Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2024

Haas’ Jeddah go-slow tactics “not how I want to go racing” – Vowles

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Williams team principal James Vowles says Formula 1 needs to discuss whether it wants to encourage the tactics used by rivals Haas in last weekend’s race.

In brief

F1 should discuss Haas tactics – Vowles

Haas’ decision to use Kevin Magnussen to slow down a queue of cars in order to help his team mate Nico Hulkenberg score points was strongly criticised by RB. Vowles admitted he didn’t like to see such tactics.

“Those questions on whether or not those tactics are viable or not, or unsportsmanlike, let’s review that as an organisation and a sport going forward,” he said in a video published by Williams. “My opinion from it is that’s not how I want to go racing.”

Andretti revamps plan for new headquarters

Andretti Global headquarters artists' impression, 2024
Andretti Global headquarters artists’ impression, 2024

Andretti Global released images of revised plans for the new headquarters it is building in Indiana. It intends to move from its current Zionsville Road premises to its new location next year.

“Since ground-breaking, we’ve taken time to really evaluate and dive deep into every aspect of the project,” said chairman and CEO Michael Andretti. “Our goal remains to create a healthy workplace and culture for employees and a campus that can be a destination for the community, while focusing on enhanced performance and competition capabilities for our race teams. The updated designs and direction accomplish all those things and I’m so proud of what we are building.”

Andretti’s application to enter F1 as an 11th team was approved by the FIA last year but turned down by Formula One Management in January.

F1 “in a tricky moment” – Leclerc

Charles Leclerc acknowledged F1 is “in a tricky moment” when asked whether the sport should race in regimes such as Saudi Arabia. Saturday’s grand prix was F1’s fourth in the country, which has been criticised for failing to protect human rights, frequently using the death penalty, discriminating against women and its LGBTQ community, forbidding protests and other acts of repression.

“As a sport, and we’ve always said that, I think we need to bring the values of the sport in those countries in order to open the minds of people,” said Leclerc. “Having said that, obviously we are in a very tricky moment for our sport.

“I think, yes, we should focus on sharing the good values and there’s a lot of work still for us to do on that, as we are seeing at the moment. But I will stay on the line that I believe that we are 20 drivers showing good values, respect, and we need to keep going to those countries in order to hopefully open minds and for them to have a better future and also to inspire young people in order to follow their dream. And I still believe that this is a good thing anyway.”

Kvyat gets second-tier NASCAR drive

Daniil Kvyat will race in NASCAR’s second-tier series next week. The former Red Bull driver will contest the fifth round of the championship at the Circuit of the Americas in a Chevrolet run by SS-Green Light Racing. Kvyat previously contested three round of the Cup series in 2022.

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Comment of the day

Formula 1’s viewing figures in the USA for the first race of 2024 are reported to have taken a significant hit:

Even if the half of the 40% drop-off in viewing figures can be explained by moving from Sunday on ESPN to Saturday on ESPN 2 (and that’s highly unlikely but let’s be generous), 20% of viewers abandoning Formula 1 in just one year it’s pretty dramatic.

If this was a TV show the producers would be sitting at the CEO’s office listening to his shouting at them and issuing final warnings before cancellation. Liberty probably are hearing the same screams from their shareholders. So they will have to act – clip Red Bull’s wings for 2025.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Patrickl and Chapmankillie!

On this day in motorsport

  • 60 years ago today Innes Ireland gave the British Racing Partnership team their only grand prix victory in a rain-lashed non-championship race at Snetterton, after Graham Hill, Jim Clark, Jack Brabham and others all hit trouble

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79 comments on “Haas’ Jeddah go-slow tactics “not how I want to go racing” – Vowles”

  1. Paul Newman is part of the reason I got interested in racing. I always thought racing was stupid and for dumb petrol heads. After I saw my first live CART event, I was hooked. The sounds, speed, and smell were almost overwhelming!

    My buddy who brought me to the race was a Newman-Haas fan and I had no idea Paul Newman was into racing. We had pit passes and it was incredible how close they let the public get to the cars. I got to meet a few of the drivers and got to see Paul Newman. Incredible experience that I still think on occasionally, over 30 years later!

    I think I’ve watched all of Mr. Newman’s movies after that and still buy Newman’s own products. The guy exemplified loyalty, honesty and integrity. And his charity is nearly unmatched. A great human being and one of the only ‘heroes’ I’ve ever had in my life.

    1. Yep, totally agree. I was racing FF1600 and drove at a support race in Seattle when Newman was racing in IMSA. We were working on the car when Paul wandered by and asked us how it was going. It was going well and we said so; he told us it wasn’t so great for him. Racers talking to racers with no VIP stuff at all. I got the feeling he was happy to be a simple racer talking to other racers. A nice guy with no pretensions.

