Drivers warned points deductions possible for ‘unethical’ behaviour in title showdown

2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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FIA race director Michael Masi has given F1 teams and drivers a clear warning that their conduct in the championship-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be under scrutiny with the potential for points to be deducted as penalty.

In the first edition of the race event notes for the weekend’s grand prix circulated to all competitors, Masi reminded teams and drivers of their obligations under the FIA’s International Sporting Code and the stewards’ power to take points away from drivers and teams if they are deemed to have breached sporting rules.

In Instruction 29 of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix event notes circulated on Thursday, Masi reminded teams and drivers of a series of rules and procedures outlined in the FIA’s International Sporting Code – in particular article 12.2.1.l that of “any infringement of the principles of fairness in Competition, behaviour in an unsportsmanlike manner or attempt to influence the result of a Competition in a way that is contrary to sporting ethics.”

Masi also pointed out the stewards may impose possible penalties of “suspension for one or more competitions” and “withdrawal of points for the championship” for any offences.

The reminder comes ahead of the final race of the Formula 1 season where the recipient of both the drivers’ and constructors’ championship will be determined, between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton and between Mercedes and Red Bull, respectively.

The battle for the championships has become increasingly tempestuous as the season has progressed, with tensions fuelled by a series of collisions and incidents involving Verstappen and Hamilton. The pair were investigated multiple times after a spate of incidents during last weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, in which the rivals collided in the later stages of the race. Hamilton went on to win the race, while Verstappen was awarded two separate time penalties by race stewards having been deemed responsible.

The two drivers head to the final race of the season level on 369.5 points each – meaning whichever driver finishes ahead of the other, if they finish in the points, will be crowned the 2021 drivers champion.

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International Sporting Code reminder

Masi drew the drivers’ attention to the following points in the International Sporting Code:

29.1 All Competitors and Drivers are reminded of the various requirements detailed in the FIA International Sporting Code. In particular I would like to remind you of the following articles detailed below.

29.2 Article 9.15.1

“The Competitor shall be responsible for all acts or omissions on the part of any person taking part in, or providing a service in connection with, a Competition or a Championship on their behalf, including in particular their employees, direct or indirect, their Drivers, mechanics, consultants, service providers, or passengers, as well as any person to whom the Competitor has allowed access to the Reserved Areas.”

29.3 Article 12.2.1 – Breach of Rules and in particular Article 12.2.1.l

“Any infringement of the principles of fairness in Competition, behaviour in an unsportsmanlike manner or attempt to influence the result of a Competition in a way that is contrary to sporting ethics.”

29.4 Article 12.4.5

“For all the FIA Championships, cups, challenges, trophies or series, the stewards may also decide to impose the following penalties: Suspension for one or more Competitions, withdrawal of points for the Championship, cup, challenge, trophy, series.”

29.5 Article 12.4.5.a

“Points should not be deducted separately from Drivers and Competitors, save in exceptional circumstances.

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2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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120 comments on “Drivers warned points deductions possible for ‘unethical’ behaviour in title showdown”

  1. Masi is learning.

    They were some big shoes to fill, but he atleast is getting his head straight.

    1. After his absolutely dire attempt to direct the race last week, it’s about time.

    2. The way I read it is:Max crashes on Sunday and wins 25 points Hamilton 2nd 18 points .
      FIA DEDUCTS 5 points from his 25 points for crashing Max is champion!
      But do not complain as despite Max having the right to crash into people,he was penalised of 5 BIG points!!
      How does that grabs you guys????

    3. The shoes were big indeed, but also this was a hell of a championship to police. I don’t remember a season during Charlie’s last 15-20 years of tenure that were so dramatic and on the edge. Even Lewis’ first seasons against Alonso or Massa weren’t this clinched. Maybe only that season with Hill and Schumacher in ’94 to have been more dramatic.

  2. Well to me that is the best news for hopefully a sensible fair race happening!

    the last thing I would want to see would be a deliberate crash to determine either championship!

    So all involved being informed they could be penalised if they don’t play fair is 100% the right move!

    Let’s the best team / Driver win fairly on the day from racing cleanly!

  3. Rick (@wickedwicktheweird)
    9th December 2021, 10:46

    I’m all for it, but only if it is a deliberate act in which 1 driver is wholly to blame. Points deduction for incidents that don’t meet these criteria is unfair because in that way incidents that happened mid season are punished less severe than in the final race, but they both have an equal effect on the championship.

