(L to R): Andreas Seidl, McLaren Team Principal; Mohammed Bin Sulayem, FIA President, Baku Street Circuit, 2022

Teams share responsibility for F1’s confusing rules – Seidl

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In the round-up: McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl says F1 teams share responsibility for some of the sport’s confusing and unclear rules.

In brief

Teams share responsibility for confusing rules – Seidl

Last weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix saw confusion at the finish when the race appeared to end one lap too early, then full championship points being awarded despite the race only just covering half of its original scheduled distance. Seidl says teams take some responsibility over the confusing rules due to failing to foresee problems arising during discussions with the FIA.

“I feel responsible for this as well, because in the end, we do this review each winter and each team has the opportunity to bring up points that are not clear, for example,” Seidl said.

“And I didn’t go into the full details yet with the team, what exactly the loophole was. We understood everything we have defined together with the FIA in Formula 1 – after Spa, it’s only valid if the race doesn’t finish normally and that’s clearly something we have all overlooked is that’s the case. Therefore, we are responsible for trying to do a better job over the winter and to close the loopholes if there are any left.”

McLaren Shadow’s Boroumand claims first F1 Esports race win

McLaren Shadow driver Bari Boroumand took his maiden victory in the F1 Esports Pro Championship fifth round at Spa-Francorchamps.

Boroumand held off pole-winner Frederik Rasmussen on the final lap, eventually crossing the line just over a tenth of a second ahead of the Red Bull driver to secure his first ever victory in the F1 Esports professional series. AlphaTauri’s Josh Idowu claimed the final podium place in third.

With his win, Boroumand moves up to fourth in the drivers’ championship ahead of double world champion Jarno Opmeer. Rasmussen’s second place helped him to cut McLaren Shadow driver Lucas Blakeley’s championship lead to just five points. Round six, around Zandvoort, will take place this evening.

Formula E claims record TV audiences for 2022 season

Formula E says TV viewing figures for its 2022 season were at an “all-time high” for the all-electric racing series.

The 2022 Formula E championship spanned 16 races – the most in the series’ history – with a revised ‘duels’ qualifying format. Formula E claimed live TV audiences grew by 10% compared to 2021 to 216m viewers, with a 20% growth in total audience to 381m.

The 2023 championship – ushering in the new Gen3 era of Formula E – is due to begin in Mexico City in January.

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Comment of the day

With Max Verstappen sealing his second world title, @todfod is left in awe of the double world champion’s performance this season…

It’s kind of hard to describe just how good Max was this season. I’ve never seen a driver just dominate his rivals and team mate in a fashion he did this season. It doesn’t even matter how many grid penalties were applied, or what his starting position is, he just cut through rivals like a hot knife on butter every Sunday.

Schumacher’s 2002 was a remarkably consistent season, but at no time did I ever feel Schumacher was a league above every driver at every race. The Ferrari was far too ahead of any of its rivals, and the only challenger for Schumi was Barrichello, who had a contract in place which prevented from really racing Michael. So, I couldn’t say this was season for Schumi was any better than Lewis’ 2015, 2018, 2019 and 2020 seasons.

Vettel’s 2011 and 2013 seasons were great performances as well… but then again, it only demonstrated how ahead of the curve Red Bull were at qualifying, and how Vettel had mastered the art of winning races purely from pole position. When he started a little behind, he looked nowhere close to the masterclass that Max is on Sundays.

I’ve been watching the sport since 1996, and I’ve never seen a driver more complete than Max this season. He’s fast on Saturdays, a league above every driver on Sundays. Best overtaker on the grid, best driver in all weather conditions and probably the best at race management as well.

If Ferrari and Mercedes don’t make a car at least half a second faster than Red Bull, we’re going to see non-stop years of Max domination.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Pablopete80, Lyn Dromey, Russ Mckennett, Jack Nagle and…. me!

On this day in motorsport

Sebastian Vettel grabbed the lead at the start and won again in South Korea today in 2012

Author information

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

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44 comments on “Teams share responsibility for F1’s confusing rules – Seidl”

  1. It’s just insulting that they will go into such minutia with the wording of the rules in this case, when the intention is clear and obvious to everyone. But then last year completely ignore and conveniently sidestep that the wording of the rules weren’t at all followed in the title decider.

