Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2021

FIA changes F1 rule on lapped cars overtaking Safety Car after Abu Dhabi row

2022 F1 season

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The FIA has changed the rule which was at the centre of the controversial outcome of last year’s world championship contest between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.

The championship-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix became a focus of dispute after FIA Formula 1 race director Michael Masi took the controversial decision to restart the race after only allowing a portion of the lapped drivers to rejoin the lead lap.

Masi allowed the five lapped cars separating race leader Hamilton from second-placed Verstappen to rejoin the lead lap. Two other lapped cars between Verstappen and third-placed Carlos Sainz Jnr, and another car further back, were not allowed to unlap themsleves.

After the restart was given, Verstappen overtook Hamilton to win the race and, with it, the world championship. Mercedes immediately protested the outcome, stating Masi had failed to respect the regulations by only allowing a portion of the field to regain the lead lap.

Mercedes’ protest was rejected and Verstappen’s victory was upheld. However the stewards acknowledged in their verdict that article 48.12 of the 2021 regulations “may not have been applied fully” at the time.

The article stated that: “If the clerk of the course considers it safe to do so, and the message ‘lapped cars may now overtake’ has been sent to all competitors via the official messaging system, any cars that have been lapped by the leader will be required to pass the cars on the lead lap and the safety car.”

In the corresponding article in the 2022 regulations, 55.13, the word “any” has been changed to “all”. The rule now reads: “If the clerk of the course considers it safe to do so, and the message ‘lapped cars may now overtake’ has been sent to all competitors using the official messaging system, all cars that have been lapped by the leader will be required to pass the cars on the lead lap and the safety car.”

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The interpretation of the rule was key to Mercedes’ objection over how the race was handled. Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff previously pointed out that Masi’s decision to only allow selected cars to rejoin the lead lap contradicted an explanation he had given following a race in 2020.

Safety Car, Yas Marina, 2021
Analysis: The four minutes that changed the destiny of the 2021 world championship
“How can it be that 14 months ago at the Eifel Grand Prix the explanation that was given was exactly the contrary to what has happened on Sunday?” said Wolff.

“The explanation that was given that the reason why the safety car was out there so long is that all cars need to unlap themselves with the explanation that this is following the sporting regulations. Not only the decision has been taken in a totally opposite way but an explanation is being made 180-degree different to what happened 14 months ago.”

The FIA confirmed last month Masi would not continue in the role of race director this year.

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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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335 comments on “FIA changes F1 rule on lapped cars overtaking Safety Car after Abu Dhabi row”

  1. So it was all according to the rules.

    1. It was all according to a calculated expediance.

      As wolf said it contridicted previous clarifications he had been given on that very point. The teams planning their strategy calls need to know in advance how the rules are to be interpreted or else what is the dam point.

      It was a championship deciding decision playing to the galleries. It certainly wasn’t cricket.

      1. But still according to the rules.

        (Wanna talk about consistency and bring up Lewis cutting the corner on lap 1 despite Max being forced to give up his spot for exactly the same offense only two weeks earlier?)
        (Or talk about one getting a penalty for ignoring double yellows and the other not?)

        Etc. etc.

        Redemption for Masi.

        1. You know very well Lewis cut that corner to avoid a collision that would have been blamed on him had he not done it so please do not go there

        2. The corner cutting was a precedent Masi came up with to benefit Max. He couldn’t change it up a couple races later. Max shouldn’t have even been in Abu Dhabi after the brake check. Hopefully the petulant child had a bad season or two.

        3. Problem was the rules can be imprentend how the Race Director see fit. And if the race still must not finish behind SC is still unofficial uphold you still can get this again.

          1. The race director’s job is to run the race by the rules and he broke them. He has no obligation to let the race finish under green flag conditions, regardless of any ‘agreements’ made with the teams.

          2. Welcome to the real world, Craig – where unwritten rules often take precedence over written ones.

          3. Welcome to the real world, Craig – where unwritten rules often take precedence over written ones.

            So, basically, no written rules can ever be counted upon and it’s just a free-for-all? Sounds brilliant! I’m so glad we live in such a world, where the cops can just say the speed limit is 20mph even though all the written signs say 50, and my boss can decide to only pay me half my wage no matter what my contract says…

        4. Actually, the unlapped cars rule is wrongly focused on here. The main rule that was truly broken is the ‘safety car in this lap’ rule. It should have been in the following lap, not the same lap.

        5. It wasn’t according to the rules, so no redemption.

        6. It seems to me Max won in the only possible way he could have won. There was no other way for him to win except on fresh tires behind a car which hadnt pitted. Mercedes didn’t pit with 5 laps to go, because the rules up to that point made it clear there should be no time lift.

          As for Horners appeal to the” racing gods” ,this was him saying to the world they had run out of ideas, they had no legitimate way to win that race, except for a plan B,

          Plan B –

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dIrTMgHl1k

          A super agressive Race Engineer to Latifi:

          “follow instructions”

          lap 52:
          “Not this lap, next lap Nicky”, “… could be your last attempt”,

          lap 53 :
          “It has to be this lap mate, Do everything”.

          Then boom. That car crashes.

          The pretext to all this. A fruitless attempt to catch and overtake Shumacher in the Hass.
          Which ironically scuppers Hamilton’s attempt to overtake the other Shumacher.

          1. Mercedes didn’t pit with 5 laps to go, because the rules up to that point made it clear there should be no time lift.

            As much as I think the whole debacle brings the “sport” into disrepute, I don’t think this is accurate. An average safety car period would have had the race restarted under legal procedures (someone showed me the stats on this recently, it shocked me how few laps most are, they just seem longer because they slow the pack down so much and are dull). Mercedes actually got lucky with the safety car being out for so long… Then super unlucky with the RD breaking the rules and the stewards supporting him with a ridiculous “interpretation” in an attempt to sweep it under the rug.

    2. Any competent user of English would have understood ‘any’ as ‘all,’ including at the start of this sentence…

      1. The rules are written in French and if the translation gives problem the French version is to follow.

        1. @macleod no longer true. This used to be the case and the rules were published with English and French side-by-side on the same document. Now all FIA documents are published in English.

      2. @david-br

        Ofcourse buddy, that’s why they changed the wording, right, because it is clear “any” means “all”.

        Masi didn’t break any rules.

        And this is confirmation.

        So it’s an undisputable fact Max is not only the best driver of the 2021 season (which all by itself should warrant him the title) he is also legally the champion.

        1. Then one should ask oneself, why in every single other instance where he deployed a SC did Masi interpret the word “any” to mean all. To the extent he even told the teams all lapped cars had to be released?

          He had a clear understanding what the rule was intended to do, then randomly decided to make his own rules up. No just one, but two.

        2. Masi didn’t break any rules.

          And this is confirmation.

          Masi did break several rules, including this one. The change is a clarification to avoid misunderstandings by people who don’t have a basic understanding of English, and to stop others trying to use ridiculous sophistry to exploit that misunderstanding and justify a race director breaking the rules in future.

      3. I’m not sure I agree. If someone offers you a choice from a selection of items, saying “you can have any of these”, that doesn’t necessarily mean all. You could choose all, but you could also choose some.

        1. In legal terms, the word ‘any’ when used to describe a set or class, is always equivalent to ‘all.’

          In contract law, this usage is similar to when your mum used to ask you to bring out ‘any’ dirty laundry you have in your room.

          She said ‘any,’ but contextually she meant ‘all.’

        2. The context is important. In this instance, the context “lapped cars”. Any lapped cars = all lapped cars. Masi knew this and correctly applied that rule every single other time he deployed a SC. He even told the teams that when they once complained how long a SC session lasted.

          I heard an announcement at the airport yesterday. It said “Any passengers travelling with infants my now board.” Did they mean all passengers with infants or did they mean they’d choose a few that could board?

        3. The choice in the sentence you wrote comes from the words around it and their order.

          There was no such choice in the wording of the regulation they have changed.

    3. Still No. The 2021 rule still indicates ALL. This change to close any misinterpretation by rogue RD and stewards.
      Even so .. another rule still broken .. SC in following lap.
      15.3 the killer point still remains. FIA to clarify .. if RD can change the rule on the fly or not.

      1. 15.3 shouldn’t be a killer point. It quite clearly states that the Race Director has overriding control over the Clerk of the Course regarding the use of the safety car, NOT overriding control over the rules that govern its usage. I’m hoping the FIA see sense and also amend the rulebook to remove ambiguity for the uninitiated.

        1. Agreed, it shouldn’t be a killer point, but the stewards’ decision in AD makes it so. Clarification is not, now, only needed “to remove ambiguity for the uninitiated”, but to publicly set aside the dangerous precedent set in AD.

    4. Nope. Get any legal dictionary and you’ll see the definition of ‘any’ in a regulatory sense is ‘any and all’. You can also read the opinions of numerous lawyers that have also denounced the ‘any doesn’t mean all’ argument.
      All this does is prevent the uninitiated from believing it’s ambiguous.

      1. Nope.

        Any does not always mean “all”, it depends on the conetext and is therefor ambiguous. For example:
        ” I did not have any choice is NOT the same as I have all or every choice.

    5. Replacing the word that the Masi rested part of the defence of his indiscretion on doesn’t mean there was reasonable ambiguity in the first place. IFRC, he also said he could do whatever he wanted with the Safety Car.
      It does mean that the Stewards & FIA can no longer use a farcical interpretation of the statement as a smokescreen to excuse such actions.

    6. I’m not sure that’s a valid statement. If the FIA had no issue with the way the rules were interpreted, why change them, especially in such a minor fashion?

      Claiming that “any” doesn’t equal “all” was something Christian tried to float immediately after the race, and retracted it because even he realized it was weaselly.

  2. Easier and IMO better would be scrap the rule and let them get through traffic on their own. In same idea would be scrap blue flags. Hearing drivers cry for them instead of just making the pass gets old.

    1. Removing blue flags ruins everything. Cars a lap down are not supposed to be fighting the race leaders, unless they have similar pace or they are not within 1.5 seconds of each other. They have a different race. The only reason people want this is for entertainment. The race leaders do not deserve to have their race influenced by some cars in different positions and ones they are not racing for position. In Abu Dhabi, if that was the case, Verstappen would have had to overtake five cars in between him and Hamilton. That is unfair considering that Verstappen was never fighting them in the first place. It really ticks me off when I hear people wanting blue flags gone.

      1. Coventry Climax
        15th March 2022, 21:28

        I’ll post this again, not waiting for the moderation to finish on a post that’s not saying anything wrong, but I’ll try to word somethings differently.

        Sorry @krichelle, but that is making no sense at all. To me at least.
        Cars a lap down are not supposed to fight? I want to see each and every car fight for each and every position.
        They have a different race? So what are they doing there that weekend and on that circuit in the first place? There’s cars you know well in advance will not fight for the first 3 positions. Should they run another, separate race?
        For entertainment? It’s the exact opposite when the racedirectors, which is a wrong word in itself, pointlessly interfere to allow lapped cars to get back into the same lap, only to be blue flagged again shortly after.
        The race leaders do not deserve etc? They deserve nothing! It should be each and all driver’s racing AND overtaking that brings them to their finishing position on merit. It has NOTHING to do with to deserve.
        I want blue flags and unlapping gone as I think they’re a disgrace to the sport. And I’ve been saying so for ages already, so I fully agree with Dick Dawson.
        I’d like to add to it that I also hate that during red flag periods, repairs to cars are allowed. It’s free and unmerited gain.
        It really ticks me off when I hear people defending the blue flag system.

        1. Apologies, sometimes it’s an innocent one – in this case Dick Dawson’s name.

          1. At least Mike Krack gets through.

        2. If I may add 2 more aspects:
          Ages a go, all teams had to qualify in a window determined by the pole position time. Otherwise they would not be present at the start. Purpose was exactly this. Not to have slow cars and 2 races on the track.
          Regarding lapping, some cars that are not in the blue flag situation are getting out of the way on the premise that “is not their fight” as Sky comment stated (one examlle is Norris getying iut of Hamilton way somewhere jn the first half of the season at some point).

          1. It’s called the 107% rule, and it’s still in place.

            Doesn’t prevent cars from being lapped, though, and never has.

          2. On a 60 lap race with an average lap time for the winner being 1:30, the race will take 90 mins. If someone is at the 107% limit, they would be lapping at 1:36, which means they would have been lapped 3 times (if I’ve done the maths right… they’d have completed 56.25 laps, which puts them 3 laps down, I think). You would have to vastly reduce the allowable limit, and hope that nothing unexpected happens, to completely eliminate lapped cars.

        3. @krichelle I agree with your well worded post. Another negative to ridding themselves of blue flags for back markers would be the potential that a customer car to a top team could selectively make life miserable for one of the top runners and not the others. Top runners having to race past back markers could get very heated and political, unnecessarily.

          My bottom line on this that I think Coventry Climax isn’t appreciating, is that there is a reason they have used blue flags for years now. We the fans overwhelmingly simply want to see the front runners unencumbered to race each other for podium spots and for wins and Championships, and we don’t want to see that ruined with shenanigans from cars that aren’t anywhere near podium spots nor possibly even scoring points.

          1. Coventry Climax
            16th March 2022, 16:14

            Your ‘the fans overwhelmingly’ is a conjecture, in FIA style, I’ll grant you that, but nonetheless.
            I want to see them race, all of them.
            Circuit racing means having to deal with curves, tarmac, bumps, sightlines, tyres, engines, all sorts of mechanical issues and hey, surprise, the other drivers and cars. And that means all cars, they’re all part of it, the first time theý’re about to get overtaken as much as any subsequent times.
            Unless you do dragracing and the likes, the A to B racing mentioned by someone here.
            Blue flags are an artificial interference in the racing itself.

          2. Coventry Climax Obviously I disagree and to me blue flags prevent artificial interference in the racing. Drivers being blue flagged are doing us a courtesy by getting out of the way of a fight they are not in, allowing us to see the top runners race each other without interference from potential biased back markers. Sure I took a bit of license with ‘the fans overwhelmingly’ because they have been using blue flags for decades in F1, and it just doesn’t seem to come up as a problem other than to a small minority, and I think that is often just because in a certain race their guy got held up for too long in their opinion, or because one guy was held up and another was not. F1 seems happy to be using blue flags and have done so for a long time.