    1. you are right. but i think there’s no way around it. incidents that occur on the last race of the season may be punished way more severely, especially if they change the outcome of the championship. there’s precedent.

      would Schumacher have been disqualified from the 1997 championship if the Jerez collision had taken place earlier in the season? i think not…

      does an incident in the middle part of the season also change the outcome of the championship? absolutely, but not in a clear-cut way so…

    2. @wickedwicktheweird
      While it is true that mid-season races have an equal effect on the championship, it is vastly different when in the closing stages of a championship battle as close as this. Nobody would intentionally wipe out a rival mid-season, as there is plenty of time to make up points, but at the last race it is all or nothing. Tensions are higher, stakes are higher.

      An incident where one driver is wholly to blame are pretty rare. It’s uncommon for there to have been no lapse in judgement from the “victim”, no way they could have avoided the accident. Max could have taken a wider line at Silverstone, as Lewis did several times this year to avoid similar moves by Max. Lewis could have taken the chicane differently in Italy, as Max had done earlier in the race. There is almost always some responsibility by both drivers, unless intent can be proven (which is near impossible in the vast majority of cases without an admission).

      If you restrict these sanctions to “only if it is a deliberate act in which 1 driver is wholly to blame”, you basically say it isn’t going to happen. In fact, you just encourage a driver who may already have been considering this to be a little smarter, to try to hide intent, make it look like an error or choose an opportunity where the other driver is in the middle of a slight error.

    3. @wickedwicktheweird
      The way the FIA and Masi are reflecting on the last race is like the way some amateur judges in Boxing look at the championship rounds (the last 3 rounds) to decide who the winner is. It’s not uncommon to see a Boxer win the fight just because he looked good in the championship rounds despite being so far down on the scorecards.

      This is what they should have done since the beginning of the season because all the rounds count. If they have made it clear that penalties like DSQ or points deduction would apply in case of unsportsmanlike behaviour on the track then the situation might not got out of their control like it is now.

    4. really curious how they will rule if Verstappen pulls a Silverstone on Hamilton

      1. @paeschli With Hamilton going to Abu Dhabi, I guess it wouldn’t matter what Verstappen does in Silverstone

        But yeah if they award a penalty for a racing incident like in Silverstone, you wonder why they don;t hand out much more harsh penalties for Verstappen’s recent clearly deliberate attempts on Hamilton’s car.

        How can missing the apex by a meter be worth a 10s penalty when blundering across the track fully out of control, while not owning the racing line and then coming back on track unsafely be worth only 5s or it can be undone by simply handing the place back while Hamilton and Bottas still lost several places because of all that.

        Or why does causing three separate incidents (all clearly deliberate) does not turn into a DSQ.

        So while they punished a simple racing incident in Silverstone like it was the end of the world, clear and dirty violations from Verstappen are not even investigated or not actually punished. And they the have the gall to pretend that Red Bull Verstappen have been hard done by the FIA. Lol

        1. @f1osaurus

          With Hamilton going to Abu Dhabi, I guess it wouldn’t matter what Verstappen does in Silverstone


      2. Hamilton would just give more room and not be hit. As has been proven on several other occasions this season.

        1. You beat me to it. Max has pulled similar moves on Lewis several times this season, but mostly Lewis has avoided an accident where Max hasn’t.

  4. I agree on this one with Michael. It’s a good preventive measure, I hope.

  5. Changing the interpretation of the rules at every races was the main culprit of FIA inconsistent decisions post Charles Whiting era. Yet here we are again.

    1. How is this changing any interpretation @ruliemaulana, this is sent as a reminder to all teams before any on track action.

      1. Yes. It’s a new precedent. Something they think unnecessary for any other races before this one @bosyber.

        1. @ruliemaulana It’s more a warning that a deliberate attempt of Verstappen to take Hamilton out will not automatically end in a WDC for Verstappen as he seems to expect. To remind him it’s not just in race or next race penalties that the stewards can apply.

          Also, they have taken points away from drivers and teams before.

          1. @f1osaurus I rate both drivers so highly that I can’t see any accident between them not calculated. But at least until now and what could be happen in Abu Dhabi showed that every dirty trick Max did always to make sure both drivers getting DNF. Not like Lewis did to Albon and Max. Unless if FIA think that was a smarter move so it didn’t need to be punished, then that what Max should do.

