Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2019

Vettel’s lost 2019 win prompted “really unpleasant” social media reaction – steward

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In the round-up: Le Mans 24 Hours winner, ex-Formula 1 racer and drivers’ steward Emanuele Pirro says he felt hurt by the furious reaction to a 2019 penalty decision which cost Sebastian Vettel victory in the Canadian Grand Prix.

In brief

Pirro: Reception to Vettel penalty “changed my life”

Emanuele Pirro said the reaction on social media to the stewards’ decision to penalise Vettel, which handed victory to Lewis Hamilton, was “very much unpleasant.”

“In a way it changed my life and also my perception,” Pirro told the official F1 website. “Now my relationship with social media is definitely different. I see, and it hurts me more when I see people complaining.

“Human beings, I think social media enhances the one characteristic that we all more or less have, which is complaining and frustration. I think social media gives the tool to many people to express their frustration. Unfortunately, not with the knowledge required to analyse a certain thing. And so that was really unpleasant.”

Pirro said his frustration, more than with fan complaints, was with the lack of understanding about why the decision had to be taken. “But more than than all the insults that I had, it was because that was a straightforward situation. Just people did not understand.

My F1 Cars: Pirro on his behind-the-scenes work in Senna’s dominant McLarens
“At the end of the day, the whole motorsport of Formula 1 lost something because the majority of the world had a bad perception. We made justice to one racing episode [but] this was hurting the whole Formula 1 because it was perceived in an incorrect way. So this hurt me because I love the sport so much.

“I thought, for god’s sake, why don’t they understand that the one who has to win has to win and not the one you want to win? I think the whole world wanted Sebastian Vettel to win because because he was going through a tough time because it would have been one-off, it was just a wonderful story.

Pirro insisted the decision was fair and therefore the one which had to be taken. “If you score and it’s offside, it’s got to be offside. Somebody has to take this decision to make the sport fair here.”

Grosjean and Johnson pass shortened Indianapolis rookie tests

Grosjean will compete in next year’s Indianapolis 500
Romain Grosjean and Jimmie Johnson passed their rookie orientation tests at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, required in order for them to take part in next year’s Indy 500, despite rain curtailing their running at the oval.

The pair completed the first two phases of the test, run over 10 laps each at average speeds of 205-210 and 210-215mph respectively, and were halfway through the third, run at over 215mph (346kph) when it began to rain.

Grosjean and his wife Marion have written a book about the IndyCar driver’s brush with death in his final Formula 1 race in Bahrain last year. “La Mort En Face” is being published in French by City Editions, which is also seeking a US-based publisher for a potential English translation.

Hauger completes two-day F3 tyre test

Newly-crowned Formula 3 champion Dennis Hauger ran a two-day test of new Pirelli compounds for the junior series’ next season.

Hauger covered 123 laps over Monday and Tuesday at the Circuit de Catalunya. F3 will continue to use the same chassis for next season andthe series’ organisers are looking to give teams a “new challenge” with tyres that put more demands on the driver.

Ben Sulayem announces election manifesto

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, rival candidate to Graham Stoker for the presidency of the FIA, has announced his manifesto. Along with his leadership team of Carmelo Sanz de Barros, Tim Shearman and Robert Reid, Suleyman is standing with the support of regional Sport Vice-Presidential candidates Daniel Coen, Fabiana Ecclestone (wife of former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone) and Lung-Nien Lee.

Set out under the title ‘This Is Your Manifesto’ the key points include doubling global participation in motorsport, the FIA taking a leading role in sustainable mobility and improving diversity and inclusion. The manifesto includes a promise to develop young talent within motorsport and to recognise that “diversity is at the core for the development of motorsport worldwide.”

Ferrari F1 engineering candidates named for 2021

Ferrari’s annual motorsport engineering programme has named its 2021-2022 candidates, with two women and three men chosen from 497 applications.

Irene Vittori Antisari, Nuria Catells, Craig Davidson, Edoardo Barbieri and Oliviero Agnelli will join the Scuderia for a year, as part of a six-month programme. Ferrari says 40 previous Engineering Academy candidates have gone on to work for the team.

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Comment of the day

As F1 commits to moving to sustainable fuels from 2030 onwards, Bendit notes the automotive industry will have stopped researching or even, to a large extent, producing internal combustion engines by that point, despite the global car fleet being mostly non-electric.

Where are the engines for F1 going to come from in 2030? Manufacturers are currently rolling out their final car ICEs. They are in the process of laying off their engine R&D teams.

There will be no mass market car engine manufacturers around in 2030. Specialty shops cannot afford to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on sport.