    We were wondering if the circus would remain when the ringleader Ecclestone stepped down. The answer to that is now a clear and unequivocable yes. F1 really is really a shining beacon for the rich and famous. Follow the letter of the law when you feel like it, and completely ignore it otherwise.

    1. They said they forgot to add that one bit. Seidl talking about f1 using a loophole against the teams, only possible in todays f1.

    2. At the end of the day, the intention of the rules doesn’t matter when the written rule is clearly written and conflicts with that intention. The rules are written in the regulations, and intent should only really be taken into account if that intent is written in the regulations, and only then if there is ambiguity in the written rule. If they are allowed ignore a clearly written rule because that wasn’t what was intended, it leaves the door open to problems like Abu Dhabi.

      With the rules written as they are, Sunday’s result was the only possible one. It’s clear, when examined, that this is how it must be read, and I’m actually fairly pleased that it was done that way in spite of how ridiculous it seems.

      What is worrying is that it was written like this in the first place and none of the teams, officials or media picked up on how radically it alters the spirit of the regulation. The teams are masters of the loophole, and they spend vast resources combing through the rules to find inconsistencies they can exploit, and they didn’t pick up on this absurd loophole.

      1. The weird thing is that clearly some officials did see this loophole, because they knew how to apply it in Japan. It’s possible they just figured it out on the day during the red flag break when they could see a shortened race was likely, but I think it’s more likely they already understood this is how that rule is written and would be applied earlier this season.

        Did those officials raise the question of whether this is how people wanted it to work at the time and what it would mean for a shortened 3 hour race? Because it’s pretty clear no one intended this. It just seems a lack of joined up thinking, and if that remains we’ll continue to have rules that are inconsistent, contradictory, and causes strange rulings that no one really agrees with like the full points in Japan. You would have thought it would be pretty easy to get a unanimous agreement to tweak the language of the rules to close this loophole.

        1. Thanks @f1hornet, that’s a well reasoned comment given how the weekend went.

  2. I have no idea why the FIA is bothering with the final 4 races. Last year’s ruling in Abu Dhabi showed that the winner of the WDC is all that matters. We have a winner already. Just shut it down and save the money. Positions 3-10 were given no opportunity to race to the finish and that was upheld as legitimate interpretation of the rules. Just a farce.

    1. I have no idea why the FIA is bothering with the final 4 races.

      You don’t want to see one of F1’s consistent favourite events at Brazil?
      Races are only worth having when they count toward the WDC, do they?

      I do really think it’s about time that people just got over something (relatively unimportant) that happened last year.
      It’s this year now, and has been for 10 and a half months already. Get over it and move on.
      Each event has it’s own charms, despite any championship relationship.

      1. It’s “relatively unimportant” that an official broke the rules and completely changed the result of the championship?!?!

        1. In the grand scheme of things – yes, absolutely.
          Even if we do come to the conclusion that that was what happened, which I don’t.

          Surely you must have bigger things in life to concern yourself with?
          I know I do. Some F1 race being a little bit too interesting isn’t going to upset me for a week – never mind a year.

          1. Depends what your scheme is.

          2. Yes, there are bigger things in my life.

            However, F1 was a large part of my life: I watched every race love, watched most quality and practice sessions, went to races, and religiously followed this and several other sites for news all year. It’s been very important to me for decades.

            This year, it’s become a casual interest at best. The races are exciting enough, but the “sport” had lost its pull. The events of Abu Dhabi have, therefore, had a significant impact on my life and has very much reduced my interest in F1.

    2. I have no idea why the FIA is bothering with the final 4 races.

      Maybe it is a fairer solution if those who think (or accept that) only the WDC winner is relevant do not watch the final four races* and refrain from commenting afterwards on sites like this.

      * They can spend their time writing letters to FIA to award double or quadruple points to the final race.

      PS “Positions 3-10 were given no opportunity to race to the finish” is a fair comment and clearly a mistake. But I doubt this would’ve made a difference as Sainz couldn’t even overtake a blue flagged (lapped) Ricciardo.

    3. Races after the championship has been decided can be the best! Suzuka 2005 is the best example. Would Alonso have made his daring moves if the championship was still on the line? I’m just as excited for the final races as I have been all season. There’s also still plenty to be decided further down the grid in any case.

