciardo said track etiquette had improved after it last came under scrutiny, when Max Verstappen was challenged over some of his moves.

“I think back in 2016 Max was doing it a few times under braking and we addressed it. I felt like we had moved on from that. And I think behaviour’s been pretty good from memory, for the most part, the last few years.”

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52 comments on “Drivers to debate ‘weaving’ rules further following Grosjean incidents”

  1. Wasn’t Verstappen criticized for exactly this and now why another debate which brought in Verstappen rule is a sham.

    1. No, Verstappen wasn’t criticized for weaving but for moving under breaking, and there is no rule that forbids moving under breaking! And the Verstappen rule made it clear that ALL drivers move under breaking when they have to. (Hence why they dropped the Verstappen rule.)

      1. GtisBetter (@passingisoverrated)
        3rd August 2020, 10:03

        It’s considered not safe to move in a braking zone at the and of a straight. You are allowed one move. Because corners have different aproaches, it’s generally impossible to make a general “no moving under braking” rule.

        The Max rule was because max made his move at the last possible moment, usually just when a driver commited, so he could block them, but creating a very dangerous situation. The verstappen rule has not been dropped, it has been absorbed in the general rulings, so the stewards can give penalties for it. And flags.

        1. @passingisoverrated the specific Verstappen “rule” was dropped after Vettel got a penalty for it.

      2. Yes he was criticised for weaving. The Kimi incident, also on the Kemmel straight. We also had K-Mag at Baku.

        All this talk about braking zones. Why? We’re talking about last minute moves when a car pulls out of the slipstream. Not penalising Max for this set a dangerous precedent at the time, and now it comes back to bite.

        Make no mistake, we do not want to see the aerial crashes again such late moves can lead to.

      3. I presume you have forgotten the criticism he got when he aggressively cut across Kimi’s path during one Belgian GP on the Kemmel straight, forcing him to have to lift off the throttle to avoid a collision?

        1. @anon
          Is that the same race where in the previous lap Kimi did a very unsportsmanlike act when he had to give his position back to Max, resulting
          in Max given Kimi a piece of his own?
          Just like in the old days!

          1. Are you ever going to be prepared to accept criticism of Max, or will you defend him with the obsessiveness of a religious fanatic who, in thinking they have to defend their icon so much that they despoil the very figures they obsess over?

          2. Hmm. I remember thinking ‘Well, he had something coming’ back then. In fact, most of the times when Verstappen does something that appears overly aggressive there’s something leading up to it just before that.

            Like that pass on Leclerc in Austria last year, where he made sure the wheels linde up so he could force Leclerc off exiting the corner?
            The lap before in the same corner he came out partly ahead so he had the right to the racing line.but Leclerc did not yield. He locked his front wheel just ahead of Verstappen’s rear wheel and once Verstappen moved away to give him more space he used the superior straight line speed of the Ferrari to inch ahead again.

            But you cannot fool Verstappen twice in the same way. If Leclerc does not yield like he should, he’ll get forced to yield. The stewards could not punish Max for it while accepting what Charles did one lap earlier.
            What looked like aggression was in fact a very calculated move.

          3. Anon 1
            Niki 0

      4. Yes he was. He did it time and time again – Kimi on the Kemmel Straight?

    2. They let max get away soo much, he was constantly defending dirty it was only when other drivers started doing it that they imposed the rule

      1. @carlosmefrusto
        Hahaha, you again… love your salty tears!
        But name one driver who calls Max his driving dirty.

        1. Fun fact
          Who of these 2 drivers was never shown a black and white flag for weaving :
          Hamilton
          Verstappen
          Who of these 2 drivers was never penalized for moving under braking:
          Vettel
          Verstappen
          Which of these 2 drivers was Niki Lauda referring to when he said he was gonna kill someone:
          Hamilton
          Verstappen

    3. Imagine coming to this site to only comment on the titles and never reading the article

  2. Max still did it at Silverstone last year but the other driver got the penalty. It should be your fault if you move in such a way that the other driver cannot avoid a collision.

    1. @juan-fanger
      No. he didn’t, unless you mean the incident for which Vettel apoligized because it was his fault.

    2. This site called it a clumsy move by Vettel.
      I disagree; it was just clumsy.

      1. @coldfly and niki101
        Well it was not an overtake that was going to work, so yeah clumsy to even attempt it . However but moves like that do cause crashes. Like the weaving Verstappen did in Baku until he collected Ricciardo in the rear.