      1. To add, ‘Cool Hand Luke’ is one of my all time favorite films.

        1. @Jay & SteveR
          Great to hear from a time when racers or people would get into motorsport at whatever level they could ,try to climb the ladder ,if couldn’t “make it” they stayed for the love of motorsports.
          No-one (or not many) looked down on those in lower classes. Good people in tough racing times. Great to hear personal stories about those days. Paul Newman was a legend yet still a humble ” real person” not too big for his boots. As you said racers were racers and there was camaraderie between them, there was real class or sense of superiority separation .
          Off topic a bit but I wonder how many people knew Ronald Reagan was a racetrack announcer before sportscaster and President of USA .
          Thanks for your comments.

          1. He won a TransAm title I believe, which was an extremely competitive professional series at that time. I know he won an SCCA sanctioned series at the very least.

  2. So they will have to act – clip Red Bull’s wings for 2025.


    Red Bull have simply done a far better job than everyone else and it should be left upto the others to catch up. If they can’t do so then thats on them and Red Bull shouldn’t be punished because of that.

    If the Liberty Netflix fans are more interested in the show than the sport then they should probably just not watch and leave it to the fans who actually care about the sport and want to see a sport.

    But TBH regardless of ‘The show’ the decline was always going to happen anyway because the Casual Netflix liberty show over sport fans were never going to stick around because most of them weren’t fans of the sport to begin with, They had started watching just to be one of the cool kids following the social media netflix trend.

    And it seems that Drive To Survive did quite a bit worse this year as well. It didn’t even make it into the top trending or most watched lists which shows quite clearly what segment of the ‘fans’ are starting to walk away…. Those we always knew were never going to stick around anyway.

    Just stop catering to the show over sport casuals that are never going to stick around. F1 is a sport first & foremost so treat it as such!

    1. Ferrari got two years of dominance before being hammered. Just because Mercedes somehow was able to get such a long time without a decisive rule change, doesn’t meant it should always be that way. I dislike Mercedes and Lewis, but there were also difference. Like an exciting teammate pairing the first three years and actually lots of great races and other winners during most of that era.

      Anyway, it doesn’t make a difference if they change the rules. Newey is the dominant factor. Only a bad PU will break his dominance.

      1. Mercedes’ ‘exciting teammate pairing’ was still boring for a lot of fans, especially if you didn’t like Mercedes. My favourite driver going against Hamilton would have been just as boring.

        I think it’s kind of funny that the same people who said the other teams just need to get on with it back then, now cry out because RedBull got it spot on.

        Other teams just need to get on with it! And I don’t even like RedBull.

        1. Jonathan Parkin
          14th March 2024, 7:32

          But at the same time the RB dominance is like anything that has been seen before in the sport. Max is on his second run of 10 race victories split by a single Carlos victory at Singapore. It is likely the run will continue past Albert Park.

          By contrast Michael only managed seven in a row once I believe and for Lewis it was only five in a row in two different seasons several years apart

          1. Coventry Climax
            14th March 2024, 11:36

            So because others ‘only’ managed five or seven, someone trying to achieve more is to be avoided at all costs? Is that what you’re saying?
            Great logic.

            My problem with F1 is more that over half the field appears to not even try and get a single win over a season anymore these days and an FiA that actually listens to them complaining someone [else] has got to do something about it, be it over seasons or just mid-season.

          2. Not sure how that was the message you drew from his post, Coventry. Or really even what your argument is besides “even if he won 100 races in a row, that’s no reason to make a change!”

            Simple fact is that as many people pretend to care about F1 as a technological exercise, most of them + 85% of the audience at minimum really just want to see great racing based on driver skill more than how good their car is. The problem is there’s no way to legislate Newey out of the sport besides making aero not that important or so strictly regulated that his genius couldn’t do much.

          3. Coventry Climax
            18th March 2024, 13:08

            Well, Nick T., first of all, it took me pasting Jonathan’s first sentence into a translator to figure out he meant something like ‘we never seen Red Bull’s extent of dominance ever before’. You can argue about that to begin with, third year into Red Bull’s possible dominance, with Ferrari’s and Mercedes’ achievements of more than twice that in the history books already.
            But apart from that, you can’t blame competitors for trying to win as much and as long as they possibly can: That’s why we call them competitors to begin with. But then meddling artificially because they’re on a run of success for too long? By who’s standards? And who’s ‘fault’ -or merit for that matter- is that? That’s a very slippery slope. Unless we’re talking show wrestling, ofcourse.

    2. You’re completely missing the point that was made. Viewership has dropped, and that means income has dropped – F1 needs massive income to sustain itself.
      It really isn’t about who is watching or why they are watching – it’s primarily about how many are watching.

