F1 Politics

Aah!! What would F1 be without some controversy. I am convinced that the boring days of Ferrari dominance earlier in the decade were due to lack of controversies off or on track. I mean the “best” controversy was when Barrichello refused to let Schumacher pass him until the last corner in Austria 2001.

And now we have the latest scrap.

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton was stripped of a dramatic victory in the Belgian Grand Prix after stewards handed him a 25-second post-race penalty.

The Englishman was demoted to third place behind Ferrari’s Felipe Massa and BMW Sauber’s Nick Heidfeld.

He was accused of gaining an advantage by cutting the Spa circuit’s Bus Stop chicane in a late-race battle with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.

McLaren announced that they intend to appeal against the stewards’ decision.

Now, I am a big fan of Ferrari. I have loved this team since 1998 and have been following it intensely ever since. Whenever an opponent’s car is leading Ferrari, I am usually slumped on my chair crying into my beer/coffee but as soon as the McLaren or BMW or XYZ car crashes, I cheer and throw my beer/coffee into the air forgetting that I am in the TV room.

And having watched this race, I am convinced that the stewards (who generally have a penchant for backing Ferrari all the time) were completely wrong. Thank god that this controversy was not started by Ferrari (who have a penchant for crying “mommieeeeeee” and running to stewards at the slightest of infringements by other teams) and was instigated by the officials themselves.

Check this clip and let’s discuss it :

As you can see from the (shaky) clip, that Kimi was defending his line the whole way in the turn and aggressively pushed Hamilton, who was aggressively trying to push Kimi away from the track. And in that tussle, Hamilton gave up and went off track and actually cut across the turf and come in front of the Ferrari after the turn. This is illegal and is not allowed. The rule (I think) is that if you do something like that, you have to concede to your opponent immediately……and that is what Hamilton did. He conceeded to Kimi and overtook him in the next turn!!

Why the hell should this entire sequence of events be termed – an advantage for Hamilton?

Why is the FIA trying to shoot itself in the foot? This was a non-issue all the way. It’s almost like the FIA wants to generate some PR – bad, good – who cares. Here we have a great tussle between two top drivers who display their prowess on track to accolades but what does the FIA do? It alters the results thereby showing that the whole race was a farce.

BTW, Kimi did not even finish. He slammed into a wall in the next lap because he is not as good as Hamilton in the rain. And that’s why Hamilton was the winner and should be the winner despite his “advantage”.

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