Nov.24 - Formula 1 drivers have hit back at suggestions it is now "clear" how the FIA will issue penalties for overly aggressive racing tactics.

It was a hot topic in a lengthy pre-race driver briefing in Qatar, after Max Verstappen escaped penalty despite running championship rival Lewis Hamilton wide and off the track a week earlier in Brazil.

F1 race director Michael Masi says the meeting made it "clear" what is expected of the drivers.

"I think we made it clear to the drivers what we expect from them," he said. "Some agree, some don't, but that's always the case.

"We have given them a basic guide, but they have to be aware that each case is treated separately by the stewards, taking into account the specific circumstances."

Hamilton, though, hits back at the notion that the meeting made the issue "clear" to the drivers.

"No, it's not clear," said the Mercedes driver.

"Every driver, except for Max, was asking just for clarity, but it wasn't very clear. It's clearly not the white line anymore, so yeah - I guess we just go for it.

"So if it's the same as Brazil then it should be the same for all of us in those scenarios."

Interestingly, multiple drivers backed Hamilton's view, with his 2022 teammate George Russell declaring that Verstappen's move at Interlagos was "too much".

"If it had been the last lap of the grand prix, I'm quite sure he would have received a penalty," he said.

F1 veteran Fernando Alonso added: "We have too many grey areas.

"One time you benefit, the next time it hurts you."

Fellow Spaniard Carlos Sainz said: "We will really have to clarify this over the winter in terms of what is acceptable when attacking and defending.

"Can I push my opponent off the track? If so, how often? Once only? Multiple times? Are we given warnings?

"We wanted answers, but part of the problem is that we don't always have the same stewards," said the Ferrari driver.

As for championship leader Verstappen's view, he expressed disappointment that the matter spilled out of the closed driver briefing and into the media.

"I mean we discuss these kinds of things but they don't need to go to the media," said the Dutchman.

"So I don't like that or don't really want to comment. I prefer to talk to the people in charge and just discuss with them about these things in the future."


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35 F1 Fan comments on “F1 drivers say racing tactics still not clear after FIA verdict

  1. shroppyfly

    spin it around and have a different medical car doc at each race, who would say that's a sensible idea??? so why not have fixed staff, if its good enough for masi and the race doc ...!!

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  2. F1FaNG

    Basically, the FIA have left themselves open to being accused of bias and favouritism - not providinhg a level playing field.

    And I do not believe for one instant that it is because there are different stewards in different races that account for the different standards; they can be supervised and guided to apply the same rules equitably, just as is done in the case of jurors.

    I can imagine what the drivers feel, not knowing what is acceptable or what will be punished. All in an effort to favour one driver that they hope will win the WDC?

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  3. ReallyOldRacer

    F1 has needed fixed stewards for years, and they should all have in the car racing experience. The drivers will still bitch, but at least it will be consistent bitching. Actually, it might reduce the team/driver complaints for fear of retribution. I have searched and cannot find a reason why the FIA has ignored this idea. Can anyone explain?

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  4. CanadianEh

    Remember when the Stewards population included Nigel Mansel and Jackie Stewart and other luminaries from the F1 driver's paddock?

    There was very little of this finger-pointing and hair-splitting about conduct or rules. If you care to look at some of the old photos of post-race Parc Ferme, you'll notice the tell-tale smears of rubber or paint aren't uncommon. And they went just as fast as they do today.

    There were rivalries of Biblical proportion - Senna/Prost, Lauda/Hunt, Schumaker/Hill. Yet there was always respect underlying it all - which some drivers now seem to lack.

    Sure, Verstappen has a history of hard, aggressive driving, but he has matured immensely in the last three years. Hamilton on the other hand has degraded over time - his chassis makes up for his ho-hum talent.

    And Lewis does not play nicely alot more often than most people - including the media - think, or would have us think. He runs wide on corners all the time. Cleverly braking to place his chassis where he can run-wide and force other drivers out of the way - onto the rumble stips or right off the course. He's done it to Bottas and Rosberg and Alonso when they were his team-mates. And innumerable others who aren't.

    Nope - Lewis doesn't think it's clear that he can't get away with unfair tactics when they're used against him.