      F1 was in decline (in many ways) prior to Liberty’s commercial purchase, and had been for quite a while already.
      In some ways, Liberty have steered F1 in a better direction – but they’ve done so only to make more money from it.

      F1 is a sport first & foremost so treat it as such!

      It isn’t and never was. It was an engineering competition that grew into a marketing business for the benefit of all of the stakeholders, and now also for the competitors.

      1. Indeed, teams can spend as much as fhey do because they get 120 million from FOM. Some teams don’t need that money as such, but many do, and even those that don’t would rather not find it elsewhere.

        F1 needs viewers, a lot of viewers, to justify the commercial rights’ prices and the huge hosting fees.

    3. It’s interesting people are determined to protect Red Bull in these situations, even after how their ‘superiority’ came about (you can’t discuss it without acknowledging that particular fact)

      1. If this is again about that budget cap overspend, how about we give all other teams 5 million EUR extra. Surely that will negate the Red Bull advantage?

        Anyway don’t worry, the current intra-team dynamic in Red Bull is going to ensure their advantage in 2026 will have evaporated.

    4. From 2017 onwards there were numerous rule changes to attempt to remove Mercedes advantages, particularly on the power unit side. They also made numerous changes to try to cripple the low rake aero concept that only Mercedes really used.

      The difference now is the budget cap and the restrictions to development time (wind tunnel and CFD) are baking in the Red Bull advantage making it impossible for teams to be able to catch and surpass them. Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes all spent big prior to the implementation of the budget cap and hence tried to get a head start for the new regulations. It was clear this was going to happen as soon as they delayed the implementation of the budget cap so it allowed the big teams to have this big overspend year right before the new rules came into effect.

      Red Bull were the team that got lucky (did well if you like) and ended up with the best concept right out of the gate. Other teams are now unable to catch up as they cannot spend more on development than Red Bull to make up the difference so the only way they’ll ever get back on a even footing is if Red Bull mess up a new car design or we get rid of large parts of the rules that allow the Red Bull concept to work (i.e. ditch ground effect). Lets not forget the banning of Active aero in the early 90’s which was largely to clip the wings of Williams who were unbeatable.

      Everything about the current state of F1 means we all know the season outcome now pretty much after the first race and each race afterwards will just further confirm that Verstappen is going to easily win with no real challenge. Red Bull by not putting a competitive driver alongside him is further harming the sport as at least in the worst Mercedes dominated 2014-2016 seasons we had championship battle between the Mercedes drivers. There is no chance of this happening between Perez and Verstappen.

      I’ve followed the sport for 30 years but I see little point in even watching most races now and that should be a huge warning sign for Liberty. Sure they wanted to expand their audience so maybe they cared little for the old guard watching the sport but when you’re no longer expanding and losing the interest of new and long term viewers, then you’re in very bad position.

      1. sprinklers, reverse grids, more standard parts, changes to races: all incoming soon “for the show”

    5. Which sport what competition what racing?

    6. There is the added complication that the FIA, is suspected of race-fixing already. Clipping the wings of a particular team would increase such suspicions further – even if it was simply to try to reverse the damage it is suspected as having already done.

  3. The complaining about Haas’ tactics is a bit tiresome. Holding competitors up is perfectly fine so long as the safety car is not out. And if a driver is going slow, overtake him. The real issue was with the stewards failing to connect the dots on what Haas was up to, thereby missing an opportunity to bring Magnussen in for a penalty. There’s often a lack of common sense at the stewards’ office, like they’re not even watching the race and are frantically searching through old PDFs to see what they should do. The media shares some of the blame for this with the constant complaining about penalties. And since the F1 media is heavily dominated by English voices, it’s also acting like F1’s rules are like their common law and precedence is king. Neither is – or should be – true.

    The race director and stewards have a long list of tools/penalties spelled out in the regulations. It’s their own fault for only using the smallest two and then being surprised that competitors are gaming the system and/or viewers don’t understand how wildly different cases get the same minimal penalty (Russell getting a 5 second penalty for punting the leader out of the race takes the cake). Give some drive-throughs, some stop & go penalties! It will expand their own options for future events and get people used to seeing a wide variety of penalties. Plus some uncertainty about which penalties will be given acts as a deterrent to the competitors as well.

    “criticised for failing to protect human rights, frequently using the death penalty, discriminating against women and its LGBTQ community, forbidding protests and other acts of repression.”

    We’re still talking about Saudi Arabia, right? Just checking to be sure.

    1. Yes, MichaelN, we are. Even if that description would tally with several other countries on the calendar for 2024, and even if half the description applies to over half the countries to be visited.

