Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Red Bull Ring, 2022

Permanent stewards would be “good progress” for Formula 1 – Perez

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In the round-up: Sergio Perez says that introducing a permanent panel of stewards in Formula 1 would be ‘good for progress’ in the sport.

In brief

Permanent stewards would be “good progress” for Formula 1 – Perez

Sergio Perez says that introducing a permanent panel of stewards in Formula 1 would be ‘good for progress’ in the sport.

Currently, the FIA appoints a different panel of four stewards for every grand prix. They are responsible for investigating incidents referred by the race director and determining penalties.

Asked if he would like to see permanent stewards in Formula 1, Perez said “that would be good to try to make some progress, because every weekend you’re finding different stewards.”

The Red Bull driver also believes that the two new F1 race directors – Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas – deserve more time to settle into their roles.

“You have to give a bit of time to our new race directors and work together with them. Certainly at the moment there seems to be a lot of disagreeing, but I think it’s important for everyone in the sport to keep working together.”

Aston Martin sanctions contractors after racist and homophobic abuse

Aston Martin say they have sanctioned contractors at their factory accused of racist and homophobic abuse of a former employee.

Former laminator Aiden Louw shared his experiences of receiving racist and homophobic abuse after joining the team in February at their Silverstone factory with Sky News

“Before I even walked into my working environment that’s when I was told ‘look if you’ve got a problem with how we speak here, it’s just how we speak’,” Louw told Sky News, also describing a series of slurs and abusive terms that Aston Martin team members allegedly referred to him as.

In a post shared on social media, Aston Martin said they had inacted their “zero-tolerance” policy on discriminatory language and behaviour.

“We have a zero-tolerance policy on discriminatory behaviour of any kind,” the team’s post read. “We were extremely disappointed that two of our supplier’s contractors had behaved so appallingly. We acted swiftly and applied our zero-tolerance policy. They no longer work for that supplier, therefore.”

Details emerge about iRacing’s upcoming wet weather system

iRacing’s senior vice president, Greg Hill, says the racing simulation developers wants to “nail” implementation of rain when it introduces wet weather to the service.

Speaking during iRacing’s Peachtree Three charity event at Road Atlanta, which featured IndyCar driver Tony Kanaan, Hill explained that users would be able to fully customise weather in the simulator and use real world data to set realistic weather conditions.

“It’s a huge project,” said Hill. “We’re not going to just implement rain with half measures.

“Our tyre is actually simulating the channels on the tread and how those channels interact with the water, with the puddling, and how the water would flow through it. How the water absorbs into the track, how the water absorbs into the off track areas, areas, and the kind of requirements for all the different race cars and how their tyres handle these situations and creating the modelling for those. So there’s been a lot of work on that.

“I’m hesitant to give timelines on when you guys might actually be able to experience it yourself, but we’re all working hard. It’s a full company project, really, and we’re excited about it. We want to make sure it’s right. We want to make sure we nail it. So bear with us.”

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Comment of the day

After last weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix was marred by reports of abusive behaviour by some ticketholders, @krichelle recalls their own experience at the Red Bull Ring in 2017.

I went to the Austrian GP in 2017, and did not see any bad behaviour from fans. Up to that point in my life, I had had the best F1 experience there. The general admission was fantastic and I had the chance to see cars on the turn 3-4 straight closer, and by the fence.

I also got Hamilton’s autograph on one of my Mercedes caps despite being swarmed by fans trying to also do the same thing. That was really the most hectic part of the weekend and no trouble besides that encountered at the track. I really wish getting a driver’s autograph would be the hardest and stressful part of a race weekend as a fan on the circuit, because getting harassed just adds more danger and the requirement of being more vigilant of surroundings.

I come to an F1 track to have fun, not to be in danger. Booing and screaming things at drivers is fine and understandable, but still not nice to see and hear from the outside. But please don’t bother fans who just want to enjoy and have their dreams come true. Not all people have the luxury of watching F1 races live at the circuit.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Whewbacca The Cookie!