    Boo Hoo.

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    • Penelope Pitstop

      'Hamilton on the other hand has degraded over time - his chassis makes up for his ho-hum talent.'

      I get it that Hamilton divides opinion, but most real race fans who support Verstappen, would also still acknowledge Hamilton as a brilliant driver. Just this week on this one site, it's been claimed he has won races only because he has the best car, or he has the best engine, or it's just down to luck. And now you claim it's just because he has the best chassis, and so that accounts for his winning 7 WDC's, with his ho-hum talent! If it wasn't so nonsensical, it would be hilarious!

      No one wins the 'world's best' accolade at any sport on the planet, without massive amounts of hard work, dedication, and copious amounts of talent. All of which he has demonstrated throughout his incredible career. It would be much more honest to just acknowledge that.

      There's no doubt, whoever is victorious at the conclusion of this championship, will have earned it. I think Verstappen is obviously an excellent driver of exceptional talent, but he's not won a single championship yet. If he loses this one, I would imagine it would only be a matter of time before he eventually becomes champion - but it's not guaranteed! Hamilton, on the other hand, already has 7 in the bag! No one can take that away from him, and nobody will even remember all the sniping he suffered enroute to that total.

      We are witnessing history in the making, and I think we're very fortunate to be on the threshold of an unprecedented 8th WDC win, by Lewis Hamilton, who would then become the absolute, undisputed, greatest driver in the history of F1 racing.

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      • ReallyOldRacer

        PP, spot on until the last sentence. His place in the hierarchy of greatest drivers can easily be disputed. Near the top for sure, but best is open for discussion.

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        • shroppyfly

          Agreed Ror, my thoughts are well documented on this site about LH.

          Anyway onto something more relevant about the thread and my previous comment, here's what a certain Mr Stewart said about stewards way back in 2013, supporting my choice of solution .(what a wise man he is )

          F1 legend Jackie Stewart believes that if F1 does approve of the penalty system, there’s got to be a permanent steward who decides how many violation points the drivers receive.
          Earlier in the month, seven out of the eleven teams agreed to have a penalty system which awards violation points for drivers for causing accidents or generally disrupting the flow of the race. If drivers accumulate twelve points, they will automatically be hit with a one-race ban.

          This system has to be approved by FIA World Motorsport Council and Steward believes that, if implemented, it should be looked upon by the same person.
          “I think it’s wrong that the FIA have part-time stewards dealing with safety,” he told Reuters.

          “It’s not correct to have part-time stewards who have just been brought in from any other country for one or two races.
          “There’s got to be the same people all of the time so that there’s no risk that you are going to have peak and valley judgements that are different.

          “It’s got to be unilateral, with authority, with expertise and that person should be appointed and paid for. If you are putting penalty points in, then you should be judged consistently.“

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          • ReallyOldRacer

            No fair, you already know that JYS is my all-time fav'. How to argue with a guy who eschewed sex on a race weekend because it drained energy, and counselled young drivers to only drive fast enough to win.

      • CanadianEh

        I respect your opinion.

        All Formula 1 drivers fall within the fairly narrow spectrum of talent as defined by their possession of a "Super License". Not everyone has one.

        Within the spectrum of that level of talent, you will have an upper limit (UL) and a lower limit (LL). All are excellent, courageous, competent drivers. So, within those parameters, I place Hamilton mid-way between the LL and UL.

        That placement is based on what I witness as he pilots the MB rocket-ship around F1 circuits. Some of what he does, IS brilliant - but Alonso, Vettel, Verstappen display that brilliance more often than Lewis.

        So, he can win 20 WDC for all I care. He will never in my opinion be the "absolute, undisputed, greatest driver in the history of F1 racing." Gawd - seriously?

        Why? His: utter lack of humility; arrogance bordering on hubris; and, his cringe-worthy virtue-signaling.

        For more and fuller info on this, please view the following:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kq2E7LBClnY

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        • Penelope Pitstop

          ...I place Hamilton mid-way between the LL and UL...

          Can-Eh, can you not see the contradiction here? By inventing your own personal Superlicence grading system, (which of course, doesn't exist) with a sliding scale, and scoring Hamilton as mid-way, you have inadvertently reduced the skills of all drivers, in the history of F1.

