F1 »

Kate Walker: The other decision made in London

Crash.net's Kate Walker looks at one of the outcomes from the F1 Commission meeting on Wednesday and how it should help improve racing at no extra cost
Titanium skid planks to spark up the racing, the saving of tyre blankets, standing Safety Car restarts, and no change to Friday's running. This week was all about discussions on the future of Formula One at the highest level, and the aftershocks are still being felt in the Spielberg paddock.

Perhaps the most exciting and under-reported of the proposals, however, was the news that stewards are going to refrain from investigating each and every incident that results in a collision. Instead, the stewards will determine for themselves just what merits further study – unless the incident in question has been flagged by a team or blame is clearly on the shoulders of a single driver.

Contrary to reports elsewhere that a number of teams raised the issue, Crash.net has learned that the proposal was made by a single team principal in Wednesday's F1 Commission meeting in London. Subsequent discussion established that it was a popular suggestion, and consequently it is likely to be passed without issue at next week's WMSC meeting in Munich, coinciding with the FIA's Sport Conference Week.

Given the composition of the F1 Commission – which is made up of representatives from the teams, FIA, FOM, race promoters, sponsors, and suppliers of tyres, fuel, and power units – no serving stewards were available to give their input to the proposal. That chance could come at the WMSC meeting, with several active stewards currently members of the World Motor Sport Council, but it is more likely that the F1 Commission's proposals will be ratified without further debate.

The downside to the plan – for everything in life has both positive and negative aspects – comes from the fact that the stewards vary from race to race, meaning that it is highly unlikely that we will see consistent agreement in terms of what does and doesn't merit further investigation. But that is little different to the system we have at present, with driver stewards using the benefit of their own experience to help determine the difference between a racing incident and something meriting punishment.

Which isn't to say that stewarding is a matter of opinion under any system: whatever instant reactions and gut instincts the stewards may have regarding a potential incident, they put those feelings aside and use the wealth of telemetry, on-board cameras, and circuit video feeds to form the basis of any judgements made.

In terms of improving the show without increasing anyone's budget or responsibilities, having the stewards take a step back from policing driving standards is a positive step. With the drivers less concerned about hard racing leading to reprimands or penalties we are likely to see closer, harder fighting between similarly matched cars, assuming of course that 2015's aero lets cars get close enough to fight.

It does, however, render somewhat pointless (pun not intended) the penalty points system introduced by the FIA over the 2013/4 winter, a concept that was designed to improve driving standards on track in light of consistent, dangerous, and seemingly deliberate mistakes repeated ad infinitum by certain drivers since long before their arrival in Formula One.

By Kate Walker

Kate Walker is a senior F1 writer for Crash.net. A member of the F1 travelling circus since 2010, she keeps an eye on the behind the scenes wheeling and dealing that makes Formula One a political melodrama.



Tagged as: penalties , stewards

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
06.04.2014- Race, 21 crash, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX), Sauber F1 Team C33
Andre Lotterer - Caterham F1
Andre Lotterer - Caterham F1
Youngest F1 drivers Infographic [credit: Crash.net]
27.07.2014- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
27.07.2014- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
27.07.2014- Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10
27.07.2014- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10
27.07.2014- Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10
27.07.2014- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
27.07.2014- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
27.07.2014- Race, Crash, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
27.07.2014- Race, The Safety car on the track
27.07.2014- Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36
27.07.2014- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10 leads Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
27.07.2014- Race, Crash, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07 and Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
27.07.2014- Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10
27.07.2014- Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


CallMeMrCynical

June 20, 2014 12:45 PM

I just don’t understand why the teams don’t adopt simpler ways to spend money Cut live telemetry, that will save sending loads of Monkeys around the world and in the pits to sitting on computer screens. The bye product of this is that it will hand back to the drivers decisions that they should be making in the car, so now a thinking driver will have an advantage, I always get a bit sadder when I hear an ex world champion radioing the team and asking what he should do about his understeer. Cut the use of chemicals, sorry I meant to say fuel. Use actual pump fuel available to the public (not as described by the MSA) Drastically reduce the aero down-force numbers do it simply by mandating a single element front wing and get rid of those hideous stacks. They could also mandate that the edges are not sharp so it reduces the number of punctures caused by collisions. Lock Bernie away and distribute the money to the teams in a more open way. (perhaps Bavaria is on it's way to do this)

Taz

June 20, 2014 2:56 PM

@CallMeMrCynical Great suggestions, suspect you'd do a much better job that than idiot Todt, the less said about Bernie the better. He's destroying the sport. Double points later in the season may lose it a lot of fans.



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.