  4. Vowles is quickly going from an inspiring favorite to just another hypocritical whiner. I guess I should have known better.

    1. To be fair, a hypocrite he’s not. The last time this tactic happened -albeit in a slightly different format and for a slightly different reason- a certain driver tried to win a certain championship over his teammate while driving for the team James was head of tactical of at the time and I distinctly remember him pleading repeatedly with said driver to not employ that tactic.

      He might be complaining, but he’s no hypocrite.

      1. That was purely in the interest of the team. Not fair play. But I was actually thinking of some other recent criticism/headline quotes he made when I said that. But I’m forgetting exactly what at the moment. Maybe it was criticism of Red Bull owning two teams.

    2. Nick T.,
      It’s ironic how the same individual who strategically used Bottas as a roadblock to impede Hamilton’s rivals is now criticizing other teams for employing similar tactics. Prime examples : Barcelona 2017 and Monza 2018

      1. Well pointed out. I am sure there plenty more examples too.

        @slowmo – it’s fine to a whine a bit, but he was basically calling Haas cheaters. That’s not the type of thing you often hear. And, it’s their problem / fault if their car and/or driver cannot pass a guy going intentionally slow.

    3. He’s the team principal for a team and has to protect his teams interests, it’s not whining. Every single team principal in the sport ends up being hypocritical eventually, it’s just the nature of their jobs that sometimes they have to speak out about stuff but other times they’ll try to defend their teams actions.

  5. Max answered that question from the LA Times journalist very well. One of his better remarks was that you can always do things better, including wherever it is this journalist comes from. Amen to that!

    The journalist quizzed the drivers twice, at the beginning and end of the conference, each time more making a statement himself than asking a question. As Max essentially said, different countries can have different values. This is what I was thinking when Charles talked about the “good” values. I doubt I share the values of this journalist. Sport should bring us together as one thing we do have in common rather than be used as a weapon to promote a single agenda. I wonder does he even like F1?

    1. An Sionnach, somewhat ironic to say “Sport should bring us together as one thing we do have in common rather than be used as a weapon to promote a single agenda.” when the Saudi authorities are fairly clear that the purpose of having the race is for the purpose of promoting their agenda.

      1. You’ll have to explain that. The LA journalist seems to expect the drivers to promote his agenda. Do the drivers personally support this agenda of the Saudi authorities? Is there a photo opportunity at an execution where they give the thumbs up or do they just drive?

      2. Do you think GPs should be boycotted? Which ones? All the middle east ones, China? California had a law boycotting about half the US states…

        1. As I alluded to in an unfortunately censored post, there’s a huge double standard with this kind of talk, and a lot of uncritical Eurocentric assumptions.

          Anyway, let’s not bother these drivers with this. Ask FOM, they make the calendar.

          1. What a sad era when it is easier to smash an atom than a prejudice..

            Albert Einstein

        2. In this logic we should boycott the British, USA and Dutch GP for invading iraq outside of UN mandate. All countries have their issues, faulty regimes and history. The moral high ground is to race on a Mars.

          1. The moral high ground is to race on a Mars.

            Is that the chocolate version of angels dancing on the head of a pin?

        3. California never “boycotted” states. WTH are you on about. The only thing I can think of is that CA had its own CARB standards. A few years ago they passed a standard on the minimum size cage a chicken could be kept in from for the egg market. Those states had the option of complying or not selling there. That’s not a boycott.

      3. What exactly is their agenda, and how does it differ from every other country that pays to host a F1 GP?

        1. The agenda of the oil-rich Middle Eastern countries is a bit different in that they are essentially a bunch of animal herders who got immensely rich merely due to having enormous natural resources. But their worry is that if the oil income runs out, they descend back to third world status. So that’s why they are trying to diversify their economy, as well as integrate their economy more with other countries that do not depend on natural resources as much.

          They are also dealing with a lot of well-educated children of the elite that they need to funnel into jobs somehow, even though they don’t have so many of those jobs domestically. And many of the ones they have are part of the oil industry, so if the oil runs out those people will lose their jobs.

          So the claims about ME countries like Saudi Arabia and the Emirates are actually the opposite of the truth (which is remarkably common in general, where ‘the narrative’ is not just wrong, but exactly the reverse of the truth). It’s actually Western countries that are now obsessed with forcing their values on everyone in the world, while a country like Saudi Arabia and the Emirates are perfectly happy to adapt to Western values (or rather, the values of a small Western elite) when they have dealings in the West to get what they want.

          It’s honestly rather absurd to see people who are constantly demanding that others adapt to their norms and values, argue that these ME countries are doing that, when they have no actual facts to support these claims. For example, in what ways did Ben Sulayem try to spread conservative Emirate culture? Did he try to force women in F1 to cover their heads? Did he require that the Muslim call to prayer to be played at the mandated times during race weekends? Did he require that venues offer places for Muslims to pray? Did he try to ban alcohol?