      2. Coventry Climax
        15th March 2022, 21:42

        Sorry @krichelle, but that makes no sense to me:
        Cars a lap down are not supposed to fight? I want to see each and every car fight for each and every position.
        They have a different race? So what are they doing there that weekend and on that circuit in the first place? There’s cars you know well in advance will not fight for the first 3 positions. Should they run another, separate race?
        For entertainment? It’s the exact opposite when the racedirectors, which is a wrong word in itself, pointlessly interfere to allow lapped cars to get back into the same lap, only to be blue flagged again shortly after.
        The race leaders do not deserve etc? They deserve nothing! It should be each and all driver’s racing AND overtaking that brings them to their finishing position on merit. It has NOTHING to do with to deserve.
        I want blue flags and unlapping gone as I think they’re a disgrace to the sport. And I’ve been saying so for ages already, so I fully agree with D Dawson. (That’s a first name you can’t spell out here without getting stuck in the filter)
        I’d like to add to it that I also hate that during red flag periods, repairs to cars are allowed. It’s free and unmerited gain.
        It really ticks me off when I hear people defending the blue flag system.

        1. If you move from point A to B which essentially is a race, you can’t overtake the same car twice. Lapped cars have already behind.

          1. Coventry Climax
            16th March 2022, 15:36

            That’s ralley you’re referring to, or a hill climb, or Mille Miglia etc.
            Circuits are different in that there’s a repeated piece of track, where the laps are counted. Some guys finish three or more laps down. Why do you think that is counted?
            Ever watch a race on an oval?

        2. They should not be fighting guys as it would only lead to (sister)team-battles used in a wrong way. I’d rather not move them aside or having them to slow down as that effects their race as well, but rather let them race but don’t defend when a lead car tries to overtake.

          1. Coventry Climax
            16th March 2022, 15:49

            Ruth222: That’s an issue that’s already there without cars being lapped, only then it’s euphemistically called team tactics. There are -and should be- other means and rules to avoid sister team battles. What you’re saying is just making up excuses to prevent something from happening.
            By the way, sister teams, in my opinion, shouldn’t even exist, but that’s another matter.

      3. @krichelle regarding blue flags, I’ve posted some way below this comment about my thoughts on it. Essentially it ruined the finish to the 2011 Monaco GP (where 5+ backmarkers trying to get out of the way of the 3 leaders while attempting to not compromise themselves resulted in a big crash and ruined the ending). I’m also used to Indycar that allows backmarkers to race cars attempting to lap them until they’re 2+ laps down. It’s leads to far more interesting tactics, though admittedly the parity of the racing does help that.

        Had Abu Dhabi restarted with the lapped cars in place, it would certainly have been fairer and consistent with previous races, as would having allowed all cars to unlap themselves. If Max is allowed a clear shot at Lewis, why wasn’t Carlos allowed a clear shot at Max? Carlos was racing Max but wasn’t allowed to.

        That’s where your argument falls apart – either no lapped cars, or all lapped cars, should have been let past. “Any” cars was interpreted to mean “any cars between car 44 and car 33”, not all cars, just to get a green flag lap in.

      4. Those cars that were lapped have as much right to the track as the leaders trying to pass them.
        Blue flags ruin a race for those drivers who are skillful enough to overtake because it allows those fast in a straight line but can’t overtake to also get past.
        Just like there should be no pitting during yellow flags or VSC.
        There should be discussion regarding a Red flag also banning tyre changes or repairs.
        If a car needs new tyres or some repairs let it happen under racing conditions, that way the winner will be the best car & driver combination without outside interference.

        1. @Lucky Milo @Coventry Climax
          What ticks me off is people wanting to disallow tyre changes & repairs during an in-race stoppage like they’re the worse thing ever despite them being critical on safety grounds. No worse than a free pit stop during SC & VSC.

          1. Coventry Climax
            16th March 2022, 15:59

            That’s – like someone else here- making up excuses to not have to make a change that makes the racing more fair. If tyre changes are necessary on safety grounds, that’s an entirely different matter and should be taken care of in an entirely different way. (Preferably by dumping Pirelli, but that’s just my opinion, and sarcastic in this context.)
            There’s always solutions, and always people who try to come up with the next problem. Deal with problems when they arise, not beforehand.

      5. @krichelle I also dislike people wanting blue flags gone.

    2. It would only work if you could bring back James Hunt.

    3. The cars with lapped cars ahead of them, placed themselves in that position when they choose to come in for fresh tires.
      They should not have been allowed to have their cake and eat it.

      If Masi wanted a faster restart he should have left all the cars in situte. Short of ending the race under a safety, this would have been the fairest end to the race.

      1. Agreed

    4. What a stupid rule anyway. Why should the leader be penalised because he was quick enough to lap slower cars? Much better in the event of a safety car to limit all drivers to the same speed. Another stupid rule is allowing cars to pit in the event of a safety car. The pit lane should be closed.

    5. I agree – cars that are down a lap still deserve to race and shouldn’t be expected to jump out onto the marbles within three turns. Expect some race leaders to complain but if you can’t overtake a car that is a lap down on your own you shouldn’t be overtaking at all.

    6. I would agree if a dirty team like Red Bull didn’t own two teams. One a backmarker as well. This would only end in them cheating more.

  3. Utterly unnecessary. ‘Any’ in that context already meant ‘all’. Any comment that disagrees is wrong.

    1. you are wrong, since there was a precedent made by Charlie Whiting (who was literally the person behind those rules and how they’ve been phased in the sporting regulations) on Singapore GP 2015, when he ordered only one of two lapped cars to overtake the safety car.

      1. @stn I was just about to point out the little precedent from the 2015 Singapore GP involving Manor duo Alexander Rossi & Will Stevens. Neither eventually overtook SC as the former had radio comm issue throughout that race.
        However, this doesn’t explain why only he got given the unlapping permission in the first place rather than both.
        What Masi did was wrong nevertheless.
        Anyway, matt90 is correct in that ‘any’ & ‘all’ mean the same in practical terms no matter what their respective formal word definitions are.
        Here’s a perfect example by Chain Bear: ”Any passenger carrying a grenade will be asked to leave the aircraft”
        ”Will only some passengers with grenades be asked to leave?”
        https://youtu.be/-eWmBLoLBLc?t=654
        Therefore, changing one word everyone generally considers as meaning only one thing is redundant.

        1. @jerejj,
          However, this doesn’t explain why only he got given the unlapping permission in the first place rather than both.

          Why not? The simple fact that Charlie has all the right to do so explain everything perfectly.
          For me it is not a question, the rules were written in such a way as to preserve the prerogative of the race director.

          1. @stn Just because someone can do something doesn’t mean he/she has to or should do that thing.
            Stevens had done nothing undeserving of equal treatment.

          2. Maximus the Dog
            15th March 2022, 19:59

            No, that is not the purpose of rules. Rules arise because people cannot be trusted to operate in a just and equitable manner. Had the rule meant to assign free will to the race director it would have stated that. The rule was created to avoid exactly such ambiguous application as this.

            To discuss the original intent of the person writing the rule is baseless unless that person actually logs on and explains their original intent. Here the rule has changed and we KNOW the intent because we know WHY the rule changed. They believe that selective unlapping is an embarrassment to the sport. Nowhere other than Abu Dhabi has that been demonstrated more clearly. Uniform unlapping is now the rule. Everyone has to accept that.

          3. @Maximus the Dog

            Had the rule meant to assign free will to the race director it would have stated that.

            I think Article 15.3 was intended to give the race director the freedom to operate outside the rules when it was written in 1993 when the safety car was reintroduced because there were very few procedures specified in the rules at that point. I think that’s why Article 15.3c explicitly states the race director’s overriding authority is limited to according with the sporting regulations when it comes to red flags, but that clause is omitted when it comes to the safety car in 15.3e.

            One of the problems is that Article 15.3 didn’t change when those new specific procedures in (now) Article 55 were introduced. You could argue that the new specific procedures override that general authority, but the way Article 55 is worded, it doesn’t explicitly bind the race director to anything — it’s worded for the clerk of the course, over whom 15.3 gives the race director overriding authority. IMO, both Articles 15.3 and 55 need to be tightened to avoid the sort of issue we had in Abu Dhabi.

          4. Masi could have made Hamilton stay behind safety car while all other cars unlapped 3 times he didn’t because of the over arching rule to apply the sporting code in a safe in fair way.

            Masi failed to do the latter by giving 1 driver a sporting advantage out with the normal sporting scenario. Off back of intereference.

          5. @markzastrow the intent of rule 15.3 is to codify the relationship between the FIA’s Race Director and the local ASN’s Clerk of the Course and nothing more.

          6. @gardenfella72 I think that is a widely held misconception. I understand how it might read that way, but in fact, Article 15.3 is taken verbatim from Article 11.10 of the International Sporting Code, which is titled “Duties of the Race Director” — not “The relationship between the Race Director and the Clerk of the Course”.

            In effect, in the eyes of the FIA, the race director’s primary duty is to override the clerk of the course’s authority, and in outlining the extent of that authority, it does not place limits on the use of the safety car or the starting procedure. The phrase “in accordance with the code or sporting regulations” is included for some items, including red flags, but omitted for the use of the safety car. It would be simple to add that phrase to the safety car item, but for whatever reason, the FIA have not, which I think is a mistake.

            As a side note, I’ve often wondered about the history of the race director role, but not found much online about it. It must have been created at some point in the 1980s, and based on the wording, it seems not very deeply thought out, as if the FIA’s primary goal was simply to assert more control over proceedings from the local authorities. When you go back to 1984 at Monaco and Jacky Ickx’s infamous decision to halt the race, he did so as the Automobile Club de Monaco’s clerk of the course; I don’t think the FIA race director position hadn’t been created yet. I’d be curious to hear from people who have served in the course clerk and race director roles how well they feel the two roles work together. As worded, it seems like a baffling structure to me — that the race director clearly has all the power, but must constantly override the clerk of the course to exercise it.

          7. @markzastrow it’s not a misconception in any way shape or form. It’s always been held to be the case that rule 15.3 (and its predecessors by whatever number) is to establish the FIA Race Director’s authority over the local ASN’s Clerk of the Course. I’ve discussed this with a Clerk that I personally know, one that has officiated at FIA events up to and including F1. Their understanding of the rules is what informs mine.

            I was appalled at 15.3 being used to justify a frankly off-the-wall interpretation of safety car regulations. The stewards seemed to be looking for anything that they could use as a justification and get the RD/FIA off the hook, applying yet another ‘novel’ interpretation of the rulebook.

            The structure isn’t the least baffling and is set up in a way that makes perfect sense. The race Director sees 20-something tracks a year in a multitude of countries. They can’t possibly hope to have current knowledge of every venue’s radio protocols, organisational structures and peculiarities.

            The Clerk of the Course is the person that deals with the mechanics of carrying out the RD’s instructions. At national events. they’d be running the whole show. The Clerk is the person that is in contact with the teams of marshals and it’s normally the Clerk that declares when a track is clear.

            If you look at the two terms, it’s obvious who does what. The RACE Director looks after the race and the Clerk of the COURSE looks after the course (track), albeit through a team of marshals. The race director’s primary role is to ensure that the rules are consistently applied across all venues, something which just didn’t happen last year.

          8. @gardenfella72 It’s good to hear from your sources that race officials have a clear understanding of their roles. Unfortunately, I don’t think the language in the regulations reflects that understanding.

            If the clerk of the course is, as you say, a glorified middleman who simply carries out the instructions of the race director, then Article 55 should be written explicitly so that the responsibility for judgments about safety car procedures lies with the race director, not the clerk of the course. As written, 55 does not bind the race director to do anything because it does not mention the race director at all — it’s all “when the clerk of the course determines this” and “the clerk of the course will do that”. If it was phrased in the manner of “The race director, with the advisement of the clerk of the course, will carry out the following procedure:” it would be much harder for Red Bull to make the arguments that it did to the stewards.

            The FIA should also shut down Red Bull’s Article 15.3 interpretation by amending it so that it actually requires the race director to follow the safety car procedures in the regulations, as it already does for red flags.

            F1 is all about extreme interpretations of rules, so I’m not surprised at all that Red Bull made the arguments that it did — that’s their job. It should be the job of the FIA to clamp down on the language and tighten it whenever possible, and beyond changing “any” to “all”, I don’t see them doing much of that.

          9. @markzastrow I really think you’ve got the wrong end of the stick if you think the Clerk is a glorified middleman. Article 55 correctly refers to the Clerk as the person who instructs the Safety Car. That is one of their roles and areas of responsibility and why 15.3 has to exist, defining the RD’s authority over the Clerk. Authority, however, does not mean constant control.

            Masi’s mistake is more understandable if you consider the fact that he doesn’t normally get involved in controlling the safety car because it’s the Clerk’s job.

            The Race director is bound, though, by article 2 – general undertaking, which essentially means they have to observe all provisions of the sporting regs. It doesn’t say they have to observe only those directly assigned to them.

            The FIA can’t amend 15.3. If they did, that would be tacitly admitting that the stewards in Abu Dhabi went against the intent of the rule.

        2. @jerejj,
          that rule was introduced not in order to favor backmarkers, but in order in make restarts more exciting, to improve on track battles on restarts in between leaders. and also for safety reasons.

          By the way Masi could have easily ordered Stroll, Ric and Schumacher to unlap themselves as well. – They were right behind other cars in the pack and would’ve had more than enough time to do so, it wouldn’t have changed a bit. But he decided not to do so, not only because those cars were out of points, but also because he messed up badly before by making completely unprecedented premature call (which was in fact overturned call, as drivers radio transmissions show) ‘lapped cars won’t be allowed to overtake the SC’. Had that call stayed, everything would’ve ended with even bigger scandal.

          1. The most sensable thing I’ve read regarding Abu Dhabi. Masi maneuvered himself in a lose-lose situation with that first call.

        3. @jerejj was that the safety car period caused by someone walking on the track?