    4. Jim: “Just shut it down and save the money”

      They wouldn’t save any money by skipping races. They’d lose money. They wouldn’t have the TV revenues or the track fees. Sponsors would demand refunds due to lack of exposure.

  3. Hot mic eavesdrop between Ryan Walkinshaw and zak brown at Bathurst was implying Ric has agreed to Haas 2023 .. fair dinkum announcement at next F1

    1. @nosehair But Danny Ric said in Suzuka he won’t race in F1 next season, which implies both Haas & Williams are uninteresting prospects to him unless he quickly changed his mind.
      We’ll find out soon enough anyway, possibly next Thursday.

  4. It’s refreshing to hear a sensible statement from a team principal like Andreas Seidl here.

    1. It’s refreshing to hear a sensible statement from a team principal like Andreas Seidl here

      Except that he goes and ruins all the sense by saying this

      Therefore, we are responsible for trying to do a better job over the winter and to close the loopholes if there are any left.

      Our emphasis and focus should be on the “over the winter” element, which show lack of proper focus.
      They spotted a problem and think there may be more, and then go for the “let’s do something later…” option.

      No, set someone to run through and try to get clarity on every element of the rule set now. Get the other teams to do the same, every team will want to be in the discussions, and as soon as those team reps have something to discuss, throw all the ideas in the collective pot and run through them again.
      Then set a more senior person from each team on the task of discussing the collective ideas – it will be winter break by then, possibly, but at least the basics are already done.

      1. The emphasis on “over the winter” obviously being:
        A) when they are away from the media, and won’t need to explain everything to people who don’t need to know,
        B) when changes can be actually be implemented, and,
        C) when they aren’t so focused on actually doing their own work, but rather have the time to tell the FIA how to do theirs – using collective agreements rather than proper hard and fast rules administered solely by the FIA at their discretion.

        1. I wonder if they would take the first fix suggestion:

          Change the budget cap to include a set of fixed penalties that increase by amount over the cap. Give the rule(s) some teeth.
          Never mind this “minor” bu**
          10% of points per 50K? or should it bite harder?

        2. @S ”People who don’t need to know” based on what argument? Transparency is important.

          1. I’d suggest that anyone whose participation in F1 stops at being a paying viewer would be firmly in the ‘don’t need to know’ category.
            Transparency is indeed important – to the people who are actually involved on a working level.

            I’m guessing you don’t demand the same level of transparency from your favourite supermarket, do you? You’re just a customer, after all…

  5. The root cause of so many of F1’s confusing rules is the knee-jerk nature of the changes.

    The points system changes were introduced as a knee-jerk reaction to last year’s Belgian Grand Prix, because having fractions of points in the championship standings was deemed unaesthetic. Nobody bothered to check if the wording was compatible with the three-hour time limit rule – which was itself a knee-jerk reaction to the 2011 Canadian GP, which was one of the all-time classic F1 races and therefore never allowed to be repeated.

    Basically the rule makers need to think through the consequences of their actions before implementing the next clever solution to whatever problem presents itself.

    1. Jonathan Parkin
      14th October 2022, 7:59

      After Canada it was actually four hours, then it got dropped to three after we got another protracted event because of red flags if I remember

      1. I’ve never understood why those time limits were brought in. What was the reasoning behind 4 then 3 hour total time limits? I understand that you have issues of sunset in some places, and you might want to have some backstop to stop things getting ridiculous and technically being allowed to finish the race on Wednesday morning, but it robs us of racing and, as @red-andy says, means we can’t have a classic like the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix again.

        1. There’s the obvious commercial considerations (TV time), but have you considered logistics, @f1hornet?
          And not just the cars and equipment – also the personnel.
          Whatever – they have their justifications.

          We can still theoretically have classics such as Canada 2011 – they just can’t take more than 3 hours.
          I, for one, am not too upset about it, either. 3 hours (or not) of F1 in a day is plenty – especially with the current (generally low) quality of on-track product.

        2. @S – I couldn’t agree more with you. 3h is more than enough as the absolute upper limit.
          Generally, an upper limit is necessary anyway, partly for TV broadcasters’ sake but also for the logistical aspects you mentioned, not to mention, because races can’t last forever, LOL.

        3. @f1hornet

          I’ve never understood why those time limits were brought in. What was the reasoning behind 4 then 3 hour total time limits?

          Broadcasters, Pack-up & Travel.