          Similarly, when did Saudi Arabia demand any of these things from F1, rather than only require that their laws are followed at races in their country. And even then they ignore many of their laws for F1 personnel.

          1. But their worry is that if the oil income runs out, they descend back to third world status.

            Most renewable / eco-friendly fuels need a ready energy source like extreme sunshine.
            Guess what the middle-east oil states also have in abundance, and it isn’t likely to run out any time soon.

            It’s actually Western countries that are now obsessed with forcing their values on everyone in the world,

            Noting something happening after 800+ years of active push, and is now less prominent, seems a bit ‘slow’

          2. @SteveP

            There are a lot more countries with abundant solar potential than countries with oil in the quantities that Saudi Arabia can and could provide (aka none).

            I don’t see how they could remain rich by using/renting out land for solar panels when there are plenty of African countries who would definitely settle for a lot less money.

            Noting something happening after 800+ years of active push, and is now less prominent, seems a bit ‘slow’

            Yes, but alll the religious wars and the upheaval due to the reformation are a big issue in Europe! Hundreds of years a go that is.

            Come on, you are reaching so badly that it embarassing.

      4. notagrumpyfan
        14th March 2024, 12:15

        the Saudi authorities are fairly clear that the purpose of having the race is for the purpose of promoting their agenda.

        Nice empty statement, anon!
        What is ‘their agenda’?
        If it is ‘accepting that not all countries are the same and that all countries are on different development paths and that undoubtedly nobody is perfect’, then I applaud that.
        If it is ‘killing political opponents’ then I disagree. But my moral compass even disagrees with the death penalty, but I still travel to those countries and watch F1 races.

    2. For reference, his questions were as follows. I’ve tried to be as accurate as possible, including with the punctuation. The young man didn’t pause for breath much. None of the three drivers looked thrilled, but they delivered different, but interesting responses. Unlike the piece above, the allegations he vaguely referred to were “sportswashing” and “greenwashing”. I would have asked him to clarify what he meant, exactly, and make his allegations directly, along with what he would like done about it. The three drivers were good at responding and pushing back to varying extents from Charles to Checo to Max, without becoming testy. The young man didn’t give his name either time, even though that was requested of the press. He seemed in a huge hurry to get all those words out so he may have forgotten.

      First question from the floor:
      “Hi, this is for Mr. Perez. Um, hi I’m with the Los Angeles Times Mr Perez I wanted to ask you the F1 season now has a lot of races in the Gulf, like in Bahrain, in Saudi Arabia, in Qatar, in Abu Dhabi, and I really wanted to ask you about the importance of racing in the region in the Middle East, in the Gulf, especially with all the criticisms that have come with that, and and what it means in terms of building new audiences but also bringing new drivers potentially, and new people who will join F1.”

      Last question:
      “Sorry just one last one pardon me. Uh, this is for all three I mean we have also heard, um heard of these allegations about sportswashing and greenwashing and all this stuff about the various again Gulf countries, and I’m wondering you know what are the feelings sorry, uh, because I can’t see you, I’m wondering you know just what are the feelings about that and, I guess what are your response or like what response be to those kinds of complaints and criticisms and allegations.”

      1. The 1936 Olympics was an opportunity for propaganda, but it didn’t all go one way. I think if you shine the light of reality into places that try to deny it, and give it time, things will change. That applies to both California and everywhere, my own country and myself included. If we set aside our differences and enjoy sport for what it is, maybe nothing will happen, but I think it’s good for us all the same.

        The killing of Jamal Khashoggi is troubling, especially if it was ordered by the Saudi state. There is no Russian Grand Prix as they have invaded a neighbour. There already seems to be a line that shouldn’t be crossed. That war is prolonged by support of some sort from China. Where do you draw the line? Russia is not a difficult one and it would probably not be possible to stage a race there even if F1 wanted to. Another line is the sanctioning of non-aligned Russian nationals versus those linked to the regime. The former is certainly a mistake, but I won’t get into tennis…

        1. We definitely shouldn’t be racing in China. They have an active g*novice ongoing for god’s sake.

    3. In my experience, sport very often doesn’t do that, especially when the world doesn’t want to be brought together (as happens every so often and has been the case for the last 10-15 years).

  6. Well James, this is still more sporty than Russia 2018 in my eyes.

  7. Like Vowles, I wasn’t impressed by Haas’ tactics either. I don’t blame the team – I blame a weak ruleset which has been altered to fix one issue and created another.