On this day in motorsport

  • 45 years ago today James Hunt won the British Grand Prix at Silverstone while Renault and Gilles Villeneuve made their debuts

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

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34 comments on “Permanent stewards would be “good progress” for Formula 1 – Perez”

  1. I’ve attended dozens of race weekends going back to the late 70’s and while you used to get some heckling of drivers in very specific circumstances i never had a bad experience at a GP as far as issues with other fans & i never saw anyone having any either.

    However it does feel like things have changed more recently. Not just at the track based off what I’ve seen/read but also the online side of things. There’s a lot more division, More anger & More tribalism than i ever recall seeing before.

    You see it with incidents like Silverstone last year. There wasn’t simply the usual different views from either side but a lot of flat out vitriol from both sides. In the past you would have had disagreement but it would have past and everyone would have moved on but now you see people constantly going back to it to take shots at the other side and somehow try and prove a point.

    Social media has changed things for the worst in this regard. The way teams and the media stoke up rivalries and try and inject them where they don’t exist or make them into a bigger deal than they are only makes things worse.

    And I don’t mean to single out the newer and younger members of the fanbase but it also often feels like they have a different mentality compared to those of us who have been around longer term. They are more entrenched in that social media division and seem more likely and willing to pick sides and lean into those rivalries and divisions and believe that those things are as heated as presented.

    It saddens me.

    1. Well said PeterG

      When I was a kid my favorite driver was Jim Clark. Raced fast and yet treated everybody with respect. I cried when he died, but his kind human character has remained with me since then. I always treat people with respect, even when I disagree with them. It makes life even easier.

    2. Hear hear

    3. I 100% agree, I’ve been to multiple countries GP’s over a couple of decades (as well as MotoGP and smaller events) and never had any negative issue of any kind.

      I have noticed the extremism with comments, the either with us or against us attitude that has really taken off over the past few years, enough that reasonable dispassionate bystanders seem to be drowned out by over the top fanatics.

      This last Australian GP may be my last attendance, even though I have tickets for an upcoming event I may skip it, I don’t have the passion I once did and being surrounded by yobs isn’t my favourite thing in the world.

    4. Agreed. I’ve been to Silverstone twice, 99 and 2010, and it’s a pretty chill atmosphere all round. I’m sure some British fans cheered when Schumacher went off in 99 and I definitely felt the Hamilton fans around me when Alonso won in 2011 (as a Scottish Ferrari fan cheering him on) but it wasn’t like it seems to be now where one particular fan base is really over the top. Didn’t help when Horner literally accused Hamilton of trying to kill Verstappen, when all I saw was a racing incident between two aggressive racers.

      I do love Drive To Survive but obviously the exploding popularity with novice younger racing fans does have something to do with it. To them it’s more like gladiatorial combat than for the more fair minded fans who respect the drivers and their complex machinery and just want to see good racing, and can doff their cap to the winner even if their preferred driver or team got beaten.

      And from my point of view, as someone who was never a big Hamilton fan I have to say I have far more respect for him these days than Verstappen. Verstappen’s driving last year was way over the line (and in Brazil literally metres over it) and his brake testing of Hamilton (confirmed by the data) and more. He lost my respect completely and I actively want to see him lose, which is not something I’ve ever really felt with the sport, but Max has done that to himself. Verstappen fans clearly see it from a polar opposite side of view and here we are.

      1. @davidhunter13

        “Didn’t help when Horner literally accused Hamilton of trying to kill Verstappen…”

        Ironic for you to use this rhetoric given the topic being discussed. Talk about polarizing.

        1. @robbie that is ridiculous coming from you :))

          1. Because Robbie you’re one of those fans that is completely polarised and never criticises Verstappen or Red Bull and always takes issue with any critique of them.