    2. I don’t think it’s fair to say the interpretation is changing, although it remains to be seen if the application changes.

    3. Given taking someone out to win the title could only have happened at this race, I’m not sure what relevance it would have had being discussed at previous rounds.

  6. These one-off event note additions are good.
    A clear-cut message is out, which hopefully means nothing extreme happens, although I’m still prepared.

  7. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    9th December 2021, 10:53

    Hamilton must become champion again eh FIA? Empty championship at this point. Any defending action by Verstappen will result in a deduction of points for sure, meaning this is only used to prevent Verstappen from defending at all. How people still claim that Hamilton is the best driver ever, even though everyone has to move aside from him, is beyond me.

    1. Verstappenesque “defense”, if you even call it that absolutely deserves points getting taken away.

    2. Rhetorically, you are in effect admitting that Max is likely to use unsporting behaviour whereas Lewis is not.

      1. Constantijn Blondel
        9th December 2021, 11:43

        Of course, because Lewis is the good guy, and Max is the boogeyman … right? … Right ??? :)

      2. @psynrg

        Not if he believes that double standards are applied.

    3. Hamilton has had many judgements go against him, and Max has been let off lightly (or scott free) for his “defending” many times. I’d advise trying to look objectively, or maybe just put your tinfoil hat back on…

    4. I can understand your anger. You thought that all Max had to do was deliberately cause a race ending crash with Hamilton and he would be champion. And now just a few days before the race you are being told that may not be the case.
      Mind you Max stands a good chance of winning the championship by outracing Ham. So there’s that.

    5. It’s Barry everyone, and he’s talking about Hamilton again. Is he talking about F2 upcoming drivers, is he talking about Kimi’s retirement, is he talking about track evolution or design? Nope, he’s talking about Hamilton and how people should be allowed just to drive into him to defend. Good old Barry.

    6. this is only used to prevent Verstappen from defending at all

      The delusion and moral grounds of some fanatic verstappen fans is just disgusting.

    7. Say what you want but this warning is aimed at one and only one driver and it’s not Hamilton.

      1. Because only Max benefits if both drivers DNF. If Hamilton takes himself and Max out Max is WDC; he’d never intentionally do that.

  8. Most import is that penalties are applied as consistent as possible within a season.

    After all the outcome of an incident is not to be taken in consideration for the penalty. So if a situation like Silverstone or Monza happens, you can’t suddenly come up with a points penalty.

    1. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
      9th December 2021, 10:59

      Exactly this. I get that merely requoting the rules that already exist makes sense, but on the other hand it doesn’t. They never redacted points for previous crashes that resulted in a big impact on the championships. Be that Silverstone, Hungary, Monza or Brazil. To now all of a sudden use point-deduction as penalty for crashes, unless very obvious deliberate like in ’90 or ’97, seems very silly.

      Then again: With good ‘ol Garry as steward, you just know that’s exactly what’s going to happen…

    2. there is a big difference though. the incentive to cause a crash is much higher now than it was in Monza or Silverstone. now they both have nothing to lose and everything to win (but mostly Max)

      1. Precisely. It is not the outcome which they should look at, but the situation. The final race where the top 2 are equal on points is a vastly different situation to a mid-season race, and the stewards should take into account the situation (which includes what the driver has to gain or lose, the on track actions, and a lot of other information). This is not the same as taking into account the outcome.

        1. So taking away big points halfway is not affecting the championship the same way it does in the last race? Its the same to me.

          1. It is, but drivers have much less incentive to do this earlier in the season. The points difference may be the same, but the situation is completely different. At this point, all Max would need to do (without a significant and harsh penalty being on the table) is crash hard into Hamilton to win the WDC. There is every incentive for him to do so if the “normal” penalties are applied (time penalty or grid drop for next race). Therefore, the penalty must be made more harsh to discourage such cynical behaviour. This is taking into account the circumstances of the crash, not the outcome.

          2. That is exactly why the outcome of an incident shouldn’t make a difference. That makes it unfair. If the mercs didn’t crash Max he would already be champion. You can’t see that apart from this race. The championship is going over a full season.

