Okay, it took me so long to write that last post that the things had moved on before I posted it. Read more at F1 Fanatic. I agree with their comments about the Stewards/FIA procedures.
Maybe Trulli should still be penalised; he did pass a car under yellow flags. I didn’t see the incident in TV, but if he could have stayed behind Hamilton without stopping, then he should have done so.
As I said, I’m an Hamilton fan, and more so a McLaren fan, but I don’t think a DQ is sufficient. Misleading the Officials is a serious offense. The penalty should be so harsh that teams don’t even consider it.
Here starts my rant, move on if your not interested or too busy.
The FIA should have a scale for punishments, such as ‘Misleading Officials by Deceit: DQ for three races where the car finishes the race, commencing with the race where deceit occured.’ This would prevent the teams from starting a race knowing that they would be DQ’d, but not finishing it in order to save their engines.
Further, the rule would have to stipulate whether the penalty applies to both drivers. In the case where only one driver is involved (Hamilton in this case), only that drive should be DQ’ed, and of course the team suffers from potential loss of points. However, where a fuel irregularity is involved for example, the penalty must apply to both drivers individually.
These must be carefully thought out. In the above example, if the deceit occurs at the end of the season, a decision has to be made (when the rule is written) as to whether the punishment is retrospectively applied to the last three races of the season, or is carried over to the early races of the following season, with regard to potential team and driver changes.
Another punishment might be ‘Misleading Officials by Error: DQ from the affected race(s)’. This would be used to put right breaches that took place in the past, but could not be identified at the time. It’s hard to think of an example right now, but the purpose of this rule is to put right mistakes that had been made, but where a team could not have known at the time of the original decision by the Stewards.
There also needs to be a procedural change in regulations. Take the diffuser row for example. The cars were deemed legal to race, but under appeal they may be deemed illegal. Either they’re legal under the current regulations, or not. The Officials should have the facilities (and wit) to make a decision at the time. If they can’t decide whether the cars meet the regulations, then the regulations aren’t specific enough, and the teams must not be punished for that.
There should be no ‘spirit of the rules’ rubbish. The rules are the rules. If the cars don’t actually breach the regulations as they’re written, then they’re legal. If it is then decided that the regulations need to be tightened up, then do so after the fact, but allow the teams reasonable time to make adjustments. There must be no retrospective penalties when the regulations that aren’t clearly defined.
The FIA must take the stance that the rules are a work in progress. F1 is a complicated sport, and innovation should be encouraged within the regulations. If it’s not specifically illegal according to the regulations, then it’s legal until the regulations specifically make it illegal.