    I don’t like that a driver can accrue a time penalty and then drive recklessly knowing that they are a sacrificial lamb in the team’s wider strategy. The lapped cars rule negating that penalty was insult to injury. On this occasion I don’t believe that Kevin was over the limit – but he was teetering on the edge, and I think gaining a second penalty should result in mandatory pitstop within 3 laps. 20 seconds is akin to a drive through anyway.

    If we are to take the stance that this is hard racing, ruthless pragmatism where the letter of the law triumphs over the spirit, then why not just shove Magnussen into the wall? Had one driver taken a huge divebomb knowing there would be contact, they’re just going to receive an offsetting penalty to Haas. This is a huge area of concern in a DRS train era with cookie cutter circuits. You can’t pass in Albert Park or Miami either, this is a turning point and whilst we shouldn’t punish Haas, we should encourage a rethink on multiple penalties for the same driver in the one GP.

    1. I don’t even blame the ruleset as such – it’s much more about how those rules are applied and how much influence public image has over that.
      Giving penalties that act as a deterrent is seen as too harsh these days. It’s no wonder that this has bred a culture of disrespect for authority – and it doesn’t only apply to F1.
      Just a sign of the times…

      1. The stewards have been cowed into handing out only the smallest of penalties by constant media outrage and teams pressuring them to ‘let them race’; add in a driver-steward who is ‘mates’ with the drivers and it just gets worse. This also effectively renders the penalty ‘toolbox’ obsolete. The rules are quite clear, the stewards can give:

        – Reprimand.
        – Five second time penalty.
        – Ten second time penalty.
        – Drive-through penalty (twenty second time penalty).
        – Stop-and-go penalty (thirty second time penalty).
        – Grid drop at the driver’s next race.
        – Arbitrary time penalty.
        – Disqualification.
        – Race ban.

        But if basically all offenses fall in the first two or three steps on the ladder then something is off. Obviously we don’t want to see a race ban handed out each weekend to the most egregious offense of the day, but can someone say with confidence what a driver has to do to get a drive-through these days? Or even a stop-go penalty? Now imagine the dangerous things someone would have to do to get disqualified! And that’s not even a race ban!

        Another problem with the media complaints is that the F1 press is dominated by English voices, and they think that their system of common law and precedence-above-all is normal. It’s not, pretty much no other countries work like that and the FIA doesn’t either. Or shouldn’t. Yet we constantly see in stewards’ reports that they are combing through the archives to find an excuse to repeat past mistakes.

        1. Yes (stewards pressured into weak 5 sec penalties for almost anything) and it’s not healthy when, for example, drivers (Russell did it blatantly somewhere last season) intentionally overtake off track knowing they’ll be able more easily make up five seconds than passing and thereby also keeping them close to a faster pack ahead. That’s an entire result gamed by a driver knowing what penalty he’ll get. That’s why it really should be let the driver back through or get a drive through.

    2. @rbalonso I couldn’t agree more with you. COTD-worthy post.

    3. Apart from abusing the track limits, the concerning part on this tactics is that cars from three other teams couldnt pass a car deliberately going slower – besides being deemed the worst in the grid.

    4. It doesn’t help we seem to live in an era where the phrase “Let them race” has been used as an excuse for appalling falls in driving standards. It’s pretty clear as racing has become safer, drivers have taken more and more liberties with the move aside or crash attitude being almost the default position now in F1. All Haas did was take it to the next logical conclusion of do anything to get the result you need. In the future it’s not hard to see championship battles between teams being decided by the second car actively trying to wreck their rivals lead car at this rate in the “sport”. I appreciate some people feel this has already happened in the past.

      1. It doesn’t help we seem to live in an era where the phrase “Let them race” has been used as an excuse for appalling falls in driving standards.

        I was disappointed to hear on the highlights video that the F1TV commentators seemed disappointed that Pérez didn’t completely shove Leclerc into the wall. He already pushed him off track, but the commentators seemed to relish the idea that Verstappen would have been even more forceful.

        This is setting the tone for younger, newer or otherwise more impressionable viewers. Shoving people off is not racing. It’s even explicitly forbidden in the FIA Code. But the FIA structure, race director and stewards, is so beholden to the F1 circus that they’ve let things go from bad to worse. Whiting has to take a large share of the blame for this, as it was his 20+ year reign as race director that let the standards set by Senna and Schumacher become commonplace.

        1. Max, one of the dirtiest drivers in F1 when he doesn’t have a car that allows him to sail away, really shouldn’t be the guy commentators are holding up as a model.

    5. If they are going slow, overtake them.. If you cant pass them thats on the team itself.

      1. notagrumpyfan
        14th March 2024, 12:19

        Interestingly they should have watched Magnussen how to overtake other cars. It might land you a penalty, but if you’re faster you can make up for that.