            Just a gentle nudge on the rear wheel will do, 10 second penalty

    3. I think you’re a bit mixed up with this.

      You’re forgetting that if the situation (Silverstone) had been reversed, then Hamilton would have backed out – a policy he’s had since 2011 (i.e. Texas 2018, when he gave up fighting Verstappen as he could simply win the title with less points needed as opposed to using the Max philosophy, been out of the race and needing even more points)

      It’s quite simple. If one of them takes the other off the track recklessly then they will be judged on their driving and the outcome, because they would be 100% at fault. Hence why Bottas, got a severe penalty at Hungary. Silverstone, simply wasn’t like that as they were both deemed to be at fault, with Hamilton mostly to blame – but then the outcome is irrelevant as it was deemed both contributed to it.

      That’s what Massi meant when he said they don’t consider ‘outcomes’ – but as usual he communicated it badly.

  9. Does it mean that if Hamilton and Verstappen would crash into each other, and then jump off the car and start fighting with their fists, then Valtteri Bottas would became a world champion?

    1. Wouldn’t that be a plot twist for the history books!

    2. It should, and I say that as a Hamilton fan: If they resorted to violence like that, I would fully support both drivers being DSQed from the championship, and in fact would say they both deserved a significant ban from all forms of motorsport (at least a year).

    3. No, Bottas would probably get disqualified for stopping and helping Hamilton by tying his shoelaces before he kicks Max or something. Perez WDC!

      1. Is Perez currently even 4th in the championship?

        1. Plenty, since norris stopped scoring good points, though had to look it up too.

    4. Both are far too much sheltered man-babies to ever approach each other in an aggressive manner.

      1. Ocon disagrees

    5. Valtteri would not become a WDC, he already has two of those. Proving that a brick can be a WDC on a Merc.

  10. Its a good safety net for ensuring the last race gives fans what they want, a straight fight for the title, but i am curious what drivers action would actually qualify for this and why it hasn’t been used the rest of the season.

  11. 29.2 Article 9.15.1 – does this mean that there will be sanctions if Merc or RB use their team mate to back the pack up behind the safety car to allow them time to deal with the first drivers pit stop in the event of double-stacking?

    1. That’s a fairly standard tactic used where otherwise a double-stack would lead to a delay for the second driver. I’ve seen it numerous times over my time following F1, and I don’t remember anyone complaining about it until last weekend.

        1. And yet it happens a lot and goes unpunished a lot. Like Norris wasn’t punished in that example.

          It’s really uncommon for this to be punished.

          Vettel got a penalty for it once (in China I think) because the first time they only warned him and the next race he did it again.

    2. I wonder also if the option of crashgate involving Perez is on the table. If Perez was instructed to crash into Lewis, won’t this then void Verstappen of responsibility and mean he wouldn’t lose any points and therefore clinch it. Red bull (Horner) actually said the drivers championship is where the prestige is. I hope they wouldn’t do that and I’m certain Perez wouldn’t follow such an order, I’m just wondering what the outcome would be if this scenario played out

      1. Perez is not an under pressure rookie, he would not accept such a situation

      2. I doubt that either Checo or Valteri would do such a thing, and I seriously hope it doesn’t happen as this would bring the entire sport into disrepute. I have no idea how they would handle it if it did happen, whether intentional or not. If, say, the situation in Hungary was to play out, an accidental lockup by one of them resulting in DNF or significant damage/disadvantage to their teammate’s rival… I don’t think there is a fair way to handle it. I suspect they would treat it as an incident and just say it was bad luck for the victim in this case, but it would leave a sour taste in everyone’s mouth and would leave the victims supporters frothing at the mouth.

        1. Intentional or not, you can never know, but Valtteri did a great job for Merc at the Hungaroring. This time he could do it again, but against his teammate. Poetic justice, they call it.

      3. Don’t think Perez would end his F1 career for Max. Not least of all his sponsors would not be pleased with that.

      4. he won’t be instructed to do so by Red Bull, but if the opportunity arises, maybe he will defend or attack just a tad more than he would do in other races?

      5. “The Competitor shall be responsible for all acts or omissions on the part of any person taking part in, or providing a service in connection with, a Competition or a Championship on their behalf, including in particular their employees, direct or indirect, their Drivers, mechanics, consultants, service providers, or passengers, as well as any person to whom the Competitor has allowed access to the Reserved Areas.”