          If Hamilton (with 7 titles), can achieve that feat with average driving skills, then what does that say about all the other greats who never achieved half that total? How popular do you imagine you would you be in the paddock, explaining to all the drivers, that average driving skills are all that's required to win the WDC 7 times?

          However, the killer point you made when admitting that even if Hamilton won 20 WDC's, you still wouldn't rate him as best ever, I'm afraid says it all.

          ...Why? His: utter lack of humility; arrogance bordering on hubris; and, his cringe-worthy virtue-signaling....

          This just underlines and confirms your objection to him on a purely personal level, based on his personality and politics - and nothing whatsoever to do with his driving!

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  5. Penelope Pitstop

    ROR, I bow to your racing knowledge as an ex-driver? However, I chose my words carefully, and I'm happy to have the discussion. Once you strip out all the emotion from evaluating the best driver, all you're left with are the metrics. As I mentioned, if Hamilton wins an historic 8th title, his position as the best is backed up by the indisputable numbers.

    He presently shares equal status with MS on numbers of championships, but has broken virtually every other relevant record previously held by MS or any other driver - and he's still driving, and still breaking those records!

    No other drivers are even close to those two in terms of numbers. What other measurements can be used? How many times would he have to win the championship before people accepted him as the greatest? Nine? Ten? What ludicrous reasons would be bandied around by then? Maybe that he's a robot, or an alien, or he's using voodoo?

    Just for the record, I'm not a Hamilton fanboy, just someone who enjoys racing, but recognises greatness when I see it. I've been lucky enough to have watched most of the greats over the past few decades, going back to the 70's, and this season is one of the best I've seen - and it isn't over yet!

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    • ReallyOldRacer

      Well reasoned, PP, but consider this. Fangio WON half the races he entered, in several different cars during an era when you were as likely to crash and burn as you were to even finish a race.

      Numbers are a funny thing.....they are malleable.

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      • shroppyfly

        I didnt think youd have to explain that simply

        Anyway yes JYS that one was for you Ror, and amusingly only 7 out of 11 wanted the system in 2013, nowwww, they all want it to protest about the littlest of things, times change eh

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      • Penelope Pitstop

        Fangio WON half the races he entered, in several different cars....

        Yes ROR, and if there was a prize for that, there's no doubt Fangio would have won it, but there isn't. I'm beginning to think you're reaching for straws. :)

        Absolutely the only measure that will count in the long run is WDC wins!

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        • ReallyOldRacer

          Yeah, Fangio only won five WDC's in four different cars. Of course, he was 39 yrs old when he won the first. Just imagine if.....

          How about this, PP, poll every current and retired F1 driver and ask them to identify the GOAT. Not favorite, but best. I'll give you HAM, SCH, Prost, Senna and I'll stick with Fangio.

          BTW, nice tilting with someone who smiles when they argue. Thx. :)

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          • shroppyfly

            I used to work in Germany a Turkish neighbour used to give me lifts to work , anywayyy, his brother in Turkey was a GOAT farmer in Turkey with 5000 of the little bleaters, I'm sure even he couldn't pick out the real goat , so what chance have we Ror. extras include lol, smh and smiley face.

          • ReallyOldRacer

            Shrop', I sincerely hope that he was a goat herder, and not a farmer. LOL LOL Anyway, of course you are correct, especially the last few decades with the ratass OEMs building perfection.

          • Penelope Pitstop

            As you'll appreciate ROR, it's notoriously difficult to compare talents in any sport, generations apart. F1's no different. Your unfinished teaser question, is used time and again in countless debates, across all sports, but when all's said and done, we're always just left with the facts. Your assertion that all past and present F1 drivers would group those 4 drivers as best, is of course, just your opinion, which you're well entitled to.

            My issue is we have a system in F1 which rates drivers based on merit. The drivers' championship, is the pinnacle of that system. There are other achievements within it, which are secondary or even tertiary, eg most poles, most podiums, most wins, etc, but they all simply support the main objective: the world drivers' championship!