It is a bit sad in a way, because there is a lot of very interesting technology that came too late for the ICE. Like laser ignition or cam-less engines. Compression ignition at least made it, if only for Mazda.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Alexandre Carvalho and Renate Jungert!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in motorsport

  • 20 years ago today Gil de Ferran scored his second consecutive CART Indycar win, at Houston, as he made a late bid for the championship

Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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  • 86 comments on “Vettel’s lost 2019 win prompted “really unpleasant” social media reaction – steward”

    1. Broccoliface
      7th October 2021, 0:37

      Uh-oh, the one off livery effect

    2. I thought, for god’s sake, why don’t they understand that the one who has to win has to win and not the one you want to win? I think the whole world wanted Sebastian Vettel to win because because he was going through a tough time because it would have been one-off, it was just a wonderful story.

      Easy to say that whilst interested party. As if the whole world would suddenly unite to support a well-known ‘hated’ guy like Vettel had been in the sport.

      Let’s be objective here: the decision received such flak because Vettel had the win taken away ultimately because Hamilton simply had to hit the BRAKES. This is probably the most ridiculous excuse for handing a penalty in a racing series.

      Add to that Mr. Pirro was responsible for clearing Hamilton in a similar case at Monaco some years prior: sheer inconsistency.

      One way or another, he was in the wrong. Good thing for him is he will never be held responsible for such a screw-up. So, if the ‘frustrated’ people lashed out at him, then ‘justice’ was served.

      But stating a penalty like that as ‘fair’ tells much to why motor sport is fading from its glory.

      1. Masi went to the same school as Pirro. Another one with delusion. It is one of the monumental mistakes of the post Bernie era.
        Pirro, nobody likes Vettel. Imagine a win was taken away from someone likeable, or with lots of fans, then the social media fallout would have been actually massive.

        1. @peartree Masi & Pirro come from different countries, so how could they’ve been in the same school?

          1. School of thought, @jerejj – not an actual education establishment.

          2. How you can speak of others delusion and then post something so deluded is bizarre.

            Vettel is one of the most popular drivers, likeable to boot, and the social media fallout was huge because of this. So much so that we’re still debating it 2 years later.

            Vettel’s fans are a special breed when it comes to running a narrative, like that he is unpopular or the world is out to get him.

            He made a mistake, the penalty harsh (could have been black and white flag), the reasons clear.

            As with Hamilton, Vettel retiring will do a lot for F1 fan online discourse. Of course it will leave Max, and so the cycle goes on…

            1. Vettel’s fans are a special breed when it comes to running a narrative, like that he is unpopular or the world is out to get him.

              Is there a driver with a different type of fans?
              We could certainly replace Vettel with Hamilton, Verstappen, Alonso, or dozens of other names from over the years.
              That’s kinda the basis of being a fan of something – built-in bias and defensiveness.

          3. @jerejj it is an expression. “S” The vettel that won in canada is the vettel that was trying to be schumi, the one trying to beat Ham.

      2. @niefer At the time, I felt it was not a penalty. In the subsequent aftermath, I reconsidered my initial thought and I do now think it was a deserved penalty. In the 2018 Japanese GP, there was a similar incident involving Verstappen and Raikkonen, for which Max got a 5 second time penalty. Although he wasn’t fully in control of car, Vettel did rejoin the car and crowd out another car in the process. He had the choice of rejoining in a safe manner, but that would have required him to slow down further and he was clearly in a state of panic at potentially losing the lead due to a silly error. Flooring the throttle through the grass and immediately rejoining the racing line is a risky move, especially if you know someone is directly behind you. If anyone other than Hamilton had been behind Vettel, I think the uproar in the aftermath would have been significantly less.

        1. Max was penalized in Japan because he had to take the escape route but didn’t and collided with Kimi instead. Alonso also got penalized for not rejoining the track properly because he didn’t take the escape route. It’s not comparable at all because Vettel didn’t have anywhere else to go while Max had a mandatory place to go.

        2. @mashiat – at first glance they do look similar. But then I think it’s fair to point out 2 key differences: the first is Hamilton never got alongside Vettel to be squeezed or something whilst Raikkonen was alongside Verstappen and got squeezed. Again, all Hamilton had to do was to brake and any possible danger vanished right away. That without mentioning there was never a realistic gap for Hamilton to exploit.
          The second, yes, Vettel hadn’t got full control of the car, understeering to the racing line whilst trying to correct it. But Verstappen went to the racing line voluntarily when he actually decided his line before rejoining, positioning the car diverse than its natural trajectory, probably aiming to avoid ceding position next, so he decided to protect it.

          1. @niefer so, what you want to do in that situation is to put all responsibility for avoiding any incident onto the driver who was following, rather than onto the driver who had gone off the track and was required to rejoin the track in a safe manner?

            If, as you state, Vettel was not fully in control of his car, then he is by definition not rejoining the track in a safe manner. You are then reinforcing the point of the lack of control by saying that the driver behind should have to take avoiding action – in this case, hitting the brakes – to be the one to avoid any potential risk of a collision: if another driver is being placed in a situation where they are having to take avoiding action, then you are not rejoining in a safe manner.

            Your argument is instead providing more justification for applying a penalty – as soon as Vettel goes off the track, it becomes his responsibility to rejoin in a safe and controlled manner. If you are saying he was not completely in control, then by definition he fails that requirement – similarly, if Hamilton is having to brake to avoid a risk that Vettel created when rejoining the track, then Vettel is not rejoining safely.