          And yes, this is not the same situation because the Manors were allowed to overtake, but they didn’t and that was their mistake, not the race director’s (if I am understanding correctly – I confess I don’t remember this). In this context, the word ‘any’ absolutely means ‘all’.

          1. @f1frog Yes, for the track invader.

          2. only one Marussia car was ordered to overtake – Rossi, who was interfering with the leaders.

          3. @f1frog Not quite — the message from race control was that only Car 53 (Rossi) could overtake (as this video helpfully shows). Stevens, who was, I think, several cars further back, was never allowed to.

            The only way you can argue that was allowed by the regulations is either that “any” really doesn’t mean “all” in this situation (which I don’t agree with) or that Article 15.3 gives the race director carte blanche over the safety car (which is how I would read it, but I think it needs to be changed).

            Regardless of whether Masi had the power to do as Whiting did, whether he should have is another question, one that I can see both ways.

          4. Thanks a lot for that video @markzastrow My theory is as follows:
            There is absolutely no reason to not let Stevens through, in terms of keeping the race exciting, it would have taken an extra couple of seconds compared to Rossi. So I don’t think this was anything like the Abu Dhabi situation. I can only think of two possible reasons why they might have only chosen one Marussia to be unlapped. The first is that they just forgot about Stevens due to some kind of timing error, but I can’t imagine this would not have been spotted considering how long Rossi was stuck for. ]

            So the more likely scenario, in my opinion, is that Whiting knew about Rossi’s radio problem, and so didn’t want Stevens unlapping himself and Rossi left there as this would cause confusion behind the safety car (as Rossi wouldn’t know what was going on) and possibly be dangerous, and for that reason, he decided to just let Rossi unlap himself, give the team a bit of time to inform him, and then allow Stevens through once Rossi was through. But as Rossi did not unlap himself, Whiting just gave up and restarted the race. It is the only explanation I can think of that makes sense, and is definitely not the same as Abu Dhabi.

          5. @f1frog

            Someone else has mentioned below that, at the time, the rules specified very strictly the timing at which the cars would count as lapped and, at that time, the other Marussia had not been lapped. I’m not sure that this is correct, I don’t remember and haven’t had time to check for myself yet, but it seems plausible. If this is correct, the reason the other car was not told to unlap was that he wasn’t counted as lapped for that purpose because of some weird circumstances, so Charlie actually did let all “lapped” cars through.

        4. Maximus the Dog
          15th March 2022, 19:50

          You understand that any = all
          I understand that any = all
          But there is a minority out there who do not understand it, and there is another minority who will pretend not to understand it to suit their own agenda. So now the rule is crystal clear.

          1. You know these rules are translation from French? And while i thought all means all some people pointed to me that is not always the case seems something a native speaker knows about but not this Dutchman.

          2. @macleod that French thing is a misconception. The rules have been English-only for some years now.

        5. @jerejj there is a possible explanation for why only Rossi received the instruction to unlap himself and not Stevens, even though both cars were shown as being a lap down on the TV feed, and that is because the list of lapped cars is based on which cars were lapped at the start of the safety car period, not where they are on the lap that the order is given.

          Clause of 48.12 included the following text which defined what counted as a lapped car:
          This will only apply to cars that were lapped at the time they crossed the Line at the end of the lap during which they crossed the first Safety Car line for the second time after the safety car was deployed.“.

          That point about that clause only applying to cars which were lapped when they passed the first Safety Car line for a second time after the safety car was deployed is important. If a car was classified as being on the lead lap when they passed the first Safety Car line for the second time, then they don’t have to unlap themselves even if they subsequently end up a lap down.

          The timing data indicates that, for a brief period during the safety car period, Stevens was on the lead lap and only Rossi was one lap down – and that seems to be the lap that race control checked to see if cars had been lapped. Therefore, although Stevens later ended up one lap down later on in the safety car period, because Stevens was still on the lead lap on the reference lap that race control used, that rule technically applied only to Rossi, who was the only driver a lap down on that reference lap.

          1. That makes sense and would completely explain why this occurred in that single race, why it has never happened since, why Masi was adamant that he was not allowed to do this beforehand, etc.

          2. @anon Admittedly, I was unaware of this detail until today.

        6. The “any” for the grenade argument is wrong. In that case, you are asking for any person carrying a grenade to voluntarily remove themselves. That is clear and concise and works well for that scenario.

          But in the F1 rule, it is a third party determining who “any” is. And if “any” meant “all”, there wouldn’t be two words in the dictionary. And, furthermore, the phrase “any and all” wouldn’t need to exist. Imagine telling someone that “any red cans may be picked up off the floor”. What are the chances that “all” red cans would be picked up? No guarantee in reality.

          It’s correct that the word was changed in the rules to eliminate the obvious ambiguity.

      2. Paul Armstrong
        15th March 2022, 19:21

        Alexander Rossi was instructed to unlap himself behind the safety car, but when he failed to do so in an acceptable time, the race was resumed on lap 41, with Rossi stuck between the front runners.
        Is Rossi the car that your saying didn’t wasn’t instructed to unlap himself?

        1. @Paul Armstrong Yes, he’s the one who got the unlapping instruction.

      3. @stn That was a bizarre incident indeed, which I’d forgotten about (and had to watch this video to jog my memory). Both Marussias were a lap down, but only Alexander Rossi was given the message to overtake. But Rossi’s radio was out, so he never received the message, never unlapped himself, and after a couple laps, race control restarted the race anyway. From what I can find about the incident, I can’t tell if Whiting really meant only for Rossi to unlap himself. Rossi was circulating among the leaders, ahead of Will Stevens, and there was no debris to clean up — this was for the man on the track — so perhaps Whiting did want to clear Rossi out and get back to racing quickly. But maybe he was simply waiting to give Stevens the message depending on whether Rossi got the message (so that Stevens wouldn’t mistakenly overtake Rossi).

        It could be argued that the incident shows the value of giving the race director the ability to modify procedures to adapt to unforeseen circumstances. I think it does show that Whiting had the latitude to play fast and loose with the rules — and the respect of the paddock to do so in a way that would not unfairly advantage one team or driver. I think that’s what got the sport in trouble — that the regulations hail from an era where the race director was given more freedom and were never truly subjected to the sort of scrutiny they should have been.

        I still think Article 15.3 should be modified to explicitly require the race director to follow the sporting regulations when it comes to the safety car (it still does not, in contrast to the language on red flags). And Article 55 should be rewritten so that it is clear where the race director has the freedom to abandon procedures if necessary — but not make up new ones on the fly.

      4. The precedent was set in 2020 Germany when Masi himself explained to the exact rules he now contradicts. Regardless of anyone else, Masi can’t even be consistent according to himself.

      5. @stn

        That scenario is easily explainable.
        48.12 shows that the regulation regarding lapped cars:
        “will only apply to cars that were lapped at the time they crossed the Line at the end of the
        lap during which they crossed the first Safety Car line for the second time after the safety car
        was deployed.”

        When the safety car came out on lap 37 Ferrari pitted Vettel at the end of that lap and Marussia pitted Rossi. Stevens stayed out and was on the lead lap when he crossed the safety car line for the second time after the deployment, at the point that dictates whether he is considered lapped or not. At the end of that lap, Marussia brought Stevens into the pits, bringing him out a lap down on lap 39 and in the mid pack on track.

        That’s why he wasn’t told to unlap because, thanks to how it’s measured, he wasn’t considered to be lapped.

        1. Looking at the lap charts here, this seems to add up correctly and explain it. Unfortunately, the older lap charts on this site are no longer working correctly for me, so I am judging it by eye.

          @keithcollantine tagging you just so that you are aware of the chart breakage on older pages, like this one https://www.racefans.net/2015/09/20/toro-rosso-accept-verstappen-team-order-was-unnecessary/. I don’t expect you to necessarily fix it, I know it’s old, archived info at this point, but still thought you should be aware :)

    2. +1 Matt. Anyone who disagrees doesn’t understand written English.

    3. No. “Any” does not mean “All”. If it did, many programming languages would cease to function.
      For me, the issue was not with the fact that only some cars were let through. The bigger issue was that the rules very clearly stated that the safety car would come in on the lap after the cars are let through, and that didn’t happen.

      1. GS (@gsagostinho)
        15th March 2022, 21:02

        This is very dependent on the context; in some contexts, “any” and “all” can mean the same thing while in others they do mean different things. “Take any sweet from the basket” does indeed mean something different than “take all sweeties from the basket”. In other contexts, however, there is no distinction: “any passenger carrying alcohol will be barred from embarking” does not mean that some passengers will be permitted booze onboard at the discretion of whoever is enforcing it, there is simply no ambiguity in that phrase. It is in this context that that safety car rule has been written, and arguing otherwise is grasping at straws.

      2. It actually does. If a car is classified as lapped, then it classifies as ‘any lapped car’ and there is no version of ‘any lapped car’ that doesn’t include all lapped cars. Programming languages are irrelevant.
        What the rules very definitely do not say is “any lapped car chosen by the race director”

        1. Programming languages are not irrelevant. Those that incorporate the keywords/functions/operators “any” and “all” demonstrate very succinctly the clear and dramatic difference between the meaning of the two words.

          A certain amount of sloppiness in everyday language is to be expected and can be excused, hence the plentiful examples of situations where, by the context, it is possible to conclude that where “any” has been used, “all” is actually meant. However, when dealing with a formal text such as a rule book, we should be much more careful to ensure that the correct words are used, so that our intended meaning is accurately portrayed by the words that we have used. It shouldn’t require subjective interpretation about “context”. I’m therefore thankful that this oversight in the rules has been fixed.

          Now, what about the bigger problem – the rules clearly state that the safety car comes in one lap after the lapped cars have been let through?

          1. @harrydymond So programming languages are relevant in any context?

          2. @david-br I see what you did there, assuming that that was deliberate! I wouldn’t say that programming languages are relevant in all contexts, but in this case programming languages are relevant/helpful due to the succinct way that they demonstrate the distinct meaning of the two words “any” and “all”.

          3. @harrydymond Programming languages are not relevant in this discussion, as we are not communicating in (nor are the rules written in) a programming language. Different languages have different features. And one of the features of English is that “context is king”. In the context of the written rule, “any” and “all” are synonymous.

          4. @harrydymond the distinct meaning of the two words “any” and “all” in some contexts, not all contexts! I think I made my point… In this context (FIA regulations) I just take strong exception to the idea that ‘any’ might not have meant ‘all’. It’s blatantly disingenuous and dishonest (principally on the part of Red Bull management and their legal advisors maybe). I’m not saying that your point isn’t interesting. I mean, in the ‘cultural context’ of Formula 1, computer programming is a widely used language, obviously, but that doesn’t mean that FIA regulations are intending to use such language or are made ambiguous by its prevalence in Formula 1 racing teams.

          5. @fluxsource it would appear that my point is not well made. Sorry about that. I’m just saying that it’s really, really important that the words “any” and “all” do actually have different meanings when it comes to logic and rules, and that programming languages are just a useful way of demonstrating this fact.

            In “normal” English, “any” and “all” have only become “synonymous” due to improper use of the word “any”, when in fact the writer/speaker should have used the word “all” – in fact, look at all the examples people are giving here; they are all saying ” look, here’s another example where ‘any’ really means ‘all’ ” – so, are “any” and “all” actually “synonymous”, or does “any” only mean “all” when it’s been used inappropriately and we can tell by context that what the user really meant was “all”?

            If “any” and “all” were “synonymous”, you’d be able to give me examples of cases where “all” is used to mean “any”.

          6. @harrydymond As a programmer myself, I can see your point of view here, but it is not correct. The English language, unlike programming (in general), relies a lot on context. Not only that, it is generally a shorthand for a longer conditional.

            “Any X will be require to Y” is shorthand for “If there are any X, they will be required to Y”. Similarly, “Any X may be required to Y” is shorthand for “If there are any X, they may be required to Y”.

            As has been stated elsewhere, if an announcement “Any customers are required to leave the store” came over the tannoy, nobody would think this left an option or meant anything other than “all”. It is, quite clearly, “If there are any customers in the store, they are all required required to leave the store”.

            Humans are not machines, and the English language is not a programming language. This article in the regs, read by anyone fluent in English, is completely unambiguous.

          7. @harrydymond You’re right that they do have different meanings, but those meanings converge and are synonymous in this context.

            Even in programming languages, context is critical. I’m also a programmer myself, and can think of numerous examples where a keyword has a different meaning depending on context. Take (shudder) PHP – the use keyword has totally different effect depend on if you’re using it in class scope on with an anonymous function.

            And I didn’t say “any” and “all” are synonymous – I said they were synonymous in this context.

          8. @drmouse I think we’ll have to just agree to disagree. What you are saying is that, as written, the rules did not strictly by the rules of logic mean what they intended to mean, and we instead have to invoke subjective “rules” of context to infer what the true intending meaning was/is. I’m just saying, why leave it to interpretation? You say the rules were “unambiguous” as previously written, I (and plenty of others) say otherwise. So, surely there is a sufficient number of people arguing that “any” doesn’t mean “all”, to disprove the notion that the rules were “unambiguous”.

            Now that the rules have been re-written and clearly state “all”, would you say there is more or less room for doubt about the meaning of the rule?

          9. @fluxsource @drmous @david-br just wondering if you could answer me this question:

            Did any lapped cars pass the Safety Car at the end of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix?

          10. @harrydymond Yes they did. See – a different context yields a different meaning for the word “any”, but we were both able to work out that that meaning was.

          11. @fluxsource I think what perplexes me is why people are so vehemently opposed to a strict logical interpretation of the rule book. Your correct answer to my question demonstrates that indeed, on a strict logical interpretation, the rule was not violated.

            The rules should be written as unambiguously as possible. The writers should not rely on ambiguous “rules” of context to morph the meaning of critical words. If you mean “all”, just use the word “all”!

          12. What you are saying is that, as written, the rules did not strictly by the rules of logic mean what they intended to mean, and we instead have to invoke subjective “rules” of context to infer what the true intending meaning was/is.

            What I am saying is that there are a lot of words in the English language which have multiple meanings based on where and how they are used, and so you need to look at the entire sentence, and sometimes further, to find the meaning. It’s a pretty basic and fundamental part of most spoken and languages.