            I could claim that if you were to ask those same drivers what they believe is the most important prize in F1, there is not a single driver who would not answer: the WDC! Therefore, it follows that whoever wins that prize, the most number of times, is unquestionably the best!

            btw, it's not difficult to debate in a friendly manner, and I tend to respond to comments in a similar vein to the original poster. We can all agree or disagree, while remaining civil.

            Thx 😉

          • ReallyOldRacer

            "I could claim that if you were to ask those same drivers what they believe is the most important prize in F1, there is not a single driver who would not answer: the WDC! Therefore, it follows that whoever wins that prize, the most number of times, is unquestionably the best!"

            PP, flawed syllogism lacking logic, and mixed assumptions. The question that I suggested was to identify the best driver, not the most prolific winner. Of course the WDC is the coveted prize but it does not follow that the WDC identifies the best racing driver.....too many variables. I.E, was Jack Brabham (3x) a better racing driver than Jimmy Clark (2x), Sebastian Vettel (4x) better than Jackie Stewart (3x) or Fernando Alonzo (2x)? C'mon, play fair.

  6. shroppyfly

    1955 f1 7 races
    1965 10 ra
    1975 14 ra
    1985 16 ra
    1995 17 ra
    2005 19 ra
    2015 19 ra
    2020 17 ra
    2021 22 ra

    Points to 6th place now points to 10th

    If you cant understand why your statements wrong after this , then i give up

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    • ReallyOldRacer

      Well played. One of my part-time careers was trading the US equity markets. I learned early on that if you insist on using statistics, use percentages.....not raw numbers.

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    • Penelope Pitstop

      If I've read this correctly it looks like you're informing me that F1 has more races in a season now, than when it started, and that the points system has changed? Wow! Since I never used the points total or even mentioned it in my previous post above, the relevance escapes me.

      Normally, in a discussion where you want to make a point, you would open with your strongest argument. If this is yours, then I admit, you win. I can't understand why my statements (sic) wrong. So will you keep your word and give up?

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  7. Jax

    Let me try and put this back and forth on an objective scale. Please defer to the two articles listed below if one is inclined for reading and comprehension. Again...objective is the word! And keep in mind these were both written and calculated in 2020. "It ain't over yet"!!

    https://www.mostlyf1.com/lewis-hamilton-and-his-place-in-history/

    https://speedwaydigest.com/index.php/news/racing-news/59778-hamilton-officially-greatest-f1-driver-of-all-time-according-to-new-statistical-study

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    • ReallyOldRacer

      What, a BASHCAR rag and a millenial fan are not experts? What are you, one of those effete British snobs?

      Oh-oh, I'm gonna' get thumb widgets for the millenial crack. Shame on me.

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  8. shroppyfly

    Ror, its easy 8 is a bigger number than 7 ,lol its like a football match where one team wins 1--0 because of an own goal by the other team

    Gotta use that logic , stands to reason the team that won the match by the own goal is the best, see using that sorta logic PP stance makes perfect sense .

    But you seem to handling this situation more than adequately..

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    • Penelope Pitstop

      I think the best response to most of your posts are just to ignore them. However, on this occasion I will reply. Your comments are mostly infantile and often sarcastic. You seem to be desperate for some kind of attention, or approval, like a spoiled child jumping up and down, hoping someone will notice! I suppose in modern parlance, you would be considered a troll.

      If I could offer some advice, I would just ask you to pause in future, before you press the send button. Carefully look through what you've written, then ask yourself; would sending this make me sound stupid? The answer will almost certainly be - YES!

      Then just simply erase the text, exit the page, and switch your device off. That way you won't repeatedly confirm how silly you sound. Try it, you never know, you might eventually come up with something approaching sensible, but I'm not holding my breath!

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  9. shroppyfly

    Correct definitely definately sarcastic , oh and thanks for the advice, i wont be taking it on this occasion .I do however look forward to your next installment on F1 knowledge and wisdom

    Always a sure sign someones embarrassed when they get aggressive and insulting (was it the own goal thing you didn't understand ? )

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  10. CanadianEh

    Well, Petrol Pete, all I can say is you are convinced of your self-importance and your response is shallow and condescending. Frankly, it's irrational.

    I'm done with this thread.

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