            1. @anon Your argument makes this out to be a planned and predetermined action by Vettel to leave the track and then block Hamilton on returning to it.
              The point is that most people who didn’t (and still don’t) agree with Vettel’s penalty don’t believe that he did anything unsafe, given the context of what they were doing – ie racing together for position in an F1 race.
              It was 100% a racing incident, and should have been judged as such.

              If we took only the wording of the unsafe re-entry ruling without any context, we should expect penalties for people who go off and return to the track all alone as well. Almost every single time.
              Geez, even leaving the track through understeer or oversteer can be deemed to be unsafe, as they were clearly going to fast for the car/their skill/the conditions/whatever silly reason.

              Just out of interest, what’s your opinion on Norris’ pit entry infraction from Sochi? Surely that deserved a penalty too, right?

            2. @anon – I don’t know what happened to you, but keeping acting like Kathy Newman every time isn’t doing you any favours nor it brings any poise to your inputs: I never said Hamilton should be penalised instead.

              Vettel wasn’t in full control of the car, but he was actively correcting it. The key point here is the understeer which took away an precise re-entry wasn’t due to his deliberate action, which can only have an outcome of a racing incident.

              If having to hit the brakes is an element for deeming penalties, then any battle for overtake is liable.

              There was never any sensible danger at that incident. Twisting and stretching rules and facts does not make it any more dangerous, it just get ridiculous and vexing, which indeed happened back then.

              My arguments can only fuel the penalty thirst to meddlers, a quite common trait at individuals invested in power at present times.

            3. @niefer and I was not saying that you were trying to say that Hamilton should have been penalised – you have completely fabricated that, and seem to want to project onto me a completely fake argument as a distraction tactic at best, and seem to want to engage in a deliberate smear campaign at worst.

              The rule says nothing about deliberate intent, and you yourself have supported other drivers being penalised in incidents where there was no deliberate intent to cause an incident. In other incidents, you have argued that the driver not being in full control of their car was a justification to imposing a penalty – why, then, in this situation are you now claiming that not being fully in control of his car should let Vettel get off without a penalty in this case when you would have penalised others?

              S, there is nowhere in my post where I say that it was a pre-determined plan by Vettel to deliberately go off and to then deliberately block Hamilton on track.

              What I have pointed out is that, once a driver goes off track, the instructions given to the drivers is that they are supposed to enter the track in a safe and controlled manner. In that situation, Vettel is not consciously seeking to go off the track, but the drivers are supposed to consciously control the way that they return back to it.

              I am not saying that Vettel intended to block Hamilton – I don’t think it was his intention to do so, and it was a case of a panicked reaction of wanting to get back onto track as fast as possible – but, given that we’ve even had those trying to argue against the penalty point to Vettel not being in full control of his car, then he’s clearly not entering in a controlled manner if he’s not fully in control of the car and thus not obeying that instruction. There are many, many incidents where drivers are “racing hard for a position”, and that is not seen as a universal “get out of jail free” card – just because you are “racing hard for a position”, it doesn’t excuse you from then having to follow other rules if you then go beyond the bounds of the track.

            4. but, given that we’ve even had those trying to argue against the penalty point to Vettel not being in full control of his car, then he’s clearly not entering in a controlled manner if he’s not fully in control of the car and thus not obeying that instruction.

              How safe is safe? Do drivers deserve a penalty for an unsafe re-entry every time they leave the circuit and return onto it? How about Hamilton (and others) cutting chicanes at Imola and Monza?
              Nobody was penalised then, nor should they have been in Canada. That could be taken as an admission that the Canadian decision was too harsh, if not completely wrong.

            5. @anon – maybe you should re-read you first paragraph then.

              so, what you want to do in that situation is to put all responsibility for avoiding any incident onto the driver who was following

              There are better ways to clarify something instead of jumping to conclusions followed by a question mark. It can distort things, and that’s not cool. It’s not the first time you have done this to me, and I don’t appreciate it, mainly because I had never disrespected you and always thought of you as a reliable fellow debater.

              Secondly, despite not having 100% of control, Vettel was doing everything is his power to mitigate the odd, which I don’t recall ever holding any driver accountable at a similar incident unless it was a major screw up, which was not the case at Canada-19.

              Either way, I’d be glad to be challenged by my own previous remark if you could append it here. Because subjectively I can’t think of anything other than a racing incident here. Maybe at another incident it was another matter, despite similar. Who knows. Gotta check on it first.

          2. “getting alongside” has nothing to do with it @niefer it’s not an overtake. It’s about rejoining in a safe manner. Anyway, there’s no point going over this all again.

            1. @john-h – I’d say it has everything to do with it, otherwise Vettel wouldn’t be penalised hadn’t Hamilton been there. If it is simply about rejoining in a safe manner, then I have to ask, for the sake of the argument: do you think Hamilton was worthy of a penalty with his rejoining at Imola early this year?

            2. Imola @niefer? Wasn’t he pushed off the track? I mean he still had momentum, it’s a little different, and Hamilton did rejoin the track safely, would you like me to post a link for you? The Vettel incident he literally floored the throttle to stay in front.

            3. Ah I’ll do it anyway for you, how did Hamilton rejoin the track in a dangerous manner? What do you propose he should have done instead when travelling over the rumble strips and losing bodywork?

            4. @john-h – Haha, always defending Hamilton even in the sub-conscience, that’s sweet!
              I was actually referring to his rejoining on reverse after skidding-off at Piratella.

              Say whatever you want, there is no way to rejoin plainly safe into a racing track on reverse. And there was nothing to do with overtakes. So, if this penalty is deemed merely by conduct as I understand you said above, would you say Lewis should’ve been penalised by his move?

            5. “there is no way to rejoin plainly safe into a racing track on reverse.”
              Why not @niefer?

              “That’s sweet”
              Jeez, the patronising tone is wearing thin. I’m defending the steward, I can dish out criticism of Hamilton where warented. It isn’t here.

            6. @john-h – because it is on reverse in a racing track. If it is dangerous at a pitlane with controlled speeds, imagine at where the thing happens. Secondly, and maybe more eloquent, the driver can’t rely on its mirrors given their size and positioning. The engineer can’t also be the safe haven as we see every race weekend lots of screw ups regarding their feedback of the track flow.

              As for the latter, I apologise. Maybe the slim bit of passive-aggressiveness on you reply got the better of me. Though it was genuinely amusing, I did not intend to antagonise you.

              Finally, by all means, what I ‘patronisingly’ said was a side-note, I don’t intend to blame anything on Hamilton at this matter. The question is genuine for the sake of the argument, and because is the most recent incident I can remember of.

        3. @mashiat I think that saying Vettel pointed the car where he did “in a state of panic” is reading a bit much into it. If you watch the onboard, Vettel didn’t floor the throttle — if he had, while on grass, the car would have spun right around. In that situation, he would have wanted to give as little input — steering, throttle, and brake — as possible to keep the car settled. Hamilton did the same thing when he ran over the grass at the chicane in Mexico in 2016. If Vettel wanted to keep the car pointing forward, there was little he could do to alter its trajectory.

          I think that the way the rule is written and interpreted, a penalty could be justified precisely because he put himself in a situation where he couldn’t control where the car rejoined — he had to point it straight ahead if he wanted to save it. But I think the way the rule is written and interpreted is an example of unnecessarily overzealous stewarding, which for me also extends to the Hamilton and Verstappen penalties this season.

        4. As Vettel didn’t hit Lewis i agree the penalty should be a reprimand instead if he would hit Lewis yes a penalty.

          1. @macleod But the stewards repeatedly state the consequences of the incident are not taken into account, only the incident itself. In your example you are saying that with Vettel’s actions being identical in both cases – if Hamilton brakes and avoids him, then no penalty for Vettel, but if Hamilton doesn’t avoid the contact, then that’s a penalty for Vettel. So whether Vettel gets a penalty or not would depend on another driver’s actions which are outside of his influence.

      3. Zero sympathy for Pirro. Call it a hard call, sure, but trying to frame it in the context of popularity is utterly BS. I hope he’s not back as steward anytime soon.

        1. @nanotech there is some truth to the matter though – we can readily see ourselves on this forum that both the press and the fans rarely complain anywhere near as much when you have similar incidents further down the field, or if the incident involves lower profile drivers.

          We’ve seen the TV broadcasts not even showing more severe incidents between midfield or backmarker teams during the race itself, with such incidents only being shown after the race – and, quite often, rarely generating any comments from those same figures in the press even if such incidents do get shown after the race.

          If this incident had been repeated with, say, Giovinazzi and Grosjean battling away over 14th place, we wouldn’t have seen anything like as much of a fuss about that incident from either the press or the fans. How many fans would even remember the event now if that same incident had played out with two midfield or backmarker drivers, let alone continue to rake over the decision with such passion?

          1. If they were fighting for 1st place, it wouldn’t matter who it was @anon.

            1. S, and why should it matter if they are or aren’t fighting over 1st place? The rule shouldn’t be applied in any different a manner to two drivers battling for a position outside of the points than it should to two drivers battling for 1st.

              Is the context really the problem here then, given your response seems to be implying that your problem is more that it involved higher profile drivers and a more prominent position, rather than the actual principle of the move itself?

            2. why should it matter if they are or aren’t fighting over 1st place?

              If this incident had been repeated with, say, Giovinazzi and Grosjean battling away over 14th place, we wouldn’t have seen anything like as much of a fuss about that incident

              They wouldn’t make such a fuss over an incident in 14th place, but they would if it was for the lead.
              The rules shouldn’t be any different further down the pack, but the perception and feeling associated with it often will be.
              Giovinazzi and Grosjean fighting over 1st would be a bigger deal in the media/public arena than Hamilton and Vettel fighting for 14th.

        2. Zero sympathy for someone getting attacked on social media for making an unpopular but correct decision by the rules @nanotech? How cold are you. At least acknowledge it was difficult to make it knowing the reaction surely. Man alive.

          1. On the Marbles
            7th October 2021, 12:25

            Problem is that there are too many keyboard warrior experts who actually think that doling out abuse via social media and forums is an acceptable way to behave. And even if they aren’t doing it themselves they are quite happy to sit back with a smirk and agree

            Generally you only have to read the comments section of this website to see the sorts of convoluted and selective interpretations of events they will come up with to justify why ‘ X’ deserves it (or not). The worrying thing is most of these people are supposedly mature adults.

            1. Yep agreed, it’s quite sad.

        3. To me, the most poignant point he makes, which is certainly true, is that fans did not get the information to understand. But to me that is the repeated failure by the FIA and the stewards, to publish more information and their reasoning to make it easier to follow the reasoning behind the judgement.

          I think it was the right call, but awkwardly handed out.

          1. But to me that is the repeated failure by the FIA and the stewards, to publish more information and their reasoning to make it easier to follow the reasoning behind the judgement.

            @bascb– That I agree, though I can’t say I’m 100% confident at their judgement when they treat differently similar incidents at an usual manner.

            1. Yes, the inconsistency in judgements certainly is not doing stewarding many favours either @niefer.

      4. @niefer Totally.

        Pirro’s story confirms my belief that people and stewards are much more influenced by social media than they would admit, and the fear of being booed there is profound and affects their judgements and policies.

      5. @niefer What Monaco incident? I don’t recall anything similar happening in some previous Monaco GP.

        1. @niefer, Unless you mean 2016 against Ricciardo, which is incomparable.

          1. Why is it incomparable? Because hamilton was the one who could’ve been penalised? Because to me it was very similar and even at the time I asked how on earth one was a penalty and the other wasn’t.

          2. @jerejj – Hamilton went off, immediately rejoined slower than the following car at the racing line, which prompted Ricciardo to hit the brakes. What’s so different about it?

            1. @jerejj – I actually wrote an essay as post over there, lol. But, to keep it short, I’ll quote just the beginning:

              In short, it was treated differently because the 38.1 is vague and imprecise, just as the consistency of the stewarding.

              Worthy to point out Mr. Pirro was present at both incidents.

          3. @jerejj you’re a comedian.

          4. Ah, somehow I missed it, I even made a comment on that article the same year, but then I guess I forgot, they say hamilton left more space compared to what vettel left and that he had already rejoined before blocking.

    3. I thought at the time & still think today that the penalty Vettel got at Montreal in 2019 was one of the worst decisions in the history of F1. It’s certainly a penalty that would never have been given in the past when drivers were allowed to race without a lot of the over-regulation we have today which almost forces stewards to hand out silly & unnecessary penalties for what used to be considered good, hard racing.

      But putting aside my own views on it I look at what the drivers said about it & from memory I believe that every current & former F1 driver as well as drivers from other categories who commented on it all felt the decision was wrong & I think that they should be in a far better place than anyone else to say that.

      I of course don’t condone people attacking those who made the decision however.

      1. JohnnyRye (@)
        7th October 2021, 2:45

        This “worst ever” thinking is a perfect example of recency bias. It’s frustrating that people use extremes to make their point.

        Vettel’s penalty, despite my disagreement, IS NOT the worst ever! Senna for “cutting” the chicane at Suzuka!?

        A penalty that drops a driver from 1st to 2nd will never be the WORST ever. Quit with the dramatics.

        1. Senna rammed Prost up the behind and the got a push start. They got him on the chicane, but he was still a menace.

        2. @johnnyrye, I agree. The Suzuka chicane case was a joke.
          Zero advantage, given he had been stationary for more than a handful of seconds already.

        3. @johnnyrye I didn’t say it was the worst ever I said it was ‘One Of’ the worst.

          @jerejj Something people often ignore or maybe just don’t know regarding the penalty Senna got at Suzuka in ’89 was that it wasn’t simply for cutting the chicane. Drivers had been told before the race that if they did cut through the chicane they were supposed to stop at at stop board on the exit of the runoff & wait for a marshal standing next to it to give them the OK to re-join. Senna didn’t stop at that board & wasn’t given the OK by the marshal. Also contrary to the narrative he & Ron Dennis pushed afterwards he would not have been expected to turn around & re-join where he left the track.

          That said I would agree that penalty was harsh with it been a disqualification. Although back then they didn’t have a list of penalty types they could apply as they do today so I don’t know what else the officials would have had available.

          I remember at the time that the ESPN commentators immediately made the call that Senna would be disqualified because they knew what drivers were told regarding the stop board.

          Incidentally that rule about having to stop at a stop board & wait to be given permission to re-join was around for years before & after at Suzuka & other circuits. I remember Damon Hill cutting the Bus Stop at Spa in 1996 & having to stop at a stop board & wait to be told to carry on.