            Accusing Hamilton of deliberately trying to harm Verstappen was unprofessional and ridiculous although I appreciate it was anger driven in the heat of the moment. Instead of people sensibly being angry though about the accident and blaming Hamilton purely for his part in the accident it started a hate campaign on that accusation of harm with no basis in fact from a portion of fans. Some of which that still continues even now.

            His point is that certain people such as Marko, Verstappen Snr and Horner have gone out of their way to polarize fans behind their man with no concern for the damage they’re causing the sport and ultimately Max’s brand in the long term.

          2. It is so incredibly easy to turn this one around and state the same on the clumsiness in which Lewis and Mercedes exploited the situation at Silverstone. Mercedes & FIA love to blame the audience and say there is a need to educate them while they (together with Horner) are 100% responsible for the things unfolding last year. This will never justify some of the behavior we have seen, surely, but they should really set an example first. If you want to get rid of the polarization then they should at least try to be adults. And then there is the ‘never taking any responsibility’ press fueling things up and 95% of the audience mimicking them as sheep. Throw in Netflix and an US owner and I don’t see this resolving itself.

    5. PeterG Social media is only the tool being used to create division and controversy. The goal is to attract attention and stand out and the easiest way to do that is with headlines. Dangerous/reckless driving controversial decisions all attract attention.
      I believe Liberty shares are doing well.

      1. + 1. I think social media is the biggest culprit in lots of area the world faces. Most of us are on it but it stokes division.

    6. Guess you were not there in the Senna- Prost years

    7. It surprises me that you were around in the eighties and did not catch any flak from the Senna – Prost rivalry, there was plenty of it back then. Even without social media then I’d say it got much, much worse than anything we can experience now

  2. … IndyCar is in a rut?

    IndyCar Is Seeing Its Highest TV Viewership In 19 Years

    NBC Sports’ coverage of the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season was the most watched IndyCar season on record for NBCSN, and the best combined broadcast/cable viewership for the series in five years.

    Last Sunday’s Grand Prix of St. Petersburg was the most-watched season-opening round for IndyCar in 11 years, says NBC Sports.

    1. CD (@clipperdael)
      16th July 2022, 9:23

      The quote below the headline is quite ignorant, too. Anyone who’s followed oval racing closely or done some time in a serious simulator will tell you it’s anything but simply turning left four hours. You could maybe make a case for it on the plate-restricted tracks but those come with the addition of pack racing strategy.
      The article makes it clear they’re watching for the ‘drama’ and the ‘stories’ – chances are they’ll be gone again once it gets ‘boring’ and then they’ll be off following something else.

  3. Wow, if that’s what Aaron Martin do in response to racist and homophobic abuse, I wonder what the punishment is for chopping someone up with a bone saw!

    1. *Aston Martin, damn autocorrect

    2. I think firing individuals who repeatedly abuse co-workers with homophobic and racist insults is a very fair decision. What do you think a suitable punishment would be? A stern talking to? This shows that Aston Martin are taking this sort of thing seriously, and sets the tone for future violators.

      1. My point is that they don’t care about homophobia or violence if you have lots of money, I.e. they are prepared to accept Saudi investment. What they did is an entirely suitable punishment, but accepting that investment is hypocritical. They would be happy to work with those same contractors if they had a few hundred million pounds.

        1. @f1hornet Oh, my mistake. I guess that Jamal Khashoggi is not the first thing that enters my mind when I think of bone saws.

        2. And I agree entirely with your view that Aaron Martin is a hypocrite.

  4. Thank you for my 3rd COTD.

  5. Depends on who exactly the stewards are. Multiple have shown clear and blatant biases towards Max Verstappen, one has even shown blatant racism towards Hamilton. The selection process has to be thorough if permastewards were to be implemented.