            In fact, this even applies to programming. Let’s take a simple JS example. If I give you the following:

            let y = x + 1;

            What is the value of y? You don’t know, because you need the missing context (value of x). If x=3, y=4. If x=6.7, y=7.7. If x=”My missing context”, y=”My missing context1″. You have no idea of the value of y until you have the context.

            In this case, you don’t even have to look outside the sentence. Taking “any” along with “will be required” (rather than “may be required” or words to that effect) makes it equivalent to “all”.

          13. @drmouse Perhaps it is not clear that I mostly agree with you about context and intended meaning. What I’m saying is that relying on context creates multiple possible interpretations and is a recipe for disaster and long arguments on internet forums. Can we not agree that now the rule is using the word “all”, it is absolutely 100% unambiguous?

          14. @drmouse, @fluxsource, @david-br, you say that we can “tell by the context” that what the rule really meant was “all”, and some have suggested that we can just “expand” the text a little to make that even clearer (“Any X will be required to Y” is shorthand for “If there are any X, they will be required to Y”, as per @drmouse). Now I do agree that, most likely, “all” was indeed the intended meaning, which is why I think it’s so unfortunate that the writer(s) used the word “any”, and am thankful that it’s now been changed to “all”.

            Now, how about this. You are very convinced the only possible interpretation of the previously-written rule was that they meant “all”. So how should it have been written if they did actually genuinely mean “any”? I can also suggest an “expansion” of the original phrase (as per drmouse’s line of reasoning) that makes the true logical meaning of the word “any” the only reasonable interpretation:

            “If the clerk of the course considers it safe to do so, and the message ‘lapped cars may now overtake’ has been sent to all competitors via the official messaging system, any cars that have been lapped by the leader [,as chosen by the Race Director,] will be required to pass the cars on the lead lap and the safety car.”

          15. @harrydymond

            I will agree that using the word “all” is 100% unambiguous.

            However, I also say that using the word “any” in the context it was used in the regulations is 100% unambiguous, and those who have tried to argue otherwise either don’t understand English to a reasonable level or they are trying to justify the unjustifiable with ridiculous sophistry.

          16. You are very convinced the only possible interpretation of the previously-written rule was that they meant “all”. So how should it have been written if they did actually genuinely mean “any”?

            One, single word change will make it mean what RBR and others have argued that phrase should be interpreted as:

            “…any cars that have been lapped by the leader may be required to pass the cars on the lead lap and the safety car”.

            This allows a conditional, a choice to be made, instead of the imperative “will be required to pass”.

            Note that, strictly, this would also require a rewording of the messaging or the requirement to send to all competitors (which also makes what Masi did dodgy, as sending the message “Lapped cars may now overtake” to everyone would pretty unambiguously mean that they all could).

          17. @harrydymond If you want to rely purely on logic, then we still end up in the same place.

            If, as you argue, the word “any” can either mean “some” or “all”, then let’s look at what that means. If “some”, it means that some cars may be allowed to pass in the case of a safety car. Which cars? Well, if “some” is the meaning, then which cars must surely be detailed in a subsequent rule, right? Roll the dice? Favourite driver/team? Fan vote?

            But it’s not laid out. For the interpretation to mean “some” there are other parts of the regulations that need to be present. But they’re not – so it must mean the “all” interpretation is the correct one.

          18. @fluxsource You are not correct that the “some” interpretation logically forces the “all” interpretation by contradiction. You are correct however that it would mean that the rulebook simply left out how the cars should be selected (with a reasonable interpretation being that usually it should be all lapped cars, but it could be a selection at the Race Director’s discretion).

            Just because the rulebook left out the selection criteria (if truly “any” was indeed the intended meaning), doesn’t logically force anything, it just means that the rule was badly written.

          19. Again, the imperative “any… will be required” rather than the conditional “any… may be required” makes the distinction.

            It could also have been worded as “any… will be allowed” if all the drivers were to be given the choice, or “any… may be allowed” to give both the officials and the drivers the choice.

          20. I think what perplexes me is why people are so vehemently opposed to a strict logical interpretation of the rule book.

            Unfortunately, the rulebook is written in English, which often precludes a “strict logical interpretation” (as would any normal language).

            In this case, however, a “strict logical interpretation” (following the rules of grammar and syntax of the English language) yields the exact same meaning between both the old and new wording.

    4. I think you mean `all` comments that disagree are wrong. Not any :p.

    5. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
      15th March 2022, 21:40

      >anyone disagreeing with me is wrong

      Are we in kindergarden again?

      1. No you have to explain it to non English native speakers seems I still don’t know the difference…..

  4. This, along with moving Masi, is about as close as the FIA is going to admit that the events of Abu Dhabi were completely unacceptable.

    It would be appropriate for them to offer a groveling apology to Hamilton, Mercedes, and all F1 fans as well, but one supposes that will not be forthcoming…

    1. Oh, please. This is to appease Hamilton and Wolff who think they should get every break.

      They played it conservative kept Hamilton out and then wanted Masi to be bail them out.

    2. Maximus the Dog
      15th March 2022, 20:05

      it is absolutely a confession of error.

    3. You probably mean apology to Sainz.

      1. @jff

        Absolutely, Sainz is certainly also owed an apology.

        1. And the ‘also’ then refers to the drivers behind Sainz on the lead lap as they ‘also’ had a lapped car between them and the lead drivers.

          1. It’s say that everyone, including Max, deserves an apology. Everyone else for having the rules “applied creatively” (aka broken) in a way which penalised them, and Max for causing him to win his first championship in such a controversial way which will forever shift the focus away from his own success and onto this farcical incident.

    4. It allows the FIA to have it both ways: The rules were not broken, but the way they were interpreted shows they should be changed. It ultimately gives credence to Red Bull’s argument that “any” doesn’t mean “all” — or else why would the wording need to be amended?

    5. @paulguitar

      If anything, this validates Max his title and is a big middle finger to Mercedes.

      If anything, Mercedes need to apologize to
      Masi for wrongfully blaming him of breaking the rules because this little change means he was following the rules.

      Why else would they change the rule if it was broken?

      1. Absolutely not, @Niki101

        It’s just a clarification, no change at all, it further confirms the current WDC has an almighty * next to it.

        1. @paulguitar

          It’s a literal change. No clarification, no appendix or whatever, just a literal change.

          And yes, the current WDC has an * to it:

          * Rare occurrence where the best driver of the season actually wins the title.
          (Last occurred in 2006)

          But let me guess: You’d rather see a WDC with a +?

          + Needed to be saved twice from his own incompetence/dirty driving by the use of unnecessary red flags.
          (Last occurred; never.)

          Each his own, I am very pleased we actually have the best driver win the title.

    6. The “groveling apology” should be made by Mercedes screwing the strategy.

      1. @erikje

        No. If the RD had not invented new rules, this would be moot. All strategy talk is gaslighting, to try to cover up what happened so you can feel better about it, and pretend the title is legitimate.

      2. Getting cheated by the RD is not screwing the strategy.

  5. As foreigner with little knowledge of the english language, “any” meaning “all” is very, very confusing.

    1. ”any” doesn’t equal to ”all” in English language, everyone who will state the opposite is wrong.

      1. It’s completely equivalent in the context in which it was applied. For instance hearing an announcement of, “Any customers in the store must leave immediately”, nobody would argue that there was a choice involved. It would be obvious that it meant exactly the same as “All customers in the store must leave immediately” or, more accurately, “If there are any customers in the store, they must all leaves immediately”.

        1. there was a precedent made by Charlie Whiting (who was literally the person behind those rules and how they’ve been phased in the sporting regulations) on Singapore GP 2015, when he ordered only one of two lapped cars to overtake the safety car.

        2. there was a precedent made by Charlie Whiting (who was literally the person behind those rules and how they’ve been phrased in the sporting regulations) on Singapore GP 2015, when he ordered only one of two lapped cars to overtake the safety car – the car in between the leaders, which was interferring their fight for the podium places and left another lapped backmarker in between the cars around 6-8 places to stay where he was.

          1. I didn’t know about this. I’m very surprised that nobody raised this before now in the pages upon pages of arguments about this on this site alone. I’ll have to look up the details tomorrow to see what the circumstances were, as it leaves several questions, among others:
            1) was this matter brought before the stewards? If not, there is no official communication to say this was allowed.
            2) if it was allowed, why did Masi clearly state that it was not less than 2 years ago?
            3) if it was allowed, why was it never used again. There have been several times where out would have benefited the race.
            4) did he still wait until then end of the following lap top bring the SC in, as required by the regulations?

            I’ll go see if I can find out the information for myself tomorrow. Personally, I still don’t believe that any reasonable person who is not just trying to justify the farce of Abu Dhabi would interpret out that way, I strongly suspect it was actually against them rules even then and that Charlie’s actions were a mistake rather than consciously using powers he knew he had. That would very much explain why it has never been done since, and why Masi was adamant that he was not allowed to do so not very long ago.

          2. @stn Significantly, although that instruction was given it was not carried out, and the race restarted with the one driver who had been told to un-lap themselves still in his original position between cars on the lead lap.

        3. @drmouse Indeed. I’m surprised some still don’t accept these words meaning the same in practical terms.

    2. The problem with English expressions to the none English speakers is that those who speak the language very well understand the meaning when a short hand form of expressions are used. The phrase “if any” would have settled it as it can not be assumed there will always be lapped cars. As such “If Any” can then equate to all. Then again if they had simply said lapped cars can unlap it would also imply all lapped cars.

    3. As a foreigner with little knowledge of the English language you are clearly more intelligent than the English speakers here who don’t know how to use a dictionary! So well done! ‘Any’ – meaning used to refer to one or some of a thing or number of things, no matter how much or how many, such as the phrase ‘I don’t have any choice’. All – meaning to refer to the whole quantity or extent of a particular group or thing, such as the phrase ‘all the people I met’.

      Ultimately Mercedes appeal only had a chance based on the failure to follow this rule: Article 48.12 reads “Unless the clerk of the course considers the presence of the safety car is still necessary, once the last lapped car has passed the leader the safety car will return to the pits at the end of the following lap.

      Regardless of what happened though I blame the FIA far more than Masi, for not putting the framework in place to prevent this kind of thing from happening. Masi had a nightmare job over the last part of that Championship, being lobbied left and right, probably the most intense title fight in history with the drivers pushing the rules to the limit. Then with that crash at the end and having such limited time and pressure to make the decisions. Let’s be honest he would have taken just as much abuse if he hadn’t let the lapped cars past and favoured Mercedes.

      Also I think Toto Wolff has to take his part of the blame, ultimately the teams were allowed to lobby the race director in 2021 and his behaviour was a disgrace. (Worse than Red Bull who also pushed it) He lobbied Masi against using VSC and the safety car in Abu Dhabi and previously rather stupidly sent an email after the Silverstone crash with the Mercedes team racing rules thinking this was relevant to the Hamilton/ Verstappen crash. I think this was his first significant failure as a Team Principle since forcing Ross Brawn out of the team he built. First rule of management is keep people of influence in your corner, ultimately I think in a split second decision in Abu Dhabi it might purely have come down to Masi liking Christian Horner and Jonathan Wheatley more than Toto Wolff.

      You might think I’m being harsh on Toto Wolff, but at the end of the day success leaves clues. Ross Brawn was a Championship winner with Benetton, Ferrari, Brawn and had done the ground work for the team that built the 2014 Mercedes which Wolff and Lauda took control of. Lauda although a great driver was a failure as a consultant with Ferrari from 1993 and then presided over the mess that was Jaguar. Wolff was involved with Williams as an Exec Director but he had no technical management input even though they managed to win a race in 2012. Wolff has simply had to maintain the house that Ross Brawn and his team built.

      Sorry if this become a bit of a rant lol, but that’s the nice thing with F1 is there is always data to back up any argument that you want to make.

      1. It’s about time some pointed out all the lobbying Mercedes did in that race.
        The fact Wolff was asking the race director not to bring out a safety car just to suit his driver is far worse than Massi’ interpretation of lapped cars unlapping themselves.

  6. So basically nothing has changed, but they’ve changed the obvious wording to be even more obvious wording.

    “Any” is such a common replacement for “all”in legal documents that I’m amazed this wasn’t argued more.

    “Any car found guilty of speeding will be fined” “Any person found to be in possession of…” etc. I find that “any” actually appears a lot more than “all” in official documents.

    It really was a bogus claim to begin with. The fact they got away with it my saying “any” doesn’t have to mean all after specifically saying it has to be all only a year ago is a joke.

    1. It all depends on the context and with your examples you are correct that “any” can replace “all” but strictly speaking they are not equal as they depend on the context.

      “Any car found guilty of speeding will be fined”, of course it refers to “all” cars because it is an offence and penalties should be applied to ALL and that is the context of it.

      When you say “You can eat ANY candies in that jar” does that mean you need to eat ALL candies? of course not. So again it depends on the context.

      So going back to F1, the rules say “Any lapped cars” and those lapped cars did not commit an offence so they are not bound to be subjected to be force to unlap themselves as unlapping is not a penalty in the first place, it is an option that the race director can enforce while penalties applies to ANY offenders which means ALL offenders.

      So what Masi did maybe unusual but it is within the regulations, it may contradict previous rulings but still it is within the regulation. So it is good that they changed the wording so now it is absolute that ALL cars should unlap themselves when asked to do so.

      1. You’re missing a focal piece: it says “Any lapped cars will be required”, not “any lapped cars may” or “any lapped cars may be required”.

        This is like the difference between the following announcements:
        “Any customers are required leave the store”
        “Any customers may be required leave the store”
        “Any customers may leave the store”

        The first requires all customers to leave, the second basically gives the store the option to require customers to leave on an ad hoc basis, and the third gives the customers the option to leave. The article in question was worded as the first announcement, and was a requirement that, if there are any lapped cars, the must all unlap.

  7. Doesn’t really matter, seeing as they haven’t changed 15.3, which still (with the precedent set in AD and the lack of any official clarification) allows the race director to ignore all the other safety car regulations and make up whatever he wants anyway. They may as well just throw away the entire section on safety cars, plus, by extension, all those related to race starts, as he can just ignore them anyway.