  8. Hey Michael, those new headquarters look absolutely nothing like the MTC, do they?!

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      14th March 2024, 11:43

      lol, they do, don’t they? Here’s the thing, though, the more understated the headquarters, the more wins the team scores. Some of the largest companies have been destroyed by upgrading their headquarters. Not entirely sure why that is but there’s a huge correlation.

      Apple survived and thrived in its new HQ but I suspect that’s because of the new era that coincided with it.

      McLaren has had 1 win since 2013.

      1. @freelittlebirds McLaren’s HQ was new in 2004. Probably best to count from there if you want an accurate count, otherwise it looks like you are making the opposite argument to the intended one (in F1 terms, a 20-year-old base is old).

  9. Nice helmet design

  10. Has Vowles short memory of Abu Dhabi 2016?

  11. Oh how I love the irony of James Vowles complaining about teamorders

  12. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    14th March 2024, 11:53

    With regard to COTD, I had to cancel my F1TV sub and stated that the reason was that it was boring.

    Hopefully, you guys can recap the race for me. F1TV does have a Race in 30 minutes but they probably should move to a race in 10 minute or 5 minute recap.

    Watching Verstappen win his 10th to 30th victory in a row is too much emotionally for anyone to bear.

    1. Hopefully, you guys can recap the race for me. F1TV does have a Race in 30 minutes but they probably should move to a race in 10 minute or 5 minute recap.

      F1’s Youtube ‘highlights’ are about 7 or 8 minutes long. That’s usually more than enough to get all the important bits in.

  13. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    14th March 2024, 11:57

    I don’t know if they are true but there are claims that Red Bull suspended the employee with full pay over dishonesty and she’s not happy.

    She should start a fund to support her financially in a lawsuit against Red Bull. She will find quite a bit of support from the paddock and from folks who will not tolerate abuse towards women. I would not be surprised if at this point F1 would be willing to support her lawsuit especially since they are in full possession of documents that can be verified.

    I still cannot believe that Red Bull didn’t settle. It’s a horrible situation for F1 for the team to be sweeping wins and championships especially if they are found guilty of retaliation… This is more serious than anything else and I believe it’s not a Red Bull matter anymore unless Red Bull are willing to walk away from the sport. Even so, this transpired while they were competing.

    1. notagrumpyfan
      14th March 2024, 12:32

      I still cannot believe that Red Bull didn’t settle.

      I applaud them for that.
      I never settle when there are serious allegations; those allegations should be investigated and cleared up. In the end it might still be ‘grey’ and warrant some compensation, but paying to stop a serious allegation does not sit well with me.

      Settling financial and commercial disputes is perfectly fine, and I’ve done that many times.

    2. over dishonesty

      @freelittlebirds can you cite this? I have seen a lot of speculation but no authoritative source on the cause.

      in a lawsuit against Red Bull

      I’m just speculating here but maybe she is proceeding legally and Red Bull have put her on paid leave during the course of actions. I’m not privy to company policy or their legal advice.

      To be clear I’m not attacking or defending either party.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        14th March 2024, 16:08

        Many places mention dishonesty. I’m not sure if it’s confirmed from Red Bull.

    3. @freelittlebirds In the UK, it’s illegal to suspend without pay, let alone fire, someone for whistleblowing in good faith. None of us, at this point, has any reason to believe the actions taken were not in good faith. Kindly remember that in your criticisms.

      (Also, UK law expects anyone taking an employment case to tribunal or the law to progress as far as possible through the internal grievance procedure before taking that route. Hard to crowdfund for a route that may not be available yet, wvwn if such would help).

  14. That’s just skill issue from Williams. There is a way to defeat the stalling tactic – by passing the car on track. They weren’t able to do that.

    1. @johnbeak Because of damage due to an earlier collision that, according to the stewards, was due to the driver who is being criticised for being slow (and for which said driver was penalised).

  15. Some very serious allegations considering you don’t know if they are true.
    You then suggest the the public should become involved and also F1 be joined to a claim or case that does not exist.
    Then we get to the crux
    The team to be sleeping wins and championships. Does this mean the team is accused?
    And of course these nonexistent at the moment are only Red Bull concerns if they.are willing to walk away from the sport.
    Quite extraordinary.
    Needs to be dealt with at a higher level obviously.

    1. Well that was to Michael.

  16. Thank you very much @keithcollantine and the Racefans team for COTD!

    Just a few remarks following some predictable replies to the aforementioned COTD by the so-called purists(I don’t mean that negatively just stating the facts)

    However the purist position that F1 can be only a sport without caring about the show is not a realistic position. Not only with regards to F1 but all the modern “spectator” sports. But especially F1 being the most expensive of the lot. Grand prix racing stopped being a purist sport when it became professional instead of pastime for wealthy gentlemen. I say grand prix not F1 since even in the first decade of F1 in the 50s it was already changing in the current direction. Now the last refuge of the purist are amateur Olympic sports.