          After Canada 2011 a lot of broadcasters didn’t like the uncertainty of how long the delay would last and how much of the following programming may need to be pushed back/cancelled. By having a pre-defined window they are better able to work the schedule around potential delays knowing it won’t go beyond a certain time.

          And remember that everything needs to be torn down, Packed up & sent off to the next race as soon as the race end (Especially if there’s a race the following weekend as is more frequent with so many double headers now). The later it’s left the more pressure is on everyone to get it all done as there’s less time to meet the deadlines to get stuff on the planes they need to be on. Having a cut-off with plenty of time to get all that done makes it easier on the guys having to do the teardown & stuff.

          @jerejj 4 Hours was picked aiming for a 6pm cutoff when races started at 2pm local time. When Liberty pushed the race start times to 3pm they still wanted the 6pm cutoff so the race window was cut from 4 to 3 hours.

          1. @gt-racer But the pushback to 15:00 for (most) European races happened for 2018 & the cut from 4 to 3 hours in absolute upper limit happened three years later, so zero correlation.

          2. @gt-racer I should’ve added that the 18:00 cutoff is vague & impractical for some 14:00-local races anyway, as sunset times occur at earlier times.

      2. @Jonathan Parkin – Yes, 4h was a direct reaction to the 2011 Canadian GP, but the cut to 3 for last season wasn’t a reaction to any red-flag stoppage, or at least not to my knowledge, albeit I’ve never seen any official explanation.
        @red-andy – I agree with you that knee-jerk reactions have been unnecessarily common in F1.

        1. I should’ve typed just ‘sunset occurs at earlier times’ but somehow ended up typing a phrase wordier than necessary.

  6. COTD is COTY.

    1. @tvidovic:
      But the rumour is he used too many letters so the comment may be demoted

    2. @tvidovic:
      But it has appeared he used too many letters so the comment might be demoted

  7. COTD: Senstappen

  8. I wouldn’t pay a lot to see Pierre and Yuki consert but it could be the most fun concert I would ever attend to

  9. I don’t know how much faith we should put in these numbers Formula E is reporting. They report 381 million over the season of 16 races. This is in contrast to Formula 1’s report of 1.55 billion over the course of the 2021 season of 22 races.

    This means if we take a “dumb” average per race, it’s 23,8m per race for FE and 70,5m per race for F1. So, lets be kind and say FE now draws 1/3rd of the audience Formula 1 does. That sounds impressive, right?

    Then why are F1 Race Highlights on YouTube so much more skewed to F1? F1 gets about 7 million views on average for race highlights in English (they also have highlights in other languages, but lets ignore these numbers). Formula E gets anywhere between 90k and 250k (with sometimes some weird spikes, but we can ignore those). Nowhere even remotely close to F1. We’re talking 3% of the engagement of F1, not 33%. On Twitter, FE has just over 300.000 followers. F1 has 8.6 million. Where did all the massive viewership go to? Do they care enough to watch FE, but not to follow it beyond that? Or are these numbers not as reliable as FE is reporting them?

    1. Where did all the massive viewership go to?

      They watched it on FTA TV.
      Not much point watching it again, is there?

      I think you’d be wise to consider that FE may not be the only one inflating their figures….

    2. Each time I watch FE, it is in the hope that it might be more interesting than last time,… but it isn’t. It feels gimmicky, the need for juice management and the penalties for using too much power, the need to go through that zone once in the race to get a power boost, and I’ll never be able to take seriously any sport which has a “fan boost” and gives a competitive advantage to one driver over the others for no reason other than popularity.

      1. I don’t really follow FE, are there any initiatives (i.e. are drivers and teams actively campaigning) for the fan boost?
        I don’t know who among F1 teams and drivers has the biggest engagement on social media, but if there’s something to be gained they’d work hard on it. In other words: does FE have that same drive and competitive edge?

    3. Then why are F1 Race Highlights on YouTube so much more skewed to F1?

      It could be that F1 attracts a broader audience. Younger viewers who don’t have money for a subscription, but do like to watch highlights online, for instance.

  10. The Hanoi track got abandoned a while ago rather than only recently.

    I like the custom-made chocolate, but the karaoke singing is cringey & funny.

    Good COTD, although I doubt at least half a second faster would be necessary to avoid Max dominance continuation.

  11. Oh, shut up, Seidl!

Comments are closed.