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      15th March 2022, 18:48

      I think I written before that 15.3 is in the section about job descriptions and as such ought to be ruled out as part of race directions. So the clerk of the course only controls the safety car but reports what, where, when and how to the race director.

      1. I agree that’s how it should be taken, but the only official decision on the matter is that of the stewards at Abu Dhabi, and their interpretation is that the race director has full control to do what he will despite any roles to the contrary. If the rule hasn’t changed and there is no official communication to the contrary, that’s how it is to be interpreted.

    2. @drmouse I have understood your frustration with this all along, and would only just say that I highly doubt this still “allows the race director to ignore all the other safety car regulations and make up whatever he wants anyway. They may as well just throw away the entire section on safety cars, plus, by extension, all those related to race starts, as he can just ignore them anyway.”

      I’m sure that is not what will actually happen and rather they will not want to appear to be “going rogue” any time soon.

      1. @robbie
        They may not want to “appear to be going rogue any time soon”, but that doesn’t change the fact that both the roles and precedent allow them to do so.

        If the police were given the power to shoot anyone they wanted without consequence, would you accept them saying “but we promise we’ll only use it where needed”. And if one of them “went rogue” and shot a bunch of innocent civilians, would you just accept that no others would want to be seen as “going rogue” in the near future, or would you expect the rules to be changed to remove the power?

        1. @drmouse Not going to go there with your analogy as I think it is way over the top and not comparable, but suffice it to say yes I do get what you are saying but I just think that this was a pretty unique happenstance and given the backlash I think the odds are that F1/FIA are going to be sensitive to not see a repeat, and whatever the new wording is, I’m sure there’s been much internal talk about this that goes beyond the change of a word. I’m sure the teams will have already had much more reassurance than just the changing of a word.

          1. @robbie
            Ok, yes, that was extreme, so let’s go to something more trivial.

            Let’s say I have a friend a key to my house for use in emergencies. I left it at that, considering trusting him and considering that emergencies was reasonably well defined.

            I come back from a trip a way some time later to find that he has used my house for a party. His excuse is that out was an emergency, his house had a power cut and he’d promised people he’d throw a party. Whether there is any damage or not, I would feel violated, and wouldn’t trust that person with the key again. In fact, I’d be hesitant to trust anyone with one, and would insist on assurances that it would only be used where there was an emergency which threatened the house, or where specifically instructed by me.

            Now, to me, what you are instead suggesting is equivalent to the following:

            I take the key to another friend, and explain what happened. The other friends nods and makes sympathetic noses, but never says that what happened was wrong. Instead, I’m supposed to hand over the key with the exact same instructions that it be used only in emergencies, and trust that this time, this friend will not abuse that trust, without any promises that they won’t do the same or even acknowledgment that anything wrong happened previously.

          2. @robbie I have to agree with @drmouse here. 15.3 was abused, it needs amending so it can’t be abused again, the same way that the farcical “any doesn’t mean all” has been changed.

            You may trust the stewards, race director and FIA, but I certainly don’t trust them after last year, they have a long way to go to gain my trust back. 2021 proves that the rules have to be black and white so that they can’t bend them. For years we’ve been complaining that the rules are too prescriptive, too OTT, “just let them get on with it”, well 2021 is a perfect example of why.

            I don’t see any good reason not to amend 15.3, why leave the potential for it to be abused again?

          3. @3dom

            I don’t see any good reason not to amend 15.3, why leave the potential for it to be abused again?

            Precisely. If @robbie is correct and 15.3 should not be used in that manner, it was abused and is open to abuse, so why leave it as it is?

          4. @drmouse I’m not totally convinced there’s anything wrong with that rule. I think the interpretations that give the Race Director carte blanche power of huge swathes of the regulations are pretty silly. Certainly I’ve not seen anyone before the end of the season suggestion the rules meant regulations could be ignored this way. Indeed Masi’s own comments suggested he didn’t view any of the regulations as optional.

            Yes, the rule could be amended to shut down this absurd interpretation (the addition of “notwithstanding ” would suffice) but the real problem is the FIA is willing to allow this interpretation to stand.

          5. @fluxsource

            I’m not totally convinced there’s anything wrong with that rule.

            I would agree with you, the rule itself is fine as a reasonable person would have interpreted it before Abu Dhabi.

            the real problem is the FIA is willing to allow this interpretation to stand

            This is the issue. By neither modifying the rule nor speaking out against the stewards’ interpretation of it, the “pretty silly” interpretation stands and can be used (abused) again.

          6. @drmouse @3dom I’m just not convinced they have ‘left the potential for it to be abused again,’ because I think that they will have learned from this and yes, this comes down to trust, and I fully understand that. You don’t trust them going forward, (unless of course there is more clarity in a report to come on Friday), and I get that. I happen to trust them as I think they will have learned from this and will have had much in the way of internal conversations on this. If there is a report made public on Friday, which is my understanding, I hope they explain further what they intend going forward, but I already feel like AD was a one-off which caused Masi to be gone and much discussions within F1 since it happened. I doubt the only other consequence is the changing of a word to ‘all’ so I do trust that they will be better going forward, no matter whether there is some ‘ironclad’ wording in the regs or not.

          7. @robbie that’s a reasonable enough position, just not one I can take, unfortunately. I need more than “they look silly, so I’m sure they are not going to screw us over again, even if they’ve left the option open in the rules for them to do it”.

            Even just an acknowledgement that the way it was interpreted in AD should not be used in future would probably be enough for me, something to publicly reverse (or at least void) the precedent, though I’d much prefer something more tangible.

  8. Masi being replaced and “any” cemented into “all” means that the FIA clearly know that something went wrong.
    A self respected governing body would have been transparent enough, to publish the report and issue an apology so that people can move on.
    But the FIA won’t do it, controversy is good for the sport.

    1. RandomMallard
      15th March 2022, 22:24

      @abdelilah I believe the report is being published on Friday (18th March). At least that’s the last heard. That said, it’s the FIA so “publishing the report” could mean anything…

    2. @abdelilah I think the biggest sign that something went wrong (and it hasn’t been mentioned yet) is their admittance that article 48.12 of the 2021 regulations “may not have been applied fully” at the time.

  9. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
    15th March 2022, 18:44

    Has there been a fix to make sure the message “safety car in this lap” is not sent prematurely?

    1. What is this obsession of F1 ‘fans’ to have a safety car stay out any second longer than strictly necessary?

        1. Those rules are there to resume racing (you know that’s what they try to do) and not for an over achieving solicitor trying to be a bureaucrat.
          If it’s safe to resume it should happen as soon possible.

          1. The rules are there to be followed.

            Its not like “When a rule is inconvienient, cause it produces the WDC champ you dont want, then you simply brake it to gift the title to your preferred driver”. But thats what happened, and thats what Masi was sacked for.

            Disgrace to the sports and we have a paper champ, who was gifted his title.

          2. I won’t go as far as Roman, but one point stands: Rules are rules and they should be followed, otherwise what is the point in having them in the first place? If rules can be ignored whenever they are inconvenient, they cease to be rules. If a corner is cut, or the pit lane speed limit is broken, or a driver starts before the lights go out… well, we want to see racing, not penalties, so we’ll just leave it. The same with a car being out of spec, let’s not disqualify them, just let it go so we can see some racing.

  10. The question remains, when can they issue the message to “all”? If the notice has been safety car coming in this lap and there is 1/2 a lap until green, can they still issue the message to all cars or not? I can see people warming up their tires as car are trying to get around to have the potential for an accident.

  11. Any person with some common sense was able to read the rule correctly. Just the RD willingly broke it to change the outcome of the WDC, some pretty stupid ones tried to argue ‘any doesnt mean all’, and some ppl with pretty bad english maybe believed this twisting of reality.

    Anyway good its reworded to not allow another usage of this particular misunderstanding.

    1. Roman I still say he didn’t want to change the outcome of the WDC, but also he did not want the season to end under caution.

      1. @robbie Yes, I’m sure he didn’t want to change or impact the WDC outcome.
        However, he should’ve realized unlapping was unnecessary for avoiding an under-caution finish.
        I only hope nothing similar re-occurs.

      2. Wow you guys are still hashing this out? There’s a new season of F1 starting in a couple days you know.

    2. yeah, Charlie Whiting has the history of doing the same as his trainee Masi. They both had no common sense I guess, even though Charlie was the one who was behind these rules and the way how they were phrased in the sporting regulations.

  12. Vince Duggan (@vince-dugganvirginactive-co-za)
    15th March 2022, 18:56

    Opportunity missed to re-write the lapped cars rule completely. I see no reason why lapped cars should do anything at all. In Abu Dhabi, LH had lapped several cars, so why should MV not need to do the same?

    1. @vince-dugganvirginactive-co-za
      Unlapping was unnecessary in the last race, given how few laps were left, but generally, unlapping is perfectly justified as this brings everyone back on roughly the same fuel load level & gives the remaining runners a chance for battling over possibly WCC-crucial positions against other similar-paced cars.

      1. Vince Duggan (@vince-dugganvirginactive-co-za)
        15th March 2022, 20:15

        @jerejj I guess that was why the rule was created, but it makes no sense. This means that drivers who have been lapped earlier in the race get an advantage, just because they have been lapped. Why?

        1. I believe un lapping started in Nascar. I agree it’s a joke. Can you imagine a foot race like a marathon where we slow down and let the slower competitors catch up. 24 hours of Daytona was an absolute joke, they did it several times for no apparent reason other than to keep as many cars as possible on the lead lap.

    2. Allowing lapped cars to rejoin the lead lap does give them the benefit of joining the fight in case of some technical issue previously. In most cases however I agree with you, there is not much benefit to let lapped cars rejoin the lead lap. F1 (drivers in particular) needs to embrace the blue flag and not yell about it/avoid it so much.

    3. @vince-dugganvirginactive-co-za

      MV should not need to do the same because “fairness” isn’t the goal with this regulation. The goal is to put all the cars in contention back to back to improve the chance of a fight for position change. That is why ALL lapped cars are supposed to unlap themselves, so all the cars fighting for position are nose-to-tail.

      I have absolutely no problem with rules made to improve the racing. And I think any (all?) competitors are fine with these type of rules as long as they are applied consistently. Knowing the rules and how they are applied informs decisions/strategy. If a team makes the wrong call and the rules are followed, then that is just the breaks. In the end, those type of 50/50 calls tend to balance themselves out over a career. But if there is a thumb on the scale applying rules inconsistently, one team will feel cheated (and rightfully so).

      The problem is when the rules are not followed consistently, or blatantly disregarded as they were in AD. If all the lapped cars were allowed to unlap themselves, and the SC had come in 1 lap later as the rules stated should happen, then no one would be complaining about rules not being followed. Of course in this case, that would have meant Hamilton would have been WDC. Mercedes made the strategic call not to pit Hamilton because they calculated that the chance the accident would get cleared, all lapped cars unlapped, and the safety car coming in on the next lap and going back to green was much lower than the chance of the race finishing under caution (or getting red flagged like it did in Baku allowing for a free tire change). Had the rules been followed, they would have been proven right.

      Unfortunately for Max, this has tarnished his 1st WDC. No amount of whining/arguing by CH or Max fans will ever change that. The FIA has all but stated that the 2021 WDC has an asterisk based on Masi getting the boot, and this rewording of the rule. Hopefully Max gets more WDCs and Hamilton wins another WDC. If both of those things happen, I think this controversy will fade away as just one of those things that all comes out in the wash. If either of those don’t occur, then this will never go away because Max will never have won without Masi’s help, or Hamilton will not have beaten Schumi’s record.

      1. Vince Duggan (@vince-dugganvirginactive-co-za)
        15th March 2022, 20:29

        @sidziner I agree with most of your points, especially applying the rules consistently. I agree that Masi made a mistake with the rules as they are written. I agree that LH was screwed by the decisions made, even though I am not particularly an LH fan. However, that doesn’t make the rule logical or right. I have no idea why a driver, just about to be lapped, needs to suspend their own race to let the leaders through. The situation of lapped cars unlapping themselves to ‘get out of the way’ is tied to the whole blue flag issue. Why should a driver in 11th position, in a tense battle with the driver in 10th, for a point that may make millions of dollars difference in prize money, slow down to let someone through? Don’t tell me it’s because there is a difference in speed. The only reason there is a speed difference is because they have to slow down. Tailenders are often faster down the straight compared to the front runners.

        1. @vince-dugganvirginactive-co-za I understand that blue flags and unlapping under yellow aren’t “purist” racing. However, a large part of racing (and what pays the bills) is for entertainment. The goal isn’t to be 100% fair to all competitors all the time. The goal is to be as fair as possible but at the same time keep it entertaining for more people. For most, the racing is more entertaining if cars trying to pass one another are for position, not lapped traffic. Cars fighting for position up front is more entertaining than cars fighting in the back. That’s just the way it is. That isn’t true for all fans, but I think it is for the majority. The rules are there to prevent back markers from slowing progress of the front runners in order to increase the chance of racing for position at the front.

          I get why some people don’t like it. But I also get why the rules are there.

          1. The way lapped runners are sometimes treated in F1, I’ve often thought it would be better to just force cars to retire as soon as they are lapped. As soon as the leader passes you, you must drive to your pit box and retire, with your position locked in at that point. The only blue flags needed then would be for when the leader is approaching, and there would not need to be any unlapping procedures as there would never be any lapped cars on a restart.

            Note I’m not really serious, here, it’s mostly tongue-in-cheek.

        2. @vince-dugganvirginactive-co-za

          Specifically replying to this part of your post: “I have no idea why a driver, just about to be lapped, needs to suspend their own race to let the leaders through”

          Monaco 2011 is a good example of why I think the blue flag rules should change.

          You had a top 3 of Vettel, Alonso and Button, with Vettel on the worst tyres (60ish lap old softs) and Button on the best (30 lap old softs), with Alonso being somewhere in the middle (40 lap old softs) when they came up on a pack of 5+ cars that were a lap down with 6 laps left. In trying to get out of the way while not disadvantaging themselves we had a crash between the backmarkers that red flagged the race, giving everyone a free tyre change and it ruined what could have been a great finish. Having the leaders attempt to pass would have given those behind a big advantage.