        1. Baku was more that Max lost view of Daniel and had to break (so he drove straight)while Daniel moved again but got caught out by the breaking while Max kept his straightness as Daniel thought Max would move again but didn’t (because of Max losing Daniel behind him)

          1. @macleod Oh come on, every time Ricciardo switched sides, Verstappen did so immediately after too.

          2. @f1osaurus I say it once more before breaking Max lost Daniel and he went straight then he hit the breaks. That was very clear to see (I am not talking about before that moment)
            Daniel was caught out as i think he was thinking that Max would move again (but he didn’t as he went straight) and moved to the right (he was left) but lost the downforce for breaking when he crossed Max again.

          3. @macleod You can say it as often as you like, but it’s irrelevant. Verstappen clearly changed direction 3 times and he’s only allowed 1 move plus a move back to the racing line.

        2. F1oclown

          What weaving?
          Was he penalized?
          Oh no, he did as much wrong as Daniel did!

          1. No, Verstappen was weaving. He changed direction 3 times. I already explained that stewards stay out of intra-team incidents.

          2. They stay out of intra-team incident that is nonsense !
            Max was penalized in Hungary when he collied with Daniel.

          3. @macleod Ah there was one time they did give a penalty. Ok that proves it then. As opposed to the dozens of times when they didn’t.

  3. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    3rd August 2020, 10:16

    There is definitely inconsistency here. Grosjean was in a way right to point out some occurrences last year that were similar. Anybody remember Leclerc doing a dangerous lunge on Norris that would have been quite a nasty hit had Norris not dived out the way. it was on a straight so was completely pointless for leclerc to do this. If Grosjean got a black and white flag here, Leclerc should have here. Bottas also moved in the breaking zone in China 2018 twice when Ricciardo dive bombed him. he admittedly opened the steering both times, but I feel had both these occurrences been this year with both drivers (Norris and Ricciardo) being on the radio, that would have been a black and white flag.

    grosjean also got a black and white flag for exceeding track limits in Austria. I have seen drivers going all over the place when their car had problems without getting this flag. Grosjean soon retired with break issues which was likely the cause of his problems. Stroll also got a black and white flag this race for barely doing anything wrong IMO. They to me are a bit more strict than they should be or ther other way round. but they are inconsistent. The reason why Grosjean didn’t get a penalty may be because he pointed out other occurences that didn’t last year. in that case, it is correct that he didn’t get a penalty as there were plenty of occations last year where drivers dis similar to him.

    I think one of the most recent times before this year where a driver got a black and white flag may have been as far back as Hungary 2016 was it? With Gutierrez getting them for ignoring blue flags for hamilton.

    Something about their approach with them seems to have changed this year.

    1. @thegianthogweed Or the lunge from Leclerc on Bottas in Hungary 2019. He simply dove off the racing line, crashed into Bottas and got no penalty whatsoever.

      Leclerc ultimately did get a black/white flag in Monza 2019 for blocking Hamilton repeatedly. On of those was moving in the braking zone and pushing Hamilton off even. Clear penalty that, but got nice flag with black and white nicely getting along instead.

    2. I guess with all you describe, and with how this is a theme that clearly is debated by the drivers and important to them, it makes sense to get into discussions between them.

      In the end, it undoubtedly is about driving etiquette on track and affects how they interact, while it also involves safety of the guys in the cockpit and at the same time is integral to racing.

      I hope they find a good consensus that allows for racing, defending and is safe as well as workable for the stewards to police.

  4. The black/white flag for the first incident was good call but I can’t understand why the latter incident wasn’t penalized after that. It wouldn’t have affected his position but the penalty points could have had longer-term impact.

    1. I’m not sure if they changed it since, but previously, the black/white flag was handled by Masi, while penalties was/is handled by the stewards. If it is still like that, it is not surprising that the flag has no real effect on actual penalties.

    2. “Here’s a black and white flag: it’s your final, final warning.”

      Proceeds to do the same thing again.

      “Oh well, we tried.”

  5. I can understand his weaving and crash prone attitude, endless complaints and moanings. What I’m yet to fathom is how he talked other drivers into becoming the GPDA chairman.

