Links: the FIA line on Ferrari ‘bias’

Alan Donnelly inadvertently reveals FIA?s Ferrari bias – “Alan Donnelly?s own ??proof?? that the FIA is not biased in favour of Ferrari actually appears to support of the conspiracy theory. It is clear that, according to the letter of the rules, Kimi Raikkonen should have started the race from the back of the grid. As it was, with just the drive-through penalty he never fell lower than 6th before crashing into Adrian Sutil.”

Ecclestone on phone about Canada axe – “With levels of Canadian government subsequently vowing to step in, chief race backer Tremblay revealed he has spoken with Ecclestone about scheduling a meeting. “If he’s phoning us, it’s because he has an interest to hold the Grand Prix in Montreal in 2009.”

Webber denies Lewis kill claim – “When pit lane reporter Holly Samos got to Webber just before he climbed aboard his Red Bull, the Australian came straight to the point. He wanted to deny a quote attributed to him in a British newspaper this morning which read: ‘He’ll kill someone – Lewis Hamilton’s style is too dangerous says Mark Webber’. Reading the actual quote, Webber had been critical of Hamilton’s driving. But he had been expressing concern about cars touching during a first lap scramble. He was referring to the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in 2000 when a flying wheel from a Jordan killed a marshal (who had actually been standing in the wrong place in order to get a closer view of the action). At no point had Webber used the word ‘kill’ or come close to the interpretation chosen by the British tabloid. Webber had introduced the Monza incident to the conversation but he was angry that his words had been taken out of context.”

Villeneuve: Kubica deserves title most – “The one who really deserves it now is Kubica. He has not been in as good a car as either Felipe or Lewis yet he has produced a season without mistakes.” A decent comment from Villeneuve I think, who of course lost his BMW seat to Kubica in 2006.

FIA Stewards Parking – All hail Sniff Petrol.

More restrictions coming on testing – “The Formula 1 team principals met yesterday in Shanghai to discuss sporting rules which would help to cut costs in F1. The principal decision appears to have been to further reduce testing so that teams do just 20,000km next year. It seems that, after the winter testing programmes, the teams have now agreed to run only one car at every test. This means that there is now no need for F1 test drivers”

FIA seeks clarification of French GP status – “Since yesterday there has been widespread condemnation of the way in which the FFSA has handled the situation.”

Drivers call for steward system overhaul – Mark Webber: “[Sebastien Bourdais' penalty] is a real shock for everyone. We are on the racing track and racing around Turn 1. The trajectory is different which is what made the speed difference so high. Bourdais had gone around the corner the best he can given the compromise line he has had going into there, as you do in Singapore, it is tight on the way in, as it is in Melbourne. You are pinched onto the apex and the guys are coming from a higher line so will have a different trajectory and speed.”

Opinion: what F1 has in common with pro wrestling – Is F1 turning into WWE? If you enjoyed the Brits on Pole team’s last article for F1 Fanatic (Ten ways to get an F1 drive parts one, two and three), make sure you read this.

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6 comments on Links: the FIA line on Ferrari ‘bias’

  1. Oliver said on 18th October 2008, 20:41

    About that Alan Donnelly article, I think in a one or two of my previous posts elsewhere on this forum, I did mention the funny way in which these time drive through penalties are served when it comes to Ferrari.
    As you would have noticed, when Kimi got that drive through, it came quite late in the race, for an infringement that occurred even before the race started. He was well ahead in the race even if not leading, and he came back after serving his penalty, and had lost probably only one position if any.
    When ever a Mclaren supposedly commits and infringement the penalty is almost immediate, depriving the Mclaren drivers any possibility of making much track progress.
    This almost makes me believe, it was why Rosberg was not called in to serve his penalty on time, during the Singapore race, in order to minimize the effect of the penalty and deprive the Mclaren of Hamilton of some points.

  2. John Spencer said on 18th October 2008, 23:29

    Also about the Donnelly article – I haven’t seen the original article in Gazzetta dello Sport, but Donnelly successfully comes across as a feckless, pompous fool. His first tactic is to rubbish critics by calling their criticisms, uh, ‘rubbish’. Then he uses a completely false argument: If the FIA or stewards are biased against Ferrari, then they wouldn’t give them any penalties at all, ever. But because they gave Kimi a penalty at Monaco, they can’t be biased. The link you put in explains how Raikkonnen was incorrectly given a lenient punishment, but in any case Donnelly is unsuccessfully attacking a straw man. Nobody has ever said Ferrari go unpunished. The criticism is that there is a bias in favour of Ferrari, so that they will receive disproportionally fewer (or their rