Lando Norris, McLaren, Red Bull Ring, 2021

Debate over racing ethics after Interlagos left ‘all parties not happy’ – Seidl

2021 F1 season

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Formula 1 drivers’ discussions with the FIA over the racing rules in light of events at Interlagos have left significant questions marks over what is considered fair racing, says McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl.

A meeting last Friday between the drivers and FIA F1 race director Michael Masi saw lengthy debate over the stewards’ decision not to investigate whether Max Verstappen had broken the rules on lap 48 of the race when he ran wide as Lewis Hamilton passed him on the outside of a corner.

Seidl, whose driver Lando Norris was given a five-second time penalty for a similar incident in Austria, said the meeting failed to clarify important questions over how the stewards interpret the rules.

“I think overall, all parties are not happy, I would say, involved, because it’s simply not crystal clear,” he said. “We all get it that it is true that each case is an individual case and you have to look into everything that is important in the case. But at the same time, I think it should be possible to have a bit more clarity.”

Norris believes his incident was treated different because the run-off on the outside of the corner was gravel, whereas asphalt was in place Interlagos’ turn four where Verstappen and Hamilton went off. He and other drivers said that was not a fair distinction.

Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Interlagos, 2021
Feature: Why drivers backed Hamilton’s call for clarity after meeting over Verstappen incident
“There were some things that Lando mentioned which would have brought a bit more clarity like the difference it makes if there is gravel on the outside or Tarmac,” said Seidl, who suggested drawing up a “catalogue” of examples to help drivers understand how the stewards’ application of the rules may differ from track to track.

“It will be very important rather soon to do a good review again together with all parties involved, maybe do a document again of what is expected to be legal or not legal. Maybe it’s possible to just put up some five or six different standard cases, let’s say, for different track layouts.”

Friday’s meeting did provide “some clarifications or explanations that”, said Seidl, “for example it makes a difference if there’s gravel on the outside or not. It makes a difference, where the nose or the front axles of the cars that battling each other are going through a corner [to] who is owning a corner, who is not owning it.

“I just think [there] was still some question marks and I think at least we need to try to clarify that.”

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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  • 77 comments on “Debate over racing ethics after Interlagos left ‘all parties not happy’ – Seidl”

    1. How many more different takes on this do we need to see? Let’s just make a rule that clarifies that it’s illegal to defend against or otherwise race Lewis Hamilton. Most of the drivers don’t do it anyway, and let’s face it, it’s what most of those baying for blood after Brazil actually want to see.

      1. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
        25th November 2021, 7:39

        @red-andy Verstappen was almost a car’s length behind Hamilton and off the racing line, he’d lost the corner. It’s not ‘hard racing’ to deliberately run someone off track so that you can retake a position you’d lost. That’s called cheating. There are rules against it. Sometimes the stewards even enforce them.

        1. We need as many takes as important people like team principals and drivers are making just like any other sport, and I’m sorry that you feel so defensive about Verstappen you have to blatantly mischaracterize the situation like that but I get it, sports fanatism is sometimes not rational.

        2. According to your definition, Ricciardo’s brilliant signature move (‘the late lunge’) is also illegal?
          As it’s off the racing line and a car’s length behind at start of the braking zone.

          1. There is a very big difference: Ricciardo stays on the track after his late lunges to overtake.

            Verstappen lunge was so late, that he could not stay on the track at all. If Hamilton had not opened up his own steering, both of them would have been out of the race.

            1. Rules & Regulation are created by human, yet they able to override and making decision to anger “world most expensive sports”
              Racing is based on Engine Block and Driver skills, implement speed limit on a race track, pushing a driver off track with no penalty but initially races driver been punished.
              F1 was a good sports for many years, keep implementing too many rules & regulations will eventually disappointed many viewers. Other sports doesn’t keep implementing new rules & regulations like F1 Sports..

      2. I don’t believe Seidl cares too much for Hamilton, he is speaking out because his driver got a penalty was denied more points yet another driver does far worse and the stewards don’t even bother to investigate.
        For very expensive and professional sport it is ridiculous.
        What makes it even worse is that, the teams are not asking for punishment but clarification on what should be the right procedure going forward and that is also not forthcoming. Only Masi and Verstappen appear to be the only ones clear on what is allowed. You can’t tell me the other 19 drivers and 9 team heads are just being obtuse.

        1. Yea I totally agree. The penalties both Lando and Perez got in Austria wasn’t fair if Brazil is to be held as the precedent. Those two incidents played a bigger role in the championship standings as both Mclaren and Redbull lost valuable points. And before anyone whine about it why should having a tarmac or gravel shouldn’t matter.

      3. Sigh @red-andy. Why? It’s clear there needs to be more consistency in some of these running out wide manoeuvres and that includes many drivers and incidents, not just racing “Lewis Hamilton”. I’m not sure if you put this as the first comment just to troll people or what, but it’s getting really boring now.

        1. To me, @john-h, what’s “boring” is the attempt to keep this non-story alive after almost two weeks and a whole other Grand Prix in between. What was a relatively innocuous racing incident – resulting in a decision no more or less controversial than several others in this and other recent seasons – has been blown out of all proportion just because it happened to involve two of the championship protagonists. How many other team bosses and drivers got asked the same question at Losail, to fill up a couple of weeks’ worth of column inches on this site?

          It’s clear that this site has a particular editorial line that they’re trying to promote, which is their right, but ultimately it boils down to the point I made above. It’s very tedious for those of us who just want to enjoy the first proper championship battle we’ve had in years.

          1. I completely agree.
            Time for news

            1. Vote with your eyeballs instead of engaging in comments. Keith and co. are running a business here so they can and will publish what they choose to.

          2. I disagree. We had articles and articles about the Max and Leclerc incident, something I sided with Max by the way. Please see comments below @red-andy and no this isn’t because the incident involved Hamilton this time. I read countless articles when Max felt aggrieved at Silverstone too. Anyway it’s pointless trying to reason this.

      4. Interesting! I think the most discussions are after Verstappen racing, not Hamilton’s… Remember Max vs. Leclerc? Remember weaving and braking when still weaving?

      5. @red-andy this isn’t just about Hamilton. (I’m not sure whether you’ve got a bee in your bonnet about #44 or you’re being deliberately controversial.)

        It’s about 10 teams wanting consistent decisions from the stewards and knowing where the boundaries are. Seidl’s point is that #33 seems to have got away with something that #4 has been penalised for.

        1. C’mon, the rules are very clear, there is one set of rule’s for Max and another one for everyone else…

      6. @red-andy no – it is more that people feel angry that, as gt-racer noted in another thread, the commercial rights holder has pressured the FIA and the stewards into applying penalties “for the benefit of the show rather than the right decision from a sporting perspective”.

        In this case, Seidl is making it clear that his anger is because the rules are being selectively applied, and that his drivers are being penalised when another driver is allowed to get away with similar or worse behaviour. It’s the principle that the rules should not be ignored because of how popular the driver is, which team he drives for or whom they are, and the sense that the FIA is giving Verstappen “different treatment”, as Montoya put it, because Liberty Media are leaning on the FIA not to penalise him where others would have received a penalty.

      7. @red-andy We need clarity on the overtaking guidelines. Until that is achieved this should not go away just because you are “bored” of it and you don’t want the guy on your posters to be held back by fair racing stewarding.

      8. Let’s just make a rule that clarifies that it’s illegal to defend against or otherwise race Lewis Hamilton.

        Sorry to say this after many years of seeing you as a pretty reasonable chap @red-andy, but that is utter BS.

        Max knowingly and intentionally did something that other drivers (yes, Norris and Perez in Austria, neither when fighting Hamilton) and quite a few others, also without involvement from Hamilton have been penalized for when it was far less obviously intentional crowding. Heck, they were even warned in Mexico explicitly not to do this kind of thing.

        If anything, I would see a slight tendency with the FIA/F1 to be rather supportive of Red Bull finally dethroning Mercedes, if anything. Although it is just much more likely that they are happy to see a battle going on and are scared of breaking that battle up and that is why they mess this up. And the time delays are because they feel it will attract more attention.

        By now, nobody really can be sure whether a defensive move or an attack is allowed because the judgements or even whether it investigated at all varies greatly and that just doesn’t make sense.

      9. @red-andy There’s a basic difference between forcing someone off track but remaining on track, which has frequently been allowed and, post Austria 2019, became the definition of ‘hard racing,’ and driving off track yourself – in Verstappen’s case in São Paulo, by a long way – to do so. Allowing the latter redefines the ‘rule’ previously more or less understood by all drivers.

        Two questions arise: is it viable to allow drivers to use off-track tarmac as, effectively, an addition to the racing track? Apparently not because track limits are imposed with warnings and penalties. But apparently so because in SP it was allowed. Hence confusion. And two: will it actually improve racing to allow drivers to defend being overtaken on the outside in this way?

        Personally, though, I don’t think there’s any more debate to be had either. We’ll have to see the consequences of FIA’s current position, or lack of one, on track.

      10. The point is this decision by the stewards has created a precidence, with the reference ‘just let them race’. Naturally the other drivers want to know if this should also apply to them, or its a special rulling just for Max ‘champion elect’ Verstappen. The whole world can see the stewards were wrong, yet to date they haven’t admitted to their error, or show any signs they wont do the same again.

      11. To: Red Andy,
        You are absolutely correct, every driver and team mus clear the track for SLH to keep going unimpeded. After all, it is his God given right to win every grand Prix he takes part in. Next year, George Russell will most definitely conform to the ‘Hamilton Rule’.
        I seem to remember a saying about racing, ‘Overtake on the outside of a corner at your peril’!
        Michael A.

    2. Could they please get everybody’s opinion on a subject and put them together in an article? Or is this how we’re gonna spend the two weeks in between races? Just get one opinion everyday on the same topic that everybody will comment on again?

      1. Yes, it’s called propaganda… This is an attempt to have fans cheer for Lewis and not for Max. Inception kind of thing. Mercedes is very good at it, as is the UK media. And it works, always. Trump got elected this way.

        1. for an Article that does not even mention MV or LH i feel its you making it about them, to us noneLH and MV fans, you know Lando, Russel, Lecleric and so on all have fans too, heck even F1 has fans and the teams…. its not about any thing other than a consistant approach and fair rules for ALL.

          1. You have a point that this article is not mainly about MV and LH but: “…A meeting last Friday between the drivers and FIA F1 race director Michael Masi saw lengthy debate over the stewards’ decision not to investigate whether Max Verstappen had broken the rules on lap 48 of the race when he ran wide as Lewis Hamilton passed him on the outside of a corner….”

            is enough to incentivise both LH and MV sides…

            1. If you have followed the Perez and Norris penalty story, you would have found out many didn’t agree with those penalties because it didn’t make sense. Then a clear cut case of a driver deliberately doing even worse is not even investigated. You don’t think the drivers who got penalties for lesser offences will want to know exactly what the rules are.
              The fact Verstappen and Hamilton are mentioned only serves as reference to compare previous incidents that received penalties.
              Some readers here are objective in their assessments others are blinded by loyalty and go on to personalise issues.
              The need to investigate driver behaviour on track should not be determined by the stewards’ mood or the stage of the championship.

          2. But the writer is not after you, he is after them (them being the majority)

            1. Because the writer ‘may’ not agree with you they have to have an agenda I guess. Sad.

            2. Not necessarily, but if 90% of the articles is in favour of Mercedes and Lewis or bashing the competition and a sport is made about milking an incident over and over even after there have been events since.. I am amazed some people on this forum can’t see that they are being played.

        2. No. It’s Seidl unhappy that his driver got punished for what he perceives to be a similar incident to Verstappen, who didn’t get punished. His comments would be the same if the incident was between Verstappen and Bottas or Verstappen and Alonso.

          Personally, I think we should move on, but you can’t blame people for having a different interpretation to you. People can see with their own eyes what was Max pushing things to the limit and some might find that unfair from their own interpretation, not because media outlets keep talking about it. It’s not a case of you being the only voice of reason against everyone else who isn’t.

        3. Let’s be 100% honest. It is all about viewership and internet traffic. As someone pointed out above, is running a business. Clicks = income. Good for them for exploiting the potential for maximum clicks. If you’re truly passionate about limiting a stories lifespan, just stop clicking.
          Someone surmised above that Liberty is leaning on FIA to not punish Max. Is this to keep the battle close? Does a close battle mean more revenue for Liberty? Good for Liberty for exploiting their profit potential.
          You want pure honest racing? Start your league. No one has the guts to do it (in any industry, let alone racing). It is all about power and profit, the storyline may not be scripted, but it can be guided. And here we sit arguing about it like it even matters. Let’s all just enjoy the last two races and marvel at the technical accomplishments of the cars.

          1. I would love to agree with you, but too much has happened this season that has nothing to do with what we saw on track. I’ve been watching for decades and am familiar with all stakeholders and their interests. Politics and intrige have always been there. The reason this year particularly doesn’t go down well with me, is because it follows 8 full years of utter borefests and therewith a multiple time WDC that might be one of the best, but who’s tally is just ridiculously coloured by the dominance of Mercedes in the hybrid era. Lewis might be in the right car since he was the best around at the time, so kudo’s for him, and these things can happen. So be it. But then to subsequently never reflect on yourself and just claim Lewis goat, is quite frankly an insult to drivers of the past. On top of that, we finally got a hint of some competition (let me remind you that no-one other than Max have come close to any of the Mercedes this year.. so not really competition, just that one guy) and Mercedes just immediately starts back room politics. Trying to build a fake reputation around Max, getting RedBull to no longer have their pitstop advantage, getting in season change of the tyres to better fit their car. Restricting competitors wings and subsequently having a shady one yourself. Not following the spirit of the max nr of engine concept but turning it into a (only because of having the financial means) advantage. Incredible. And the propaganda machine meanwhile puts all eyes on just RB and Max, leveraging the British press bias to the max. Brilliant and I could almost appreciate the cleverness, but it does not contribute to anything remotely close to a fair fight or nice battle on track. Add the on track shady situations and bumping Max off twice and I honestly can not respect Mercedes or Toto. Especially since it is so unnecessary. What’s wrong with being graceful when you suddenly don’t win almost all races in a season? You just had 8 years of it.

    3. Well good for that. We as fans are also unhappy with the way this season has unfolded in terms of sportsmanship. We saw two team bosses who shouldn’t be allowed to manage anything given they turn out to be 4 year olds when being put under pressure. We’ve seen intentional narratives about an opponent being launched, as a clear strategic choice already early in the season to also win not just on track but use all that is at hand. We’ve seen shady on track tactics and questionable innovations. Despite the battle at front being maybe entertaining this was a year to soon forget as it showed F1 at is worst. Personally I feel it proved once again there is no place for a car manufacturer team in F1. The stakes for them are not at all about the sport, leading to questionable behavior and down spiralling the sport into a soap series. Good for Liberty and all those casual fans that drop in for a year or so, sure. But as F1 fan I personally had to watch one of the great athletes of this era, and my hero for years, diminish himself to a cartoon figure who turned out not to be such a great champion but rather a kid that plays dirty if things don’t go his way as soon as he hasn’t got the biggest toy. Tainted season, hollow victories. On to 2022 and let’s hope Toto and Christian will leave this once great sport very soon.

      1. Without car manufacturer teams, there would be no F1.

        I’d say there’s no place for a fizzy drinks manufacturer in F1

        1. I’d say there are more teams that are not car manufacterers in F1 than that are. So with only car manufacterers there would also be no F1.

          I think the sport needs all the teams they can get.

          1. @anunaki Mercedes, Alpine, Aston Martin, McLaren, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari are all car manufacturers.

            That’s 6 teams out of 10, over half the field.

            1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
              25th November 2021, 10:03

              In the past F1 survived pretty well without any mainstream car manufacturers.

              Their inclusion has improved the level of the sport, but also the cost.

              Mercedes started as Tyrell, an independent team.
              Alpine started as Toleman, an independant team.
              Aston Martin started as Jordan, an independant team.
              McLaren started as a independant racing team. Cars came later.
              Alfa Romeo started as Sauber, an independant team.

              Independent teams are the DNA of F1. Always have been. That needs to be preserved so when the manufacturers shareholders get itchy feet F1 is left in a mess.

            2. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
              25th November 2021, 10:08

              Correction: That needs to be preserved so when the manufacturers shareholders get itchy feet F1 is not left in a mess.

      2. We as fans

        Please speak for yourself. Your comments are getting more and more unhinged by the day and are now getting beyond ridiculous. For example:

        We saw two team bosses who shouldn’t be allowed to manage anything given they turn out to be 4 year olds

        What kind of nonsense is this? Have you ever managed anything of consequence? The rest of the comment makes me wonder exactly what you’re smoking.

        1. Thank you for feedback on my personality. I’d rather hear feedback on the content however. Cheers

          1. If you want substantive discussion of the content, don’t present it in such a silly and tendentious fashion. The medium is the message, innit?

          2. @Mayrton – 1000% agree with @EMMA.
            Speak for yourself only, thank you.

            1. Good argument

    4. Lewis ran Max off track at Portugal. He also ran Perez into the pitlane in Turkey. Max of course ran Lewis off track in Imola and again (dramatically so) in Brazil.

      Through the rest of the grid there’s too many examples to list. Some penalised, some not.

      There absolutely needs to be clarity around when a driver is legitimately allowed to run a rival out of space (and hence off track) and when they are not. Gravel v tarmac run-off is a fair judgement if risk factors in to the stewards equations but is a poor judgement on pure sporting terms.

      The extent a driver is alongside and the speed of the corner are two factors that could quite easily be clarified I would have thought.

      1. I have never seen a driver drive another driver 20 meters off track. So stop spreading lies to fit your narrative.

      2. He didn’t run anyone wide, he maintained his track position. That is the key difference.
        If a driver changes his line or deviates from his part to force a driver off, it is a different thing.
        Hamilton always maintains his line and indicates to the driver on the outside where he is going that is classic race driving. Perez saw where Hamilton was going and still decided to push on.
        When Hamilton sees a driver maintaining his line through a corner and that line is going to the outside of the track, he backs off. That is standard racing etiquette.

        Whe Hamilton was having his crashes with Massa in 2011, Massa was always changing his line mid-corner, to block.
        What Verstappen did at Silverstone was to change his line mid-corner, to block after accelerating round the outside.
        In Brazil Verstappen didn’t even attempt to brake for the corner he just drove straight on.
        Understand vehicular dynamics and driver attitudes and you will appreciate the subtleties of these incidents or accidents.

        1. Jeffrey Powell
          25th November 2021, 9:27

          Years ago when F1 was a deadly sport where drivers risked their lives at every race these sort of antics hardly occurred mostly because of circuit and car safety , nobody in their right mind wants a return to what was basically a death sentence for dangerous driving, but although it would obviously be virtually impossible to apply fairly full race bans or points removal would probably have an amazing effect. Jackie Stewart didn’t have to run people of the road to win the championships.

        2. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
          25th November 2021, 10:16

          Oh dear. Verstappen did not maintain his track position. In fact he didn’t retain his OFF track position. He continued to run Hamilton wide when off the track!

          Admittedly Hamilton has got away with more subtle bending of this rule and he should not have does so, but Verstappen breach of the rule was blatant. Hamilton drove to stay on the track. Verstappen did not. CASE CLOSED.

        3. “Hamilton always maintains his line”, yeah like at Silverstone vs how he took the corner when battling with Charles

          1. You must have not heard of constant steering angle. If for example you leave your steering at 30 degrees all though a ( constant radius) corner, it is the same thing as maintaining your line. You are then allowed to straighten your steering wheel back for the straight.

            1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
              25th November 2021, 16:45

              With all due respect that is not correct. Steering angle is only one factor affecting the direction of travel, for instance the car can be turning right but with oversteer the steering wheel could be turning left.

              The angle of steering makes NO difference when deciding if a driver forces another off the circuit. Its the positioning of the car. It doesn’t have to be deliberate, it could be accidental, but it still would be illegal.

              The clear fact of the matter is Hamilton had to steer away from Verstappen to avoid being hit by him, when he had every right to be where he was.

              Verstappen retained his position by leaving the track which is illegal. The fact that he also took Hamilton wide is immaterial. Hamilton had braked earlier and would almost certainly have made the corner on track.

              The stewards made a mistake. There is no other logical conclusion.

            2. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
              25th November 2021, 16:46

              Correction: steering angle is NOT the only one factor affecting the direction of travel

      3. @aussierod Hamilton was ahead and hd the racing line. So he’s entitled to … the racing line. If that means the other driver doesn’t have space then that’s how it is and he needs to yield. How hard is it to make that distinction?

        I get that Alonso makes it hard to comprehend. One time he says “All the time you need to leave the space”. Then when he drives off Raikkonen (not “leaving the space”), he’s upset that Raikkonen is not penalized for going off track.

        The reality is that only the driver who according to the racing guidelines has the racing line has the racing line and he should be left space.

        There is absolute clarity on how this works. A driver overtaking on the inside needs to be halfway alongside at the braking point to get the racing line. A driver overtaking on the outside needs to be fully alongside. If not enough alongside the racing line remains with the defending driver. The driver who does not own the racing line will need to yield if he runs out of space. That’s it.

        1. It’s actually much easier to condemn Max than this. He failed to hit the apex and failed to make the corner himself by a ridiculous margin. That is in itself another infraction. Remember when the argument against Lewis at Silverstone was that he failed to hit the apex? These are the same people who believe that Max was just fine in Brazil.

          IMO, Max pushing Lewis wide was fine because he was on the inside and was alongside enough. The problem is that he had no chance of making the corner and went off by 4 meters himself. This is the penalty. Had he magically made the corner, I don’t think that there should be a penalty. It’s not like he took a crazy lunge from a mile back at the end of the braking zone like he did in Monza or Tsunoda in Brazil.

    5. The Hamilton move (c)
      Invented to push your opponent into the barriers. Used several times, like on albon twice and verstappen in Silverstone.

      1. Jeffrey Powell
        25th November 2021, 10:04

        Let us all hope for your mental wellbeing that Max wins the next two races and that Lewis retires at the end of the season and most off all that he isn’t replaced by Lando.

      2. Good point. If we follow the Mercedes approach we would launch a global campaign getting it to be called ‘the Hamilton move’. Get some media to chip in and write an article on it every day for weeks and weeks even if the topic is already burried.. and before you know it, the Hamilton move is a thing. Something he will not easily get rid off. It will work, believe me. It’s exactly what Mercedes have been doing with Max. And Toto admitted he feels it is fair to use this and other non racing instruments. Must be a cultural thing.

      3. For you information. Albon did in Austria – I believe, exactly what Verstappen did at Silverstone. Which is, try to out accelerate round the outside and turn in tighter to block pass.
        The Brazil accident was classic misunderstanding with Hamilton thinking he was letting him past and Albon losing track of a driver he is close to. Hamilton did try to avoid that accident but Albon still went ahead to take the apex because he didn’t see a car was there. Funny enough it was still similar to the Silverstone inciden but with a different flavour.

        1. Lewis deliberately ran Albon and Max off the track more than once. He just hasn’t got what it takes in those battles, gets nervous easily and is prone to mistakes. He has always been that way. Lauda even warned him he was going to kill somebody someday. Then it all went away since with the rocket he didn’t need to battle anyone but occasionally his team mate. Now we see the real Hamilton return. He needs to step up his game because frankly, without the rocket, I don’t see him winning at all in todays field full of talent

          1. You should stop sniffing that stuff, it does you no good.

          2. It’s either deliberate, or a mistake? make your mind up. He dominated the last 2 races, I don’t see how he steps it up much further from here haha.

            1. Oh he will win with the rocket, don’t worry. I am talking what if he doesn’t have the rocket

          1. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
            25th November 2021, 16:38

            Thanks for the clips. In Brazil Albon is clearly at fault (though I seem to remember Hamilton was penalised), it looks to me like Alex assumed no-one would try overtaking there (granted, it’s not generally regarded as an overtaking corner), rather than acknowledging that Lewis was significantly overlapped (about halfway alongside at turn in point), and allowing him room. He only needed to allow a car’s width, Lewis would not overtake him there, he was more interested in forcing Alex off the ideal line for the following sequence of corners.

            As I see it Austria is a clear penalty for Hamilton, who’s carried too much speed through the corner and run wide. That looks like a mistake, not a deliberate act, but it deserved a penalty. This sort of clumsiness is very rare for Hamilton, he’s usually such a clean racer.

          2. Do we need the 2nd, 3rd, or maybe the eventual 4th time to understand that this is intentional?

    6. Jeffrey Powell
      25th November 2021, 9:47

      Martin Brundle and Jenson Button are adamant that the white lines are the true limit of the circuit, and crossing them should occur a penalty unless it is involved in an obvious accident. So when a driver forces another driver over the lines and most importantly crosses those same lines in the incident and there is no contact between the two what is the result. It’s obvious ,’ NOBODY KNOWS’!

      1. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
        25th November 2021, 10:03

        The strange thing is that crowding has always been understood to mean forcing another car off track. It doesn’t matter whether it was accidental or deliberate, it doesn’t matter whether one or both cars go off, it doesn’t matter whether there was contact or not. The rule has always been pretty clear, and the only exception to it is when the lead car is so far ahead at corner entry that the following car has no right to expect space.

        In Brazil, the stewards chose to ignore the rules.

        1. @slightlycrusty I’m convinced the stewards are less able to make judgements based on the well established rules of engagement they’ve largely enforced quickly and with clarity. Regardless of how partisan an individual may be, any sensible and informed follower of F1 would find it hard to argue that many of the recent decisions (up and down the grid) and rhetoric coming from the FIA is nothing more than a poorly disguised ruse to increase the drama and entertainment. Put another way, they’re tarnishing the integrity of sport to hit the commercial rights holders KPI’s.

          1. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
            25th November 2021, 12:09

            @shakey66 I agree, but I do wonder what leverage Liberty has over the FIA? Now I read that the FIA is furious that Liberty forces it to delay announcing decisions (so that they can appear mid press conference, for example). How is it forcing the FIA’s hand? If Liberty has insinuated itself into the decision-making process, Jean Todt needs to weed it out pronto, as it’s doing the sport no favours.

            1. @slightlycrusty Good point, but Todt is on his way out and has political ambitions so maybe he’s happy to turn a blind eye? I read that somehow a Netflix cameraman got access to the said press conference at the last minute despite him not being in the covid bubble… it may be completely innocent, but if they are ok breaking their own strict covid protocols to gratify a media organisation, what else is off the table? Add Brawn and Domenicali shamelessly spinning fan polls and driver opinion to fit their agenda, and a race director who looks like he really enjoys the limelight, and it’s easy to see how it gives the wrong optics. Maybe i’m being unfair, but if it walks like and duck and quacks like a duck….

        2. There were also precedents for this. The one that immediately came to my mind was Austin 2015 at start, where Hamilton forced Rosberg out the same way, despite being behind. There is big run-off in first turn, Rosberg however, lost 3 positions in the process and I felt it was not fair to him.
          Hamilton got no penalty and won the race – It was also a title race and I think he may have clinched the title that day.

          Here is footage from two angles:

    7. Jeffrey Powell
      25th November 2021, 10:23

      Yes you are of course correct my point is that intentionally using the surface outside the white lines as your racing line because it is basically not a barrier to adhesion is so blatantly foul play that I and most fans of F1 are amazed there was no penalty .As I have said before a serious written warning stating a very strong penalty for a next offence might carry more weight.

    8. I’m not particularly fussed at the lack of a penalty.

      If the stewards had investigated, and then said “after investigating the incident we have decided it’s a racing incident and no penalty is needed” (and, for preference, something explaining the decision) I would be happy with that.

      What I’m totally baffled by is the lack of investigation. It looked to me that #33 ran wide (probably accidentally); #44 either also ran wide either accidentally or as a reaction to avoid a collision; #33 was able to gain a position as a result, as #44 was ahead or significantly alongside at the end of the straight. Is this description controversial to fans of either driver?

      If that wasn’t the case – and there are clearly many fans who insist it wasn’t – then a stewards’ investigation would really reassure me that the incident was looked at fairly.

      1. I agree. Their choosing not to investigate at all is infuriating and also demonstrates blatant bias. Refusing even to look at the incident cannot be justified given how many sane and reasonable observers believe that it was a clear penalty.

        They didn’t investigate because if they had, they would have had to conjure up an explanation for not penalizing Max. The cover up is worse than the crime.

    9. To me, VER did do a flick approx. 3/4 thru the corner to put the other driver “off” [regardless of whom that driver was. Accordingly, again to me, the fact that VER did NOT win – justice was served.

      BUT ,irrelevant of opinions, it is clear that the consensus of teams & drivers is that the lack of consistency is the underlying factor. Actually it is THE problem.
      I’ve heard before of a suggestion of a stewards panel, for the season. Yes, there will be odd occasions when a steward will be absent, but the general make-up of the panel will remain. It should be investigated, at least.
      Also, what to me is 1000% clear is the inclusion of a ‘driver’ steward has FAILED, miserably. This current debacle is a prime example. Mindful of the expertise of most of the D/Ss, without being in the room one can not be sure of the true reason, but clearly t’ain’t working.

    10. Max should have been heftily penalized for leaving the opposition alive, But oh, where’s the Shanghai gravel trap when you need it? or the Montreal wall of champions?

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