  12. Does that include slowing down the whole pack in an effort to have other drivers overtake your direct title rival who is running second (Abu Dhabi, 2016)? Or, does that include slowing down excessively during formation lap while you are in second place to make the tyres of your direct title rival cool down and the engine suffer while waiting for you and the others (Jeddah, 2021)?

    1. What lewis did is within the rules. I believe it was sterling moss that said quote loosely: a driver must drive as slow as possible but quick enough to win the race. End of bad quote.

      1. lexusreliability?
        9th December 2021, 11:27


      2. I think that was more Jack Brabham’s attitude. Moss was more of a “drive flat out til the car breaks” kinda driver from what I’ve read. Probably cost him a championship or two…

        1. The driver who was (very unfaithfully) quoted was Juan Manuel Fangio, the one and only GOAT

          1. But I must add, El Chueco meant you must take care of your car, your tyres etc by not going needlessly fast. He would have never condoned driving slowly in order to have other drivers overtake your rival. JM Fangio was a perfect gentleman and the epitome of sporstmanship. He would have abhorred that kind of dirty racing, no matter if it wasn’t against the rules.

    2. I’m not sure your first scenario is against the rules. Is it?

      1. The first scenario is well within the rules

    3. No, because neither of these examples are examples of breaking any rules.
      You conveniently used the term “formation lap” when this example wasnt on a formation lap at all. It was a restart.

    4. For a points deduction, a rule breach would have had to happen. You have mentioned none of those.

    5. Both those examples are tactics, not very sporting – but not against the rules either! In 2016 it could have backfired with Lewis and he could also have got overtaken if he carried on with the tactic! with Jeddah – Masi clearly informed Red Bull when they questioned the gap that it was a safety car restart not a formation lap so not covered by the same rules, but to be fair – the pack wouldn’t have lined up any quicker, as the back end always seem to take far too long to arrive at their slots!

      1. True. I have been saying for a while that this needs sorting anyway. There should be a maximum time between people lining up, say you must be in your grid spot no more than X seconds after the car in front or risk a penalty, and this should apply any time they line up on the grid for a standing start.

      2. And is there a difference between unsporting and unethical? Becaus if there isn’t this would not be allowed in YM?

      3. Nor was slowing down so Lewis would overtake. That was also a tactick but Lewis “didn’t“ understand.

        Lewis is as dirty as Max is, the only difference is he is more cunning.

        1. Slowing down so Lewis would pass before the DRS line was a tactic, and Lewis chose not to overtake to avoid the tactic (a tactical move by Lewis!). The radio transcripts and timeline have already proven that Lewis hadn’t been told Max had been instructed to give back the place – whether he decided not to overtake or not is his decision as a driver, so although he might not have been told, he can still think about what might happen if he overtakes at a certain point on track and the consequences it may have to him as an experienced racing driver!!

          The 2.4G application of the brakes was against the rules and that’s why the stewards deemed Max to be predominately at fault for Lewis crashing into Max’s rear! Being cunning by not overtaking and being dirty in applying the brakes to cause a collision are 2 different things!!

          1. So you are in a race and you don’t overtake for position. Senna would turnover in his grave.

          2. Mark in Florida
            9th December 2021, 15:18

            (@kev-f1) not trying to be argumentative but I have read that there’s about 2.5 gs of braking on a F1 car by just letting off the acceleration because the wings have so much drag. Therefore Max didn’t have to brake check him at all. He may have slowed down to let him by before the drs line. Lewis didn’t take the bait thinking that Max was going to get the drs pass on him. Not knowing that he was letting him by albeit strategically.

        2. Hmmm…. mentioning another racer that had questionable morals about taking out rivals to win?? :-) lol

          Mark in Florida – I think the stewards ruling indicates it wasn’t drag by coming off the throttle that caused the deceleration: “In deciding to penalise the driver of car 33, the key point for the stewards was that the driver of car 33 then braked suddenly (69 bar) and significantly, resulting in 2.4G deceleration.”