      2. Absolutely agree with this.

    4. Pirro deserves all the criticism he got. That was the worst decision ever made by an F1 steward. These are things that ruin F1

      1. @fish123 Worst ever? What about Senna getting DSQ’d for straight-line rejoining the track in 1989 Suzuka despite already having lost more than a handful of seconds by being stationary.

      2. Did Vettel rejoin in a safe manner or not @fish123?

        Maybe criticise the rule makers and not individual stewards.

        1. @john-h Yes, Sebastian rejoined in a safe manner. The actual problem was that it wasn’t via the proper escape route (which is a lesser offence and should have resulted in a request to hand back the position, followed by continuing the battle).

      3. For worst ever decision, I would suggest Senna not losing his championship in 1990 for that outrageous incident with Prost at Suzuka. Or, in other series, Formula e taking away Jean-Eric Vergne’s podium (as well as penalising Rene Rast and Tom Blomqvist) at Ad Diriyah this year for not using attack mode when the safety car effectively ended the race with 12 minutes to go.

    5. Pirro was wrong then, and he is still wrong.

      And CotD – do you really think that there will be so few manufacturers making combustion engines in fewer than 9 years from now?
      I think almost all of them still will be, even well beyond 2030. Certainly the ones still happy to sell to developing markets.
      All they need to make them ‘environmentally friendly’ is a cleaner fuel.

      1. A lot of manufacturers have announced 2030 as the end of them selling ICE cars, even with legacy technology and a lot of them think that date will be brought forward. Audi has already stopped all development of engines, Mercedes Benz and BMW are shortly behind and although the large US brands are more cautious about announcing it, the end is nigh pretty much everywhere.

        1. Yeah. I believed the 2030 fuel is just a gimmick. Not viable and inefficient. F1 just buying time until FE right to run international open seater racing is over. That’s why I always says that F1 need to be pure ICE racing and ditch hybrid. Just enjoy loud racing while it can. Merc, Audi, BMW can comeback to EV racing with F1 later.

        2. I think they are just riding the marketing wave @hazelsouthwell. It’s what large corporations do – F1 included.
          If/when the market changes soon with cleaner renewable liquid fuels, so too will their ‘projection’ for the future.

          Notice how VW have Audi doing one thing, and Porsche doing the opposite…? Hedging their bets, some might say…
          Doesn’t really scream complete and unwavering confidence in batteries and all their own environmental/industrial baggage, does it.

          1. If/when the market changes soon with cleaner renewable liquid fuels

            I don’t know who you expect to be the target market for new cars that are needlessly complex and fuel that takes energy any other new car could just straight-up use, throw 80+% of it away, and sell the rest at the ridiculous prices inherent in such foolishness.

            “Synthetic” fuels are a niche product for wealthy people wanting to keep their high-value, ICE-powered cars running beyond the end of regular fuel availability.

            1. People who like, understand and participate in car culture would buy them, @proesterchen. Not nerdy types who get their thrills from looking at spreadsheets and statistics.
              Humanity is diverse, though, sadly, modern governance is not.

              I believe it would be a disaster and a tragedy if hundreds of millions of well developed combustion engines were (and are being) rendered obsolete simply because of the short-sightedness of populist governments looking to be re-elected by creating hasty, near-sighted laws.

              The engine and its thermal efficiency is not the primary issue – the fuel is. If the fuel is clean and renewable, the engine itself becomes so. It’s also true that by running on such a fuel, an internal combustion engine powered vehicle has a significantly smaller environmental footprint than an equivalent electric one over its entire lifecycle.
              It doesn’t need to be complex in this case – actually I’d describe a typical atmospheric or turbo-induction combustion engine as a very simple and effective machine – far more so than an equivalent electric car system.

            2. So you agree that “synthetic” fuels are for wealthy enthusiasts, this is the (part of) car culture you refer to. Which perfectly explains why any mass-market manufacturer has no business case for continuing R&D into ICEs.

              ICEs will render themselves obsolete, that is their nature after all. It’s just that with the markets shrinking away, new ICEs will become rarer (and in many places extinct) and much more expensive, which means that the existing ICE population will age out naturally, to be replaced by BEVs in most cases of personal transportation.

              The engine and its thermal efficiency is not the primary issue – the fuel is.

              The fuel is not the primary issue, the extremely low efficiency of its creation, and therefore extremely high cost base and severely limited market opportunities are.

              Talk about “synthetic” fuels as a theoretical concept, and many people currently owning ICE cars will like the idea. Put the numbers to them, and they will likely not be kind in the description of what exactly it is you’re trying to sell to them.

              If it takes X kWh for your car to get from A to B, it would take 5+X kWh + the cost of fuel production + margins to get your ICE-powered car from A to B.

              5+X + cost + margin. That’s the rub, and its fundamental, and unfixable.