    I really don’t like that in modern F1 it takes anti dominant team legislation to create exciting show. But for many reasons this has become the case since the turn of the century unfortunately(with few exceptions). And the cost cap while mostly positive is the worst possible thing for getting back on par with a dominant team. Because while all F1 teams are clever not all are clever to the same level. For example Newey is widely considered to be the greatest designer not just of this era but of all time. There’s only 1 Newey and when it’s basically aero formula it’s like qualifying deciding the starting grid. The best will always be one step ahead. Or when Mercedes designed the best engine when it was an engine formula in 2014. They all could’ve done but Cowell and his team at Brackley were the best in terms of engine and kept being a step ahead for a long time. Ferrari were the first to catch up to them because the next best engine guy was Binotto(who then foolishly took the promotion to a position he was ill suited for and predictably failed but that’s another topic). And while in the past team like Ferrari could’ve spent their way out of brainpower disadvantage with unlimited testing at their private track etc. plus having the undisputed best driver of his era( for many years F1 was Schoey vs Newey and I’m old enough to have watched it all) but now with the cost cap the advantage is baked in. And that brings me to my biggest gripe with the purist position: They say that anyone who agrees however grudgingly that RBRs wings have to be clipped for 2025 is not a real fan. That they’re Netflix fans or the dominant team’s haters(Enter name a RBR /Ferrari /Mercedes accordingly). That anyone who thinks that deliberately removing some of the dominant team’s advantage for the benefit of the show is a lesser evil than GP’s being a total snoozefest is against fair play. Well the closest I came in 30 years of watching every single F1 race to giving up on F1 was in 2002. That season was like watching paint dry. Single team and driver utterly dominating, almost no overtaking, most races nothing was really happening outside pitstops. And the cars had traction and launch control so not even a showcase of driving skill. No redeeming features. If 2003 that followed wasn’t a great season I would have stopped. I know a few others personally who didn’t wait to see what 2003 was like left and never returned since. Now’s the 2nd closest not because the situation is as dire as it was then but because it’s more hopeless. only 2 teams had won titles since 2010 and most of those seasons were not competitive not even between teammates. Kudos to them but what’s in it for the fans? Why should I waste my precious free time on something dull as dishwater? While there’s many times more competition for my entertainment than in 2002? Now it’s not about me or any one fan but what is an ocean but a multitude of drops?

    From the above it should be clear to anyone that the commercial rights holder will be forced to act. As it did in 2002, 2004, 2011, 2016 and 2020=100% of similar cases. Liberty mission is to increase profit for their shareholders not to be a nonprofit for promotion of purist interests. They’ll not sit idly while their profits collapse.

    And it’s not even in their interests. Why?
    1. If there will be no intervention, with their current advantage RBR will switch development to 2025 earlier than everyone else. So highly likely they’ll make 2025 boring as well.
    2. 2026 big change of regulations means that the field will spread out again. Chance is very high 1 team will dominate at least 3 seasons after that. Not necessarily RBR but swapping one domination for another won’t help anything.
    Add 1 and 2 together and without a good 2025 we’re staring at 7 consecutive bad seasons. Will f1 even survive such a drought? Without good amount of fans F1 is nothing. significant enough loss of fans will cause an avalanche of economic collapse. And no, purists are not enough. Some fans that like their sport to be entertaining are needed as well.

    Sorry for the long post. But I believe this is by far the most important, even existential topic in F1 today. Horner- gate is just a distraction.

    1. If this is what F1 calls being a sport and catering to the show, to my reckoning it’s doing a worse job of “the show” now than in the days when it cared less about “the show”.

  17. Always liked the Shell station at Fiorano.
    Makes it more road-relevant.

  18. “Charles Leclerc acknowledged F1 is “in a tricky moment” when asked whether the sport should race in regimes such as Saudi Arabia. Saturday’s grand prix was F1’s fourth in the country, which has been criticised for failing to protect human rights, frequently using the death penalty, discriminating against women and its LGBTQ community, forbidding protests and other acts of repression.”

    The whole Western media narrative about Saudi / Qatar is now dripping with hypocrisy … considering many EU countries support of the Palestinian genocide & their bans on anti-Israel protests, or the US with it’s death penalties or rolling back of women’s / minority race / LGBTQ+ rights or treatment of asylum seekers etc.
    If anything the Middle East countries are going in a positive direction on human rights, while most western nations seem to be sliding towards fascism as varying speeds.

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