    1. The drivers wanted somebody who would enlessly complain and moan to FIA/FOM/etc and attack opposing views head on.

      And then of course a second director who could spin their story.

  6. Anthony Jenkins
    3rd August 2020, 11:32

    Weaving-especially under braking- is a cynical and dangerous move. It is done by the worst drivers. It should be penalized, harshly, in every instance, no multiple ‘warnings’ given. Grosjean’s move at 190 mph could have resulted in a catastrophic crash. No second chance. Black flagged from the race. eliminate the very idea to try it . Back in a more lethal time and no DRS it was potentially even more dangerous , drivers policed it themselves and only reck
    less idiots tried it.

  7. What is Masi going on about? No one is moving under braking, the problem is last minute weaving after the trailing car pulls out of the slipstream. Sigh.

    1. It’s odd how these interpretations change all the time. When Rosberg rammed Hamilton off on the straight in Spain 2016 there was a whole discussion about how far along Hamilton’s car was and that indeed he was alongside, but it lasted too short for Rosberg to receive a penalty. People actually blamed Hamilton. How dare he put his car alongside on a straight!

      Or when they let Verstappen get away with about 3 changes of direction in Baku. Reacting every time when Ricciardo changed his line behind. Until Ricciardo had nowhere to go. Although that was an intra team battle and just like with Rosberg ramming Hamilton in Spain and Spa, the stewards don’t like to come between those and rather let the teams themselves deal with those.

      Yet now they want to discuss penalizing drivers for making small moves while still leaving plenty of space to the sides.

      In Indycar they have clear blocking rules. Drivers can pick their line, but they can not change their line in reaction to the driver behind picking their line. I think that makes perfect sense. Blocking is not just horribly rude, but it’s dangerous and it stops us from seeing a fair fight between cars. It’s like punching under the belt in boxing. Sure it’s effective, but it’s just not done.

      1. Because the DRIVERS requested the FIA to weigh in on this @f1osaurus. They clearly feel that it’s too ambiguous to be workable currently and want clarity. So the FIA is working on that with the drivers.

      2. @F1oclown
        Wrong as always!
        The official ruling on the Verstappen incident.

        “The stewards heard from Daniel Ricciardo, the driver of car three, Max Verstappen, the driver of car 33 and the team representative,” the stewards noted.
        “Both drivers contributed to the collision. The driver of car 33 made two moves, both of which were relatively minor.

        “The driver of car three admitted he left his move to overtake on the left, too late. It was obvious to the stewards that although the incident had its origins in the moves by car 33, the driver of car three also contributed to the incident.

        Yet now they want to discuss penalizing drivers for making small moves while still leaving plenty of space to the sides.

        Hmm, like the kind of small moves Max made…………

        1. Yes that the offical ruling. Doesn’t take awayt the FACT that Verstappen changed direction 3 times. Last one AWAY from the racing line even.

          Also, Stewards do generally not get involved in intra-team incidents. They let the teams deal with them.

          1. So, your three moves theory takes precedence over the stewards view. Why not work for FIA?

      3. It was Hamilton who hit Rosberg in Spain 2016.

      4. What has this reply got to do with my comment?

        1. I was talking about incidents that are on the straight.

  8. If F1 wants some excitement , start Grojean on Pole each race :)

  9. I drivers are overreacting.

    Ricciardo was renowned for his “divebombs” were he punted the car up the inside and put all the onus on the other driver to get out of the way to avoid a crash. Good on him but much more aggressive and dangerous than Grosjean’s swerves.

    And as someone mentioned Leclerc’s swerve on Norris in Brazil last year was no different to what Grosjean did. Probably worse than Grosjean but it wasn’t even mentioned.

  10. His moves were ugly and both times he was late in reacting multiplying the danger factor. I like him too but though when he was young in the seat at Spa and at the days end it was lucky that no driver ended got his head chopped off. He was sat down and until yesterday was believed to be past those driving issues. But WOW his moves to block were stunningly obvious.

  11. Simple to me. not enough clarity for us all to agree. We would need to see traces to say he was on the brakes, then moved and so on.

    F1 has to make this a bit more clear for the fans so we all have clear criteria.

  12. Masi said the incidents were the first example of the stewards responding to feedback from drivers on how such driving should be regulated.

    Serious? So more moaning will do you good… Brrrr.

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