            3. Not all car enthusiasts are wealthy @proesterchen. I couldn’t afford to buy one of those ugly, trendy, electric monstrosities they are selling now even if I did want one, or was coerced into it by some stupid government.
              Car culture (which you clearly don’t understand) doesn’t necessarily mean supercars or hypercars – it means, simply, cars. Even some electric cars are desirable and admired – but typically standard, mega-production run disposable appliances such as current and future electric ones aren’t.
              It’s okay if you don’t understand, or if you simply aren’t interested in them. But other people are. Look at what some 60’s and 70’s classics are fetching these days… I can’t see too many Tesla’s being that desirable in 50 years time, given that an electric car’s lifespan would have ended 3 or 4 times by then.

              Indeed, natural evolution would have otherwise taken place as battery tech develops even without governments forcing the issue. But there are still many places and tasks in the world where battery vehicles are simply not sufficiently practical or functional. This could be the certainly case for 50 years or more yet, given that like everything else, battery development will inevitably suffer from diminishing returns, and will themselves become increasingly complex, expensive and resource demanding.
              A small electric car makes a lot of sense for a city commuter, for example – but is completely useless for someone who lives out in the distant countryside. A western European city dweller has very different needs to a miner working in central Australia or a farmer in mid-west of the USA. And what about rural Indians and Africans, or those in the jungles of South-East Asia and South America? Ever been to inland China or Mongolia…?
              Oh, but they’re a minority, right? Not important.

              The fuel is not the primary issue, the extremely low efficiency of its creation, and therefore extremely high cost base and severely limited market opportunities are.

              I totally disagree – and I suspect that’s because we live in very different places and have very different experiences/needs. Petrol or an equivalent drop-in replacement will be very useful in many places for many, many decades to come.
              Efficiency is a secondary concern to function.

              You are lumping synthetic fuels together with biofuels. They are certainly different, but neither is petrol.
              I’m not saying synthetic is the only way – but I am saying that after a decent amount of development has gone into it, it might certainly provide benefits to people who would otherwise continue to use petrol anyway.
              I really can’t understand why anyone would reject a development path altogether when it has such a potentially huge benefit to society.
              Electric cars are still twice the price of a petrol car, but slowly coming down thanks to development and production scale. Who’s to say that biofuel and, later, synthetic fuels can’t do the same?

              Ignorant people, I’d suggest.

              Are you also suggesting that the entire transportation needs of F1 will go electric soon too?
              Trucks are only just starting to go hybrid – full electric is a long, long way off. Commercial/industrial aircraft are several decades away from doing anything substantially different to now, and even then will be far more likely to switch to a different liquid fuel than a bunch of batteries.
              Synthetic and biofuel development isn’t just about passenger cars, you know…

            4. Not all car enthusiasts are wealthy

              Everyone planning to use “synthetic” fuels will have to be.

              Petrol or an equivalent drop-in replacement will be very useful in many places for many, many decades to come.

              However useful it would be in theory the practical facts of production and distribution of “synthetic” fuels ensure that they will be relegated to small pockets of users with both the need and the means to finance their use.

              You are lumping synthetic fuels together with biofuels.

              I have not said word one about biofuels.

              Electric cars are still twice the price of a petrol car

              Having looked for a new car in recent months, that is not even close to the realities I have found.

              Who’s to say that synthetic fuels can’t do the same?

              Physics. “Synthetic” fuels will always be more expensive than just using electric energy directly.

              Synthetic and biofuel development isn’t just about passenger cars, you know…

              Do you remember when you were arguing for car manufacturers to continue the development of ICEs?

            5. Your argument is based on the current synthetic fuel price. Economy of scale brings price per unit down substantially – except that you’ve already decided that that shouldn’t or can’t happen.
              Perhaps you’ve forgotten how much more expensive electric cars were 5 years ago.

              Do you remember when you were arguing for car manufacturers to continue the development of ICEs

              Yes – and any decent developments they come up with still apply to other machinery using those same or similar internal combustion engines.
              Progress and development should be encouraged on multiple fronts simultaneously. Not just on one that happens to be politically and socially friendly right now.

          2. What is Audi doing different than Porsche?
            Beginning of last year Audi had the assignment to focus on hydrogen. In the meantime they have given up on that and focus on electric.
            Audi is even using the Porsche platform in their e-Tron GT.

      2. Absolutely, there will be almost no manufacturers making, let alone designing, new engines.
        Look at Norway: in August almost 80% of new cars were electrified (60% pure EV).
        They expect to have already next year all new cars electrified.
        In Belgium for example, a lagger on EV’s compared to the Netherlands, all new company cars have to have 0% emissions in 2026. Company cars are +50% of new cars. Do the math.

        3rd world countries might still get ICE cars, but they will be old engine designs. No manufacturers will invest in new ICE engines after 2025-2030. Several have already said so.
        So who will make new F1 engines? Not 3-4 different manufacturers.
        F1 has to go electric, will become obsolete or will become a spec series by 2030 (or earlier)

        1. F1 is already obsolete, and has been for a long time.
          If manufacturers don’t want to participate, then good. Cosworth would happily supply a spec engine for a fraction of the cost, and we can enjoy private race teams having a fairer and more equal competition.
          And if it’s decent, the manufacturers will still want to come back to plaster their logos everywhere, just as they do now.