        3. the only difference is he is more cunning

          How very true
          An average racer but a consummate master of two tricks
          -Inside the track: Punting the opponent’s car and ruining their race while keeping its car intact and claiming the win
          -Outside the track: Faking innocence and shifting the blame to the opponent after doing the dirtiest tricks

    6. Abu Dhabi 2016. Before the race, most of the team principles, drivers (Ex and current) and pundits stated that Hamilton’s best shot would be to back Rosberg into the pack. It wasn’t against the rules, FIA would have stepped in if it was, even Rosberg stated before the race that he expected Hamilton would opt for the tactic.

      It’s not Rosberg’s fault he lacked the ability to make an overtake stick.

      In the end, it wasn’t enough as Rosberg managed to keep ahead of the pack himself.

      As for last weekend, as pointed out already. It was a restart, not a formation lap.

    7. Yes. As it’s all perfectly legitimate F1 racing.

      What bit of the F1 rules, don’t you understand

      1. Nice discussion. It confirms, though, that this is very much informed by who we support. My personal take is that you have two exceptional drivers, Hamilton looking almighty only when his car performs substantially better while he doesn’t seem to do much more than what is expected of him when his car is on par or worse than the rivals. Verstappen on the other hand looks strong regardless of whether he’s got the best car or not. While his driving is certainly aggressive, I don’t see anything unethical. He’s what we would expect from F1 drivers. And please bring up what happened in Monza, and Jeddah because this in my view was hard driving but not at all punishable. The only one that is punishable is Sao Paolo but doesn’t compare to Hamilton forcing an accident in Silverstone at such a great speed that sent Verstappen to the hospital.

  13. Unsure if I even want to watch this finale…

  14. Don’t worry. Red Bull has Perez, Gasly and Tsunoda at their disposal to help Lewis find a barrier. No need for Max to get involved at all 😀

  15. Lando in press conference being asked how he can beat LeClerc this weekend.

    ‘Try brake testing him….it’s only a 10s penalty.’

    1. Yeah, if 10s is the “standard penalty” for brake checking, it will be worth it in a lot of cases…

    2. Asking Norris for an unbiased opinion on this makes as much sense as asking Tsunoda or Marko

  16. If Perez takes Hamilton out of the race in the first corner by out-braking himself. How the FIA is going to deal with it. RBR might be excluded from the WCC but they couldn’t care less because all it matters for them is Verstappen winning the WDC.

    It would have been appropriate for the FIA if they have shown more severity before because now things are out of their control. Verstappen would never let Hamilton pass for the WDC, it’s too much for his ego. He’ll crash him on purpose and get the points deduction afterward. How is that going to reflect on the image of the sport and for the young kids watching the title fight ?

    1. Crashgate 2021

    2. Collusion by the team and drivers?

      Points deduction handed to RBR, Perez and Max?

    3. Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. It’s more or less what Bottas did to Verstappen in Hungary. I’m not an RBR fan at all, but I don’t see them instructing Perez doing something like that and I doubt he would do that of his own accord. But with Max its clear. He doesn’t need instructions from RBR, he already knows they back him no matter what. It’s going to make Lewis job a nightmare. On the one hand I hope that one of them just zooms off into the distance and that’s it. On the other hand that would be a boring race.

  17. Excellent! But, since Yuki has already openly declared that he want Max to win, what if he decides to crash into Hamilton? Whose points are deducted then?

  18. This is good news but only deals with an issue that was created by the stewards and the FIA.

    It’s a little like parenting: If you let them get away with small and medium-sized things then they’ll eventually do something really naughty!

    1. Yep. By now, how can VER know in advance what the boundaries really are?

  19. This should have been done in every race… maybe someone would be Champion already… ;)

    1. Nice, I like it.

    2. Mark in Florida
      9th December 2021, 15:23

      I thought Barney had lost weight!

  20. Why didn’t Masi apply this is the last 2 races, not reporting Verstappen to stewards in Brazil and making Red bull an offer instead of reporting Verstaplen to stewards in Jeddah? Why has Masi only just willing to apply rules from the F1 rulebook now? Terrible end of season. Masi is the reason Hamilton and Verstappen are tied on points. In years past, drive through penalties were applied, now ‘no further action’ or 5 second penalty

  21. Masi atleast is seemingly learning from his mistakes. Anyone else see this?

    Transcript between Max and Gasly:
    Max: “What would you have done in this case?”
    Gasly: ““Probably the same to be fair,”
    Max: “I mean why not”

    Amazing how, in these social media days, what you say can sometimes come back to haunt you huh. Back in my day the worst thing that could be dug out about you was maybe a tape recording of what you said, or in an unlikely event actual photos. Not everyone had camcorders at the time and so the probability of someone having one, at precisely the right moment, to video record you was close to zero.