          It’s part of the reason I like Indycar. A driver about to be lapped is allowed to race the car attempting to overtake as much as they want to. They only have to give way if they’re 2+ laps down (i.e. as blue flags operate in F1).

          Take the opening race the other week in St Petersburg, Fl – Scott McLaughlin was catching backmarkers in the last few laps and it made it far more interesting than it would have been with a blue flag rule. It looked to me like he paced himself so he only caught the backmarker on the last lap so that Alex Palou didn’t have a viable opportunity to pass, whereas had he gone full beans he would have had a fight on his hands, possibly not made the pass and given Palou a chance to catch and pass him instead.

          Had Indycar’s rules on lapping cars been in place 11 years ago, that would have been a fantastic finish and likely prevented the big crash we ended up having.

          Letting lapped cars back through under a safety car though, that’s a different question. And I remain angry about the way Abu Dhabi played out, simply in terms of the way the rules were applied there after really not being applied fairly in some of the races prior.

          1. @skydiverian IndyCar’s unlapping rule is ridiculous, so if anything, they should follow F1’s lead rather than the other way round or anything else.

      2. What a stupid rule anyway. Why should the leader be penalised because he was quick enough to lap slower cars? Much better in the event of a safety car to limit all drivers to the same speed. Another stupid rule is allowing cars to pit in the event of a safety car. The pit lane should be closed.

        1. @Colin Roy Closing the pit lane would only bring in danger.

    4. The first reaction by Masi was to forbid the lapped cars to unlap themselves, which is against the habit in f1. Both the radio of ALO and VER talk about this.
      Then Masi allowed the unlapped cars to unlap themsleves, then Toto said it’s unfair….

      1. That is a half truth. Masi specifically told a few drivers to unlap themselves and told other drivers that they couldn’t unlap. Listen to RIC’s radio. He sees the drivers in front of Max start to unlap. He is told by his team that he is not allowed to pass Max. This is where the decision is completely unfair to the drivers in the race. RIC pitted and got new tires. He expected the race to restart but he was forced by Masi to stay a lap down whereas the drivers just ahead of him in position were allowed to unlap.

  13. The stupidity of Masi’s interpretation and of those who defend the “any” is not “all” interpretation is obvious if you consider how he would then be able to “influence” this scenario.

    5 laps to go under yellow – Hamilton (on old tyres) has lapped ALL cars including Max (who got stuck in the pits when his new tyres got jammed). Max is dead last and a lap down but on new tyres.

    4 laps to go – Masi says “Lapped cars can pass the leader” but not ALL only those he selects – he selects only Max to pass.

    3 laps to to – Max has passed Lewis then Masi lets the others all pass too (or some depending on your preference)

    2 laps to go – Hamilton still leads on old tyres but Max is second on new ones and everyone is now on the same lap.

    Masi lets them race for the last lap – cause this is called motor racing after all…

    Max wins – all fair and square and above board according to the Masi racing book.

    1. You do know your fantasy is flawed on several points.
      It’s a nice narrative but not what happened.
      I.e
      Lewis did not lap max.
      There was enough time to restart the race when latifi crashed.
      Only when his brakes cought fire it became a problem.
      By then the window to change tires for Lewis was gone. As it happened twice also with the vcc some laps earlier.
      Mercedes made the wrong call ( easy in hindsight but still true) and gambled on a situation never happened.

      1. @erikje The call against pitting during the SC period was correct since that was based on standard procedures.
        No one could see Masi suddenly going against set protocols for entertainment’s sake.

      2. Erikje.

        I know that is not what happened …..I was watching.

        …..that’s why I was illustrating using a different scenario just how stupid the FIA interpretation could allow things to be. In “THIS SCENARIO” not the actual race scenario….

  14. Why don’t they forget the lapped cars rule altogether. Keep it simple keep it real.
    Cars line up behind the safety car as per track position.
    Close the pit lane aswell whilst the safety car is on track.
    Too many rules = Too much confusion

    1. @David Smith Nothing wrong with unlapping, while disallowing pit stops during an SC period would be a safety issue in the long-term with a possible puncture, front wing damage, etc. People should stop suggesting risky things.

      1. @jerejj
        They shouldn’t physically close the pits. But they could “virtually” close the pits. i.e. a car can pit, but there is a penalty applied. e.g. go to the back of all the cars, or do a passthrough on the first lap after green (or coming to the green). This would prevent gaining an advantage by pitting under yellow.

        same goes for red flags … repairs, tire changes etc. are allowed, but there is a penalty of some sort applied.

        this nullifies the safety argument, but also nullifies the randomness advantage gained by a yellow or red flag.

        1. @sidziner Penalizing for things that technically don’t breach technical or sporting regs & especially done on safety grounds would be unfair, so going such a route would be pointless.

          1. @jerejj my point is the sporting regs should be changed so that modifications to cars are not allowed during yellow or red flags to prevent a team gaining an unfair advantage by making those changes while the race is suspended for safety reasons.

            For those who put to fix a car, or make performance changes, they are allowed to do so under these conditions, but not without consequences designed to nullify the advantage gained.

            I don’t think that is pointless at all. It is ultimately fairer to all the competitors, and there is no safety risk argument to be made. A penalty is applied because of the violation to the changed sporting reg.

          2. @sidziner, Solely based on the advantage-disadvantage argument, a free pit stop under SC & VSC should equally cause a penalty.

          3. @jerejj Exactly. Pits are closed for any case they aren’t racing i.e full course yellow (SC or VSC) or red condition. teams are allowed to pit, but if they do so, they have to serve a pass-through coming to green or on the first lap after green.

          4. Pits are closed for any case they aren’t racing i.e full course yellow (SC or VSC) or red condition. teams are allowed to pit, but if they do so, they have to serve a pass-through coming to green or on the first lap after green.

            That would be an incredibly harsh penalty, in most cases. Immediately after a red flag or full SC, a drive-through would most likely put anyone at the back of the field.

            I don’t believe there is actually a truly fair way to handle full safety cars or red flags. They will always end up disadvantaging some and advantaging others, often seriously. Keeping the pits open and allowing cars to be worked on may allow some unfair advantages to be gained, but so can closing them off. Change it, and a few races later someone will be screaming for the policies to be reversed because they were unfair.

            For me, the best thing we can do is avoid any full SC wherever possible. We could make some modifications* to VSC procedures, tracks and cars, to make as many situations able to be handled under VSC as possible, and only resort to SC and suspension where there is no other way to handle it safely.

            * Things like:
            – Adding more escape/bypass lanes to allow alternative routes which could be used to avoid the areas where incidents had happened
            – Allowing some adjustment of VSC ETAs/speeds depending on the incident, even allowing instructions for all to stop on track for a few mins
            – Making the cars capable of running slower, or even stopping on track for short periods unaided (adding active cooling fans, for instance)

          5. That would be an incredibly harsh penalty, in most cases. Immediately after a red flag or full SC, a drive-through would most likely put anyone at the back of the field.

            In fact, thinking it through, that’s a reason why the pits should not be closed, either. If a car was just about to pit, but there was an SC thrown, then they would have to wait until the end of the SC. In that case, they go from maybe losing a few positions to being at the very back of the field after their pit stop. That’s insanely unfair, much more so than a few people getting a slightly cheaper pit stop.

            A better solution, if a solution is needed, would be to force anyone who pits under the SC to stop for 10s before any work was completed (equivalent to serving a 10s time penalty). This would make the total stop time match a full speed stop more closely, at least.

    2. I agree entirely with you.

  15. Frank Johnson
    15th March 2022, 19:23

    Ok, if you’re a parent in a queue with your kids and the usher calls out “any parents with kids can now come through.” Would you whether they meant you or some of the other parent?

    In this scenario (Abu Dhabi) “any” and “all” meant the same thing. F1 messed up royally on this one.

    I wonder if or when they’ll change the other silly rule about changing tyres during a red flag

    1. @Frank Johnson Disallowing tyre changing during a red flag-stoppage would only risk safety.

      1. Why is that?
        If there reall is a risk the team can stop after the first lap after the restart as normal.

        1. @erikje The risks are quite obvious such as a tyre blowout caused by extreme wear if continued an extra lap before pitting & or front wing damage.

  16. Muppets…

  17. I imagine Mercedes reaction if they will be hit hard with this exact same rule. Karma is real !

    1. Karma is real? No its not. Don’t be silly.

      1. At least 2 billion people do not agree with you.

        1. Billions of people believe in a god, but many different ones, so they can’t all be right. Millions likely believe that Russia is not at war with Ukraine. Heck, millions of people believe the earth is flat.

          Even if everyone in the world believes something, that doesn’t make it true. Of course, someone believe it doesn’t also doesn’t make it untrue.

  18. So, it turns out any doesn’t mean all.

    1. :) +1

    2. Yep. Apparently it means you pick and choose.

      I’ll have 3 from the front row, and none from the back…please carol. ala countdown

    3. Or, though anyone with a reasonable understanding of the English language knows that it means the same as all, using all is more understandable and less ambiguous to those who don’t have that reasonable understanding of English, so it’s been clarified to avoid any future misunderstandings.

  19. And what of the rule about when the safety car should come in and the race continue? Because that was ignored as well.

    1. And what of the rule about when the safety car should come in and the race continue? Because that was ignored as well.

      Clearly, that didn’t need altering to ensure that there was only one possible interpretation.
      Thus, you have the justification for changing the race director instead.

  20. …all cars that have been lapped by the leader will be required to pass the cars on the lead lap and the safety car.”

    This rule doesn’t differentiate between cars that are one lap behind the race leader, and those more than one lap behind the race leader, and there’s no requirement for those lapped cars to rejoin the leading lap cars before the race recommences.
    It seems to me the aim of this rule is to get the cars to be together in a group so the race can restart. So do lapped cars need to race around the track and rejoin at the back of the group of cars? Why couldn’t the lapped cars simply allow the cars on the lead lap to overtake them, so the lap behind cars are now in their correct place in the group of cars, and then for race to recommence? This would require those cars that were lapped to be credited one (or more) laps, even though they haven’t actually done those laps. This could even be done on a part of the track unrelated to where the debris is while the cleanup is being carried out, so the re-start isn’t delayed. So say you have a car that is one lap behind, and say its rightful place is last, and say it was second in the line of cars behind the Safety Car, one way of getting it to be last in the group of cars is for that car to overtake the race leader, then travel at racing speed all the way around the track to join the pack of cars, and then for the race to commence. This takes time, delaying the start of the race. It also puts cars using racing speeds onto the track that are away from the main group of cars, which may be a safety issue. The other way to get that car to its correct place of last is for that car to safely slow down at a safe place and allow the other cars behind it to overtaken it so it is last, (remembering this could be done during the first laps behind the Safety Car, it doesn’t need to wait until the debris have been removed) and then for the race to recommence. That car would then be credited as having done one lap, so it is considered to be on the same lap as the leading lap cars even though it didn’t actually do one lap.

    1. @drycrust
      I agree that all cars on the lead lap should pass all lapped cars. Effectively lapped cars go to the back. However, I don’t think they should be credited a lap, due to fuel loads.

      1. @sidziner I realise there are other questions like this, for example their tyres are effectively one lap younger. Then there’s the question of whether the extra fuel, less tyre wear, etc, is an advantage or a disadvantage. You might also have the situation where someone had to go into the pits for a repair, came out, and were a lap behind, but now they are on the same lap as the leading cars. Also, the instructions have to be clearly stated because overtaking another car is prohibited behind the Safety Car. We don’t want the situation where someone thought they were told to let the cars behind them pass, but the instruction was misunderstood and the cars that were behind got penalised.
        It seems to me too much is made of making the cars travel exactly the same distance, because the race finishes on the lap of the leading car. Even if you were two laps down, the race finishes when the leading car crosses the finish line. So at most races there’s a few cars that didn’t travel the full race distance.

        1. @drycrust trying to equalize tyre laps, fuel loads, etc. is moot as long as laps aren’t credited. If laps are credited, effectively putting the cars that are 1 lap down on the same lap without having traveled the same distance, then it matters. To take your example of a car that pitted for repairs and was then credited a lap so they are on the same lap without having traveled that distance would be wildly unfair to those still on the lead lap at the back. That’s why I say no crediting. If you are a lap down, then you can pass the leader under green to get back on the same lap, but not gifted a lap. By making the lapped cars fall to the back, they will stay out of the way of those racing for the win

  21. Dave (@davewillisporter)
    15th March 2022, 20:07

    I’m completely over arguing this with pepes. Suffice to say I echo Hamilton’s sentiment. No driver should have to go through that again. Anything that removes the ability of outside forces to (albeit unintentionally) alter the natural end to a race should be eliminated.

    Strategists can only strategise if they know the pitch they are playing on. Drivers can only push the limits when those limits are well defined.

    I look forward to the day the white line is the edge of the track, period, and when the racing rule book can’t be subjectively interpreted. This is a multi billion dollar industry. Can’t they afford a few insurance lawyers that seen to have the skills to indemnify their clients regardless of scenario?

    2021, whatever your side, was a ridiculous demonstration of inconsistency and lack of decisiveness.

    We pay a lot to watch this sport. We deserve better!

  22. Perhaps we need to make TOEFL (Test of English as Foreign Language) a requirement for any individual who’s writing these rules — oh.. or should I say for all individuals writing these rules.

  23. Now what about the SC must come in on the following lap and not immediately at the whim of the race director like also happened at that race?

    1. @davidhunter13 At least one full lap from when an unlapping message comes out.

  24. Just watched DST4 finished. It’s amazing that Max were still fighting for driver world champion in the last race after what happened in Saudi. But I guess that was what the “fans” wanted.

    1. Davethechicken
      16th March 2022, 13:59

      Would there have been much lost revenue to F1 if Max had been handed a big penalty for his Saudi antics?
      All those unhappy “Johnny come lately” Dutch fans with big wallets!

  25. Maybe there should also be a specific rule that a race should never finish behind the safety car?

    During the whole season it was allowed to unlap during safety car. The only minor difference was to limit it, in order to complete the unlapping in time. The race leader was following the spirit of the rules and he was entitled for doing that.