          With F1 having to wait until 2040 to go all electric (unless they buy out/merge with Formula E) anything they do with engines until then will either be a compromise or irrelevant in a marketing sense. They are going to need some kind of liquid or gas fuel – it might as well be better than the one they currently use, right?

    6. The penalty for Vettel from Canada was the right decision, fans should accept it. All attacks on Pirro are very bad and shameful.

    7. Pirro is 100% spot-on. That one incident caused unnecessarily excessive overreaction.

      LV has been mentioned several times over the last x number of years, even before LM came, so once again, I doubt anything concrete happens, most certainly nothing involving Strip closure.

      An interesting COTD.

    8. I’m sure everyone here is thrilled with the new news that Ferrari F1 has named their engineering candidates for 2021, lol

    9. Ben Sulayem’s PC ‘manifesto’ will be even more ironic when he’s passed on by yet another white guy

    10. Pirro & colleagues were correct in this case, irrelevant of the drivers involved.
      Perhaps from these poorly communicated decisions, we read far more now explanations for decisions that
      appear controversial.

      2030 for new fuels – Why is this not in the plan for new power units in 2026???
      Why is INEOS with Merc now?? Surely it will not take 9 yrs to develop.
      The whole Bio-fuels thing is not about F1, but the world vehicle fleet. Also the car manufacturers can not afford to have a mass of owners changing from ICE to EV’s in the last months before petrol/diesel sale is banned. Imagine the used car market!!!! 2030 is to-o-o late!!!

      1. @ancient1 The next PU concept arrival indeed is when 100% sustainable fuel comes at the latest.
        2030 mention is presumably about another version.
        Here’s a reference from FIA website:
        ”For the next generation power unit there is the commitment to move to 100% sustainable fuels in 2025/2026, remaining true to the culture of innovation, while at the same time preserving the capacity to thrill that has been at the heart of the sport since its earliest days.”

    11. Pirro is 100% correct.

      No understanding, F1 is one of the worst sports for the balance between the amount of fans and how many actually understand the rules and what’s going on. It’s just pure fandom a lot of the time, and throwing your toys out of the pram when your guy doesn’t win. It’s happening here, two years on.

      1. Indeed, but Vettel knows that and does a lot to encourage it – the petulant switching of position numbers being a fine example, although he may well have learnt it from the Red Bull management, of course.

      2. Gav, on many occasions the FIA has shown it does not understand its own rules. What chance does the average fan have?

    12. As seen here attacks on the refs quickly turn ad hominem. He’s right.

      And one of the reasons I’ve lost interest in a lot of sports ball over the pandemic is that, given a pause from it due to cancellations and inability to attend games, you have a chance to step back and see that a lot the experience is just mindless stanning for your side post game which in this era is a lot of toxic social media, tv, and radio bickering.

      Even my sons kiddie soccer league has to send out emails telling parents to stop abusing the refs at the games, who are often just high school students. Sports can bring out the worst.

      I like f1 beciase it’s not about your country/city/family legacy or whatever. Every team is international. That said people still are stuck on inserting chauvinism.

      1. @dmw Yes, and Liberty are doing a lot to turn F1 into a franchise sport with tribal loyalty, because they see that as a guarantor of (even more) money. It’s not likely to improve the sport for the reason you give.

    13. It was certainly a very hard decision to punish Vettel and given that we had two precedents that were similar but both not absolutely identical (Hamilton vs Ricciardo 2016 and Verstappen vs Raikkonen 2018) it could have gone either way and people (in this case probably Hamilton and Mercedes fans) would have complained too.
      But because so many people in the paddock (who do have some knowledge, Mr. Pirro) were unhappy about this decision, the incident changed the approach of the FIA towards the now existing “let them race” policy.
      So we can see it a little bit as a blessing in disguise although they start micromanaging to much again, imho.

    14. The problem Emmanuele Pirro faces is that a reasonable viewpoint from the evidence provided was that the rejoin was incorrect but not dangerous – something that established precedent of the time indicated should have led to a request to let Hamilton through, followed by continuing the battle (assuming there was timely compliance). By failing to follow the proper protocol, the stewards ensured that “the one who had to win” couldn’t prove they “had to win” anything. It was all up in the air until the incorrect penalty was issued (due to mis-classification of the offence).

      Time does not change that the stewards’ decision was wrong, according to the provided evidence. If the stewards wanted us to believe the move was dangerous, actual evidence of this was required, but nobody (not the stewards, not the press – not even the British press) managed to find any. So of course, most people believed the lack of evidence showed a lack of danger.

      (The people who said there was no chicane-skip were wrong – that part was clearly shown on camera, and if they’re the people Emmanuele were complaining at, I back him on that element).

    15. oh poor Pirro, was it unpleasant?

      Well, if it was up to me, you would we wishing you had never been born

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