    1. Lambert, I think perhaps luck matters more than the selection process. I doubt they had any sort of selection process when they appointed Charlie Whiting, but he turned out to be so level-headed and fair. I’m not sure either that getting former drivers in as stewards is really working, because the nature of F1 is that drivers have to have egos, strong personalities, want to be in the limelight, which are great characteristics for a driver but poor ones for stewards, referees, etc. The best referee in any sports contest is the one who runs the game without anyone noticing.

      I think the real answer is to think about how rules can be rewritten and simplified so that anyone could understand them. The problem at the moment is stewards are all applying their own interpretation of an incident and no one can agree. The drivers disagree, the commentators an ex-drivers argue with each other, and the steward spend ten minutes looking at endless replays of something that happened in the blink of an eye, trying to work out if an offence was committed, and if so, who do they think was in the wrong, in their opinion. If a rule is subjective and open to interpretation, it is a terrible rule,… and F1 is full of terrible rules.

      Take track limits which are a huge source of dispute, where people, talk about whether someone was forced off, whether someone gained advantage, did they give the place back? It would be so much better to treat the track like there is a brick wall around the edges. Put a sensor in the car so that if it goes outside track limits anywhere, for any reason, it is an automatic drive-through penalty next lap, no debate, no appeals, and failure to take the penalty means the car is automatically disqualified. Have none of this nonsense about keeping track position with time added after the race. Automate it so that a rev limiter kicks in which can only be reset by a drive through. Take the humans out of the equation. You may think that is unfair if a driver is forced off track, or dives off to avoid an accident, but if there was a wall there and they lost the nose cone, they’d sure be in the pits next lap no matter who was at fault.

      And as for driving standards and collisions in corners etc, set definitive rules for lines. If two cars are overlapping to any extent at any point on the track, then the lead driver must leave one car’s width on that side throughout the corner, and the overtaking car must not obstruct or touch the car he is overtaking. Again, make it black and white. If the lead driver doesn’t leave that gap, it is an automatic penalty. If the overtaking driver drifts out beyond the car-width allowance and the cars touch, it is again an automatic penalty. Get rid of the ex-drivers saying “he was committed to that line” or “but he hit the apex” etc. Come up with a rule that anyone can understand and can be checked in seconds on a video replay.


    Worth a share if no one has seen this simulation of Zhou’s Silverstone crash.

    1. Jasper, great video, it really helps to understand the crash once all the extraneous cars are removed and angles rotated etc. Thank you for posting the link. Also thought it was interesting to see the deceleration calculations, 7m/s/s on tarmac, 12m/s/s on gravel.

      Looking at the way the catch fence deforms, as it bends all the way from the bottom, it was inevitable that there would be some gap between it and the barrier. If the base of the fence had been set tight against the barrier then Zhou’s car would still have been trapped between the two but might have been harder to extract.

  7. It is boring when you don’t win

  8. I think last year and recently F1 has proven permanent stewards would be a recipe for disaster since the FIA organisation tends to lean towards certain team boss voices. I wouldn’t even investigate the option.

    1. @Mayrton I don’t see how things could necessarily be any worse.

      1. Because I think you will get a set of stewards that always favor a certain team or driver based on what they are either told to do or ‘charmed’ into doing. There are just too many stakes involved here and too much money. The teams can not ever be trusted.

    2. I have to agree there Mayrton. And we’ve seen exactly the same in the past. There were VERY good reasons for introducing a rotating panel of stewards without any permanent one having a decisive vote.

      The one thing worse than having inconsistent rulings @jerejj, is having stewards consistently ruling to the advantage or disadvantage of certain teams and or drivers. With a permanent steward, or stewards, that last thing will happen. Even if only perceived to be the case. As highlighted above by Lambert, there have been enough signals that SOME stewards do tend to treat some drivers differently than others

      And because most stewards’ decisions cannot be overturned since they happen during the race, there wouldn’t even be a remedy for them.

  9. I agree with Perez in principle.

    Good COTD.

    On this day: 2017 British GP.

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