    The real thread is the influence of Mercedes, how can a race leader judge objectively, knowing that any decision in disadventage of Mercedes will be checked by an army of lawyers and can easily result in your early retirement?

    1. @Danny Such a rule would be overkill as neutralized finishes are rare anyway, not to mention last laps aren’t any more special than earlier ones, so undeserving of special treatment. The Mercedes-concerning paragraph, I disagree.

    2. Finishing behind SC is perfectly fine, when it cannot be avoided.

      And your last sentence is just weird. What do you think would have happened when the roles had been reversed?

      1. @Roman Indeed.
        The same outcome with reversed roles as Masi’s clear intention was avoiding a neutralized ending at all costs.

    3. The real thread is the influence of Mercedes, how can a race leader judge objectively, knowing that any decision in disadventage of Mercedes will be checked by an army of lawyers and can easily result in your early retirement?

      Do you really think that RBR, Ferrari, and the others (except maybe those at the bottom end of the grid with the least resources) don’t have “an army of lawyers” and wouldn’t have done the exact same thing in their shoes?

      In fact, I feel pretty confident that, had the situation been reversed, with Max having stayed out on old tyres and Lewis being placed directly behind him on fresh new ones for the restart, RBR would not have dropped the appeal. Why? Because the most likely result of a finding that the officials screwed up would be the nullification of the race entirely. If that happened for Merc’s appeal, Max would have stayed champion, whereas in the reversed scenario, a nullification would have handed the championship to Max.

  26. This clarification of the rule combined with Masi’s removal from the position pretty much say it all.

    In a way I feel this is better than Mercedes having gone through with the appeal and potentially court. At least this way FIA have been able to admit things were handled incorrectly (at least by their actions if not words) which they wouldn’t have if they were fighting to not have Max stripped of his title after the fact.

    It is still disappointing that they haven’t taken the opportunity to do a major overhaul of the regulations, but at least this particular issue couldn’t be more clear. Masi just stuffed it up.

    1. RandomMallard
      15th March 2022, 22:32

      @skipgamer Definitely agree about a major overhaul of the full regs. Because what they are at the minute is a collection of clauses added in post and in haste to solve one issue, all while creating several other issues at the same time. And I think with the new technical regs coming in there wouldn’t have been a better time to properly review everything and remove all the contradictions and complications.

  27. Another thing we learned last season. If you are going to stick a front wheel up the inside of someone, do it on the fastest corner of the track. Then you will then get a red flag to fix any damage incurred.
    Anybody reckon there should be a rule change here too?

    1. You mean if Max had made it back to the pits at Silverstone, and given he was partially to blame, he would also be red flagged?
      Or do you mean they should have a flexible unwritten rule that they can apply retrospectively based on whether you like a driver or not.
      I’m only asking because you seem to be have been pushing the second option all season.

      1. “given he was partially to blame”?
        If that were the case it would have been a racing incident and Lewis wouldn’t have received any penalty?
        There were 2 car widths on the slower, inside line, yet Lewis was taking a line that intersects Max’ to the outer kerb.

        1. Lewis was predominantly to blame, thats why he got a penalty. It implicitly states that Max was party to blame.

    2. Another thing we learned last season is that brake checking is now allowed and not a DSQ along with stomping of the podium like a spoilt brat….

      1. There was never a brake check.
        Lots of fantasy :)

        1. lots of orange blindness I would say

        2. I’ll just leave this here…

          69 bar of pressure, resulting in 2.4G deceleration.

    3. @G No on safety grounds.

    4. I think we learned that you shouldnt close the door with a car alongside, cause otherwise you are partially to blame for the collision.

      1. Close the door? He did have to turn to make the corner you know. Check out the replay that’s closest to an aerial view you can get. There was plenty of room on the inside and his line was arcing out to the kerb as you would expect when you are ahead in the corner.
        I know Lewis’ fans will never accept this as it was a major factor for him having a chance at the title. Admit that he was wrong in gaining 26 points on Max there and the Abu Dhabi argument means nothing.

        1. Lewis also would have had to turn to make turn 4 in Brazil, but obviously handled it in a smarter way than Verstappen in Silverstone. Also there was plenty of room on the outside in silverstone (Lewis did not even leave the track). With two cars next to each other its simply not possible to take the optimum like though a corner, and you cant just brake late, take too much speed for your line and then cut into the line of the other car.

          Also Verstappen forced Hamilton to avoid contact numberous times in the first half of the lap. Why should Hamilton always avoid the contact, just cause the crash-kid cant stick to a professionel driving level?

          1. I agree Max was out of line in Brazil by running Lewis off track. What is also obvious is that his aggression increased on track with Lewis as a result of Silverstone and I can see why. There is a difference in going for a gap at a chicane or a slow speed corner, but to stick a wheel inside at Copse against a car with similar speed was reckless and life threatening. Even after Max had just been crowned champion, Adrian Newey was still fuming about it.

          2. His aggressive driving standards were pretty obvious also in the first half of the lap in Silverstone. The incident was clearly a consequence of his driving. Hamilton does not usually seek contact, its always the unprofessionell crash-kid.

  28. Mercedes strategy was not flawed as it was based on Masi’s prior history of decisions which were:
    1) The race is red flagged and they keep position and change tires.
    2) The race finishes behind the SC as there was not enough time to unlap all cars. Masi had stated previously that all cars after be unlapped if unlapping occurs.
    3) The race goes to green with the lapped cars in between Mercedes and Red Bull. This decision was announced by Masi before he changed it. I wish Mercedes had challenged this in court as we would have found out why Masi changed his decision. As he ever answered this???

    1. @jimfromus I think we all know why Masi changed his decision. Heavy influence from his friend, Wheatley. Wheatley was doing his job, using everything at his disposal to influence decisions in favor of his driver and team (including his friendship). Unfortunately, Masi was very poor at his job. He wasn’t able to separate his friendship from his decision making. He allowed a friend to use his friendship to influence him into breaking the rules under the guise of a “motor race”. As an impartial juror, Masi completely and utterly failed. Thus he lost his job. Deep down, I am sure Masi knows this. Deep down CH knows this, and that is why he is doing everything he can to throw shade everywhere else in an attempt to legitimize for result. I am sure deep down, Max knows this too. It really sucks though. Max is good enough to be champion. But for all of time, his first WDC will always have an asterisk.

  29. I have an opinion
    16th March 2022, 2:01

    2021 – Max Verstappen*

    1. (*) the most exciting season in a decade.
      Decided in the last lap by a brilliant overtaking manoeuvre.

      1. On brand new tyres vs completely dead tyres, courtesy of FIA, free of charge.
        It was such a brilliant move that if he didn’t manage to pull it off he’d be laughed at.

        1. Actually it’s first the courtesy of the FIA to refuse the lapped cars to unlap themselves, which just loses time, then courtesy of mercedes, since hamilton was 14s ahead when he was at the pit entry which would give him a free pit stop, turns out the strategists at mercedes felt that a free pit stop in the most important race of Hamilton’s career was not necessary. But it’s easier to blame Masi and ridicule Verstappen, isn’t it…

        2. Courtesy of Mercedes screwing up their strategy twice in the same race…

    2. Can’t decide
      Maxsterix
      or
      AsterMax

  30. Extensive discussion…..
    A) No one can claim that the rules were followed, resulting in an equitable finish to the race. Thus we have the FIA decisions.
    B) History will reflect that Lewis Hamilton was unfairly denied his 8th Drivers Championship, and Max Verstappen will always be seen as a less than fully deserving champion.

    1. And Roswell was real :)

  31. It’s curious that they haven’t changed the ‘following lap’ rule. I guess that didn’t need changing as it is not an ambiguous set of words (unlike the any vs all debate).

    The fact that they didn’t change the following lap rule but changed the person in charge of implementing the rules (the race director) also becomes justification for Masi’s exit. He clearly misinterpreted an unambiguous rule at a critical point in time.

    1. @Sumedh At least one full lap from when an unlapping message comes out.
      Previously from the moment, the last lapped driver passed SC.

  32. The words “any” and “all” are two completely different words. You can tell by the different spelling utilised. They do not mean the same thing at all. Anyone that can spell at a base level can see that. Looks like Massi was right after all. Not after any. See how these words don’t work if you interchange them. They do not mean the same thing at all and never do in any given situation. I wonder why now they have changed the wording of the rule in question. Who ever wrote the rule in the first place knew exactly what they were doing. Even Charlie Whiting himself interpreted the rule the same way. Massi acted within the rules. End of story.

    1. As many have said above, it’s the context that “any” is used in which determines if it should be interpreted as “some” or instead “all”.

      Regardless of how it was interpreted the “safety in the following lap” wasn’t followed so the rules were still broken.

      1. @3dom Context indeed determines accurate interpretation.
        @stash

        1. Yes context does matter. In regards to the rule being discussed the word “any” was used thus the race director could allow “any” car he chose to un-lap itself. Pretty clear. If it was not the case then why the rule change? Why just that single word? Because it matters. It makes a huge difference. Because in the context of the rule the race director was allowed to choose any of the lapped cars and hence they have changed it. Clear as day. You can interpret words such as “any” and “all” to mean what ever you like but in a court of law these words have clear definitions regardless of what you personally interpret them as. Once again Michael Masi was totally within the bounds of the rules. Don’t like the rules then rewrite them. Oooh look everyone the rule has been rewritten. Done and dusted.

      2. @3dom I remember Charlie doing the same thing couple of times. I can’t remember where it was but I have an image inside my head that the exact same thing has happened before.

    2. @stash any does mean all, it’s just used in a different context to ‘all’.

      ‘All’ is used when the sentence is referring to the whole group: “All cars on track”, “All passengers”.
      ‘Any’ replaces ‘all’ when a determiner is used in the sentence that changes the size of the relevant group, but it still means all in that relevant group: “Of all cars on track, any lapped cars…”, “Of all passengers, any with prior medical needs…” or, more simply, “Any lapped cars” and “Any passengers with prior medical needs”.

    3. Even the message which needs to be sent for lapped cars to overtake is stated in the rules “LAPPED CARS MAY NOW OVERTAKE”. As well as the fact that the SC needs to be ordered to the pits at the end of the following lap.

      Sry, but your interpretation that this was within the rules is beyond common sense.

      1. It was agreed prior to the race that no one wanted to finish the race under a yellow flag. Masi was given a mandate and he followed it through. Common sense? You mean ignorance right? Do you know what the common senses are? “Common sense” is just a term used to attempt to shame people: to alienate people. If someone disagrees with you all you have to say is they have no common sense right? I’ve been around far too long to fall for that line. Max Verstappen is the 2021 world champion and nothing will change that. If the arguments were so sound and if Masi actually broke the rules then Max would not be world champion. Well Max is World Champion and it really does not matter how much “common sense” you have; nothing will change that. Mercedes lost the championship. Everyone needs to come to terms with it or lament it. Either way Max Verstappen is the 2021 World Champion. I’m sure most people are sensible enough to realise this.

        1. *yellow flag *safety car.

        2. Masi had no mandate to break the rules, but thats what he did.

          And yes, Max is the FIA/Masi paper champ. He will remind us the whole season when he carries his No.1.

          Not my champ he is, for sure. He was gifted a title by illegal doings the RD.

          1. If you take a step back and look at the season as a whole it will be less painful. Max performed at a higher level and was more consistent. He was also robbed of a lot more points than the 7 that Lewis lost at Abu Dhabi. It nearly all fell into place for Lewis to nick it at the end but fortunately he didn’t.

        3. @stash
          You missed a critical part of the agreement.

          An informal agreement not in writing and not in the rule book.
          Just like the RB term ‘let them race’ which created the mess that was Jedda

          The critical part was ‘shall finish under green where possible and safe’

          It was not possible in this instance. Neither possible nor safe.

          Until Masi made it possible.

          He even failed at the safe. How? By ignoring the very rule book he is there to enforce. That is his absolute defining role.

          He does not have to worry about the track or the Marshals or any of the normal race functions.

          That’s the C of C job.

          Just manage the race within the rules.

          It’s that simple.

          He had no business with unofficial agreements or any of the other ridiculousness.

          As a result and regardless of any bias, the wrong person won AD unfairly, a race he had absolutely no business winning because he was outperformed when it came to the crunch and thus was awarded a championship and while he may not care, it ruined a good year, and makes the people that indirectly pay his wages, wonder why they bother.

  33. As a big Lewis fan can I just say… I am bored to death with all this nonsense. It was a TERRIBLE decision by Masi, absolutely criminal. However, he has been given the boot. That speaks volumes and is reparation of sorts. This doesn’t make up for what he did but it’s done!
    Lewis took it on the the chin like the champion he is (although apparently staying silent is whinging to some) and so should his fans.
    Either Lewis or Max would have been worthy champions last year. It turned out to be Max. Now… lets go racing!!!! No more of this, please!

    1. @DeanR Same. A new season is about to begin, so this matter still getting brought up is slightly annoying.

    2. Great comment!
      If only there were more like you.

      1. So that means none of you will be giving your opinions once the report is released; as you are all ‘moving on’?

        1. Yes. Unless the report is a positive surprise. If changing the word any to all is the solution to all the problems than I don’t have any confidence this report will help the sport improve in a positive way.

    3. RandomMallard
      16th March 2022, 16:58

      +1. I’m awaiting the full findings of the report (which according to the last I heard is due on Friday 18th), will consider what they say, and then I want to move on. I’m not happy with the events in Abu Dhabi (or throughout the end of last season in general to be honest), but I think I personally have ‘found peace’ as such with them. I know the results will likely not change, and can accept that.

      Now, I’m more focussed on the season to come, and the FIA making sure a repeat never happens again. On the latter point, I think they’ve made a good start, but I still think there’s more they could do. And on the former, there’s 23 (probably) rounds of racing to come, and I’m excited to see what this new generation brings. Bring on 2022!

  34. Wasn’t the FIA supposed to show the results of the investigation yesterday ? Is that it ? The problem was that an unambiguous wording should be replaced by a synonymous unambiguous wording ? Underwhelming doesn’t begin to describe it.