    Say what you will, but the fact that this is now openly being discussed, and the media is openly asking questions is a big problem for Max if this was part of his plans. Done himself no favours the past few weekends and now Masi is being forced to have a handle on the situation.

  22. Time to dust off the black flag.

  23. Not got “IT” yet?
    Equal on points for final race?
    Yes the carefully scripted LibFlix “drama” reaches a thrilling crescendo, final “performance”!

  24. I think team Honda will pull some shenanigans in qualifying and try to keep Hamilton out of Q2 or Q3 and hope that the track is too hard to pass on during the race.

    1. They better not try it. Yuki and Pierre so far have managed only to ruin Q3 for RedBull.

  25. This is a final warning from Masi, “give the place back strategically” is a red card for a red bull, or, Merc. Any thought of replaying ‘oops, he hit me whilst i braked hard & jinked left/right’ is likely to be disqualification of driver and manufacturer from the championship.

    I’m thrilled by wheel to wheel racing on the limit, but, there’s rules. If I want a demolition derby, that’s banger racing, not F1.

  26. Good on him for saying this, although the tone should really have been set a long while ago. The prospect of a title deciding crash was raised months ago, and we’ve seen countless clashes since the first real “big one” at Silverstone. Many opportunities to send a message of zero-tolerance through action, and yet the biggest penalty applied so far has been 10 seconds added on. I fear this stance is too little, too late.

  27. When the race director and stewards say things like both cars didn’t make the corner yet omit that one car had to go off track to avoid an accident. How can we trust that they know what they are doing.
    When they expect a car that is ahead to make room on the racing line and drive forward while forever looking behind.

    I can not trust these individuals.

  28. No one wants it to come to this. But does anyone think that if verstappen is attacking or defending he won’t act as he has since Brazil? Horner has already primed things with “gives as good as he gets” and the revisionism about who was off the track in Jeddah. Hamilton will have his knives out as well although he has avoid a collision for his own good. There is too much at stake.

    This may be RBRs last chance to take a title for a long time and the WCC may already be lost. I can feel their frustration and desire to win for all this era of the formula for all the work they put in and to vindicate their superstar driver.

    I’m going to be watching on my phone in a closet with a paper bag to breathe in.

  29. What if, bottas or mercedes powered car crashed into redbull or delaying him in pitlane there is lots of scenario that may change the outcome of championship like we seen in earlier races this year.

  30. Only Verstappen benefits if both drivers DNF. If Hamilton takes himself and Verstappen out then Max is WDC; why would Lewis intentionally do that? But Verstappen has every reason to crash both of them out the race.

  31. Mark in Florida
    9th December 2021, 15:36

    Masi is trying to toughen up the rules now because Max might win if he doesn’t. He should have got tough on the rules when Hamilton punted Max into the barrier at Silverstone. But that would have affected Hamilton not Max. So I guess Masi wants a nice clean uncompetitive race where everyone gets out of Lewises way as he parades to his 8th championship. I’m being a little facetious but that’s kinda the tone that Madi is putting out there. He’s basically threatening the racers death penalty if a certain someone doesn’t play to the script that’s been dictated. It’s all about feeling good and soothing egos.

    1. He should have been tough on the rules from the start of the season. Lewis abused track limits for 75% of the race and they only started to enforce the rules when RedBull informed Max it apparently was OK to do it.
      Not picking a side here, but you enforce the rules from the start of the 1st race to the finish of the last race. Otherwise you open yourself wide up for all kinds of rule bending and whining. And boy are these teams good at it.

      1. the opening race in Bahrain I meant, of course.

  32. Mark in Florida
    9th December 2021, 18:38

    Agree, the rules should not be interpreted or massaged to fit circumstances. If Lewis got a ten second penalty then why can’t Max. Why alter the penalty. Masi already said that the outcome doesn’t dictate the penalty severity. Lewis fans are all for it now that they think it will benefit Hamilton. I heard all kinds of moaning because he got ten seconds for destroying Maxes car. He should have got much worse than that according to Masi new application of the rules. Apply from day one consistent rules. That cuts out a lot of creative rule bending.

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