    Recall that “‘Any’ doesn’t mean ‘all'” was the silliest part of the defense of Masi’s actions that was spoon-fed by Red Bull to the FIA immediately after the race. In conjuction with the infamous “Toto, this is called a motor race” by Masi minutes after Jonathan Wheatley suggested “Then we have a motor race” to him, that hints that the Red Bull management really is a FIA whisperer. I wouldn’t say it suggests corruption, but it definitely suggests that both parties understood very well that their interests were perfectly aligned.

    1. @palindnilap Friday, but otherwise, everything is spot-on.

      1. Thanks, I stand corrected and I am keeping some hope :-)

    2. @palindnilap

      Wasn’t the FIA supposed to show the results of the investigation yesterday?

      That is due on Friday.

    3. RandomMallard
      16th March 2022, 17:07

      @palindnilap Curiously, the “any doesn’t mean all” argument was never ruled on by the FIA. It’s mentioned in the protest dismissal, but only as one of the Red Bull/FIA counter-arguments. The stewards report refers to Red Bull’s other counter-arguments, but delivered no formal opinion on the “any doesn’t mean all” argument, as it isn’t mentioned in their reasoning for dismissing the protest. Whether it subconsciously played a part and no one realised enough to mention it, we’ll never know, but officially, that argument was never interpreted.

      As a result, this change could be made seen in two ways. Either, someone at the FIA has gone “oh, it could be interpreted like that so we should probably clarify our intentions” (which could be interpreted as saying what Masi did with only unlapping certain cars was technically legal under the rules in place at the time), or them changing as almost an admission of guilt. Again, we’ll never know what goes on in the dark underbelly of the FIA.

      And yes, I too and holding out hope for some kind of proper, detailed report on Friday. Again though, it’s the FIA…

  35. Paul Spencer
    16th March 2022, 8:46

    Interesting that they see no reason to change the wording on when the Safety car should come in after the lapped cars have passed eh…? Still the end of the lap AFTER I assume….>!>

    1. There is no reason to reword this rule. Its clear to everyone, and Masi simply decided to break it. You could just add something like “The RD must follow the rule.” ;-)

      1. Nope, did not break any rule as is shown by not changing the article where the RD has the right to do this.
        End of story.

        1. The RD clearly broke the rules and was sacked for it. There is no article stating that he is entitled to ignore the rules.

          Its just on-purpose misinterpretation from the ones like you, in a try to legitimate the paper champ, who was gifted a WDC he didnt win.

          End of story.

        2. erikje: There is no rule that states the Race Director has the right to ignore rules. You may be referring to the rule that states the Race Director may overrule the Clerk of the Course. But of course, I’m sure you’ll soon remember that any overruling must still be according to the regulations.

          1. And that is what happened and as seen in this topic. Done before by the late RD.
            No rules were broken.(as you well know but keeping your hamfan narrative alive:)

          2. @erikje: Where did the RD overrule the Clerk in Abu Dhabi. You really live in a different reality.

  36. RocketTankski
    16th March 2022, 9:29

    Now the wording says “all cars that have been lapped by the leader”, can this be interpreted to include cars which may have retired after being lapped? Or cars from previous races, seasons, or even different competitions, if they have at some point been ‘lapped by the leader’. Needs more clarification!
    /s

    1. All the cars within a 5 mile radius of the safetycar, including those on the parking lot?

  37. Still don’t understand why lapped cars are allowed to unlap. I guess this rule is invented to make it more entertaining but if you consider this to be a sporting competition it is a strange rule. It benefits the drivers that are allowed to unlap imagine this to be the case in a athletics competition. Om top of that the safteycar is allready a disadvantage to the leader this rule makes it even worse.

    1. It is again a borderline thing at FIA, I agree. Same for repairing your car under red flag. Its clearly breathes entertainment over sportsmanship

      1. I agree, but you can argue that a repair is allowed if you are clearly a victim of another drivers mistake.

        1. So verstappen should have the option to get his car repaired after he was attacked by Lewis in Silverstone. Interesting viewpoint.

          1. My post was not about Max or Lewis but a rule in general. I think that a repair or T-car could be a fair option if you are involved in a incident without your fault

        2. @erikje

          No, only partially repaired because he was also responsible for the incident.

          Let’s say 30% – think he would have looked good with three wheels?

          Red flag repairs are obvious and sensible. It’s a safety issue after innocent drivers have driven all over the crap no fault of theirs. Or are you advocating sending Hamilton out with a broken wheel? You know just cos…?

          And while I guess from your consistent attempts to convince anyone with eyes, that a grievous error did not occur in AD, you are one of the younger, recent, F1 fans, it was not so long ago that MV could have happily gone back to the pits and got in the spare car. (See Martin Brundle on the sometimes questionable wisdom of that point, someone who really was hurt, rather than pretending for dramatic effect)

          Perhaps, as you seem constantly aggrieved over the Silverstone red flag point; using it constantly to throw shadow onto the real topic, you should be ranting at the FIA and requesting the return of the T Car (you may have to check what they were?)

          On that, there would be something we can finally agree on.

    2. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      16th March 2022, 15:35

      It is to do with the position of P1 relative to the other cars.

      There is the cars in P10 and P11. P11 is catching P10 and on pace will easily catch and pass P10 before the end of the race but P1 is catching P11 at a faster rate and is given the blue flag to pass. Just after that moment there is a safety car. P10 can trundle round and form up on the lead lap. This now means even though P11 was faster he is a lap down, By allowing him to unlap himself he will be behind P10 again and the two can resume their race.

      1. That is true. The most ideal situation would be to completly reinstate the positions and gaps like you have on the VSC. But in your example it could also mean that if P1 laps P2 and then under SC P2 will be able to unlap and be right up the tail of P1 again. So not fair to unlap if you ask me.

    3. @grapmg Imagine if FIA decides to copy from FIS or from IBU. Every competitor who gets lapped in a cross country ski race or biathlon race will be flagged out of the race..

      1. Yes why not and if you can’t stay in the same lap as the race leader you should be demoted to F2. :-)

      1. Yes, it still means exactly the same, this is (at best) a clarification of what all reasonable people knew already. Unfortunately, without further clarification it means nothing, as the RD is allowed to ignore it anyway.

  38. Excellent. Can we move on now or do we really want to become whiners like Wolff and Horner?

    1. I think the general understanding is we all move on from AD six months after you, erikje, etc move on from Silverstone.

      1. You are the one that keeps bringing up Silverstone :)

        1. Just two threads above you again bring up Silverstone (where Max crashed himself out of the race with his aggressive, ignorant, bullying and unprofessional driving standards). Nonsense in every single of your comments, thats quite an achievement.

      2. @ian dealing.

        Nicely done! See my above comment…

        😁😁😁😁

    2. I think everyone will move after the final some more back & forth over the final report on the race (Friday) or at least I hope everyone moves on. :)

  39. Functionally the rule remains identical, since grammatically “any” means “all” in the 2021 version of the rule. That’s just how English grammar works (it’s dependent on how the word is used in the sentence).

    The fact the FIA changed the wording to use “all” could be read as either a gesture to placate Mercedes or an admission that the rule should not have been applied in that way last year.

    Of course, there’s still the open question as to whether a Race Director can override the written regulations. I suspect teams will push for an answer on that, since none of them like uncertainty (unless they’re benefitting from it!).

  40. The word ‘any’ in the context of the written rule was clear in 21 imho.
    Any car that has been lapped does mean all, surely. Any experts on reading English care to comment? International interpretation of the language varies globally, I doubt even a large number English teachers would agree with my opinion.

    1. Any refers to an indefinite or unknown quantity of something. As an example, if you said “any of the cars” you would be referring to one or more of them, without specifying which cars or how many.

      In this context, any also refers specifically to “cars” (the rest of the phrase is a qualifying statement). So “any cars” would be taken as something like “any of the cars currently in the race”.

      Therefore, if you expand the phrase out fully, in the context of it being a car race, it becomes “any of the cars currently in the race, that have been lapped”. The phrase “that have been lapped” is the qualifier that tells you which group of “any cars” is being referred to, and so it means the same as “all lapped cars”.

      So I agree with you that the 2021 variant of the rule means the same as the updated version, in English.

  41. Max fans will continue to say it is fair and lewis fans will say it is unfair. The neutrals will simply say, if this rule is there to be on the interpretation of a RD then it is rule that allows manipulation.
    I have not been watching f1 for decades like some persons, however, this is clearly a case where manipulation was involved with the hope of creating a spectacle. It not just taints the sport for new comers, it leaves a sour taste in the mouth of those who have been there for years.
    Other drivers on the grid were even criticizing the decision in the race ( sainz and dani). I was a red bull supporter to see the change of hands and make things a bit different. However, the way horner and max behaved in the light of a title that is clearly shrouded in conflict was disgusting. At this point i concluded that this is now considered a “hollow title”.

    1. You sound a bit like Russia today.
      Nice story but wrong conclusion :)

      1. To “Diminutive” Erik,
        Wrong conclusion because it does not fit yours? Your responses are more and more diminutive by the day as questions about reasons as to why Masi resorted to what he did remain consistent. Your pattern of response is limited to (i) weakly linked bits of topical items, (ii) label someone not understanding F1, or (iii) asked someone to “stop saying XXXX”, and … er that’s it. It must be tiring being Red Bull’s and Max’s mouthpiece. Paul Di Resta and David Coulthard are in Red Bull’s consultancy payroll. Hope you are too.

    2. A reasoned and excellent comment

      You kind of know that when @erikje feels the need to take it international and bring something wholly inappropriate into his or her response…

  42. This rule change is a distraction. Yes, the rule wasn’t followed, and yes, this change will avoid a repeat of the moronic any/all argument, but it’s not the part that was the real problem.

    Unless the clerk of the course considers the presence of the safety car is still necessary, once the last lapped car has passed the leader the safety car will return to the pits at the end of the following lap.

    This is the real problem. All this energy directed at the lapped cars is just silly.

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      16th March 2022, 15:23

      You may recall also that once the message “safety car in this lap” has been sent it has apparently got to happen according to FIA stewards documents from last year.

      A person with his finger on the button to send the message to the teams and safety car can press it anytime he likes to screw up the procedure with no abort mechanism.

      1. I can see the value of this rule, although I think it could lead to a dangerous situation if there is an SC-worthy incident between the message being sent and the SC coming in. This states the SC is not allowed to stay out and the track must go green, even with a serious accident having just happened. Incidentally, I think this is the kind of situation where the RD needs to have the power to override the regulations, specifically where following them would be too dangerous.

        That said, there is another similar, irreversible call documented in the rules: the chequered flag. Can you imagine the uproar if Masi had instructed that the chequered flag be shown a lap early, preventing Max from having that final racing lap? That is the level of “well, the message was sent so we had to stick to it” we are talking of here (except that there are specific rules about how this should be handled for the chequered flag). RBR and Max fans would be in apoplexy about that and, I strongly suspect, would have been calling for Masi’s removal, yet a near-identical early call was perfectly fine.

  43. Again, no one has asked and Masi has never answered why he changed his decision from lapped cars will not be allowed to unlap to only the lapped cars between 1 and 2 will be unlapped. Both scenarios would have allowed the race to finish under green.

    And to defend Wolff, Wolff didn’t say anything when Masi announced the decision to not unlap the cars. This indicated that the race would finish under green not behind the SC. Masi then changes the decision and this is when Wolff whines about the decision. It wasn’t the decision to race but the decision to only move Max up to Lewis.

    1. Well, somewhere in between RBR did get on the horn to lobby for their preferred path.

    2. It’s a good point @jimfromus

      I think there are some pretty obvious reasons why we have never heard from Masi again and most likely will not. It opens a whole can of legal worms that the FIA were , having acknowledged something went very wrong by removal and rule amendment, would rather keep as low key as possible.

      Particularly after the new President’s rather crass gaff in his first press statement.

      ‘Rules are rules!’

      Yeh – right!

  44. In my professional experience, I have seen before the unfortunate consequences of this any vs. all distinction in drafting and I personally try to stamp out the use of “any” to mean “all.” It’s potentially ambiguous—I think that laypersons tend to think that “any” is a more emphatic version of “all,” when it is not necessarily how it will be read in some situations. (You sometimes see the nonsensical expression “any and all” to try to cover it off.) It seems that FIA and their expensive outside counsel should have figured this out.

    I understand that the French version of the FIA docs are equally valid and I would be curious to see if they made the same change in French and how that reads to a French speaker.

    Anyway, it seems like the FIA is now saying that Masi should have known that any in this case meant all and that he messed up. To be clear, I don’t think Masi can say, it was ambiguous and my interpretation was valid. It’s nonsensical to think that “any” in this circumstance and context meant “as many cars as the race director sees fit.” Well, his defense was “it’s called a motor race.”

    1. I cannot find the french version here
      https://www.fia.com/regulation/category/110
      « any » would be translated as « quelconque » and « all » as « toutes » and it’s impossible to confuse them. Equally in english, it’s impossible to confuse « any » and « all ». « any » means at least one arbitrary car until either the race director judges it’s enough or all the cars have completed the requirement. « all » means all the cars. Its a matter of basic formal logic at this point…

  45. So far, this is how long it takes to explain away the 2021 F1’s WCC, Max Verstappen of Red Bull:
    – 295 explanations and counting on this site alone. Feel free to add more
    – Months of deliberations by FIA top brass
    – Change of rules and people
    – Years of PR exercises to justify the worthiness of the holder of WCC
    – Loss of RD’s job and reputation
    – Lots of anger and frustration as to Max is not more adored. After he is the greatest of them all.

    Has anyone come across a world champion that needs a long explanation as to why he is crowned champion?

    These will be in history of F1 for ever.

    Enjoy the WCC Trophy and the No. 1 on the car.

  46. Did the stewards get reprimanded as well? Fair enough Masi did what he did but to get further endorsement from the stewards is equally irresponsible?

    1. Amazing if they walk away from this having used RB arguments to justify why Masi was right when anyone with eyes saw it was plainly completely wrong.

      I am still amazed RB were given 45 minutes to assist Massi during the appeal!

  47. If…
    If Hamilton would have pitted for tires and Verstappen stayed out.
    Horner will have cried and Red Bull protested.
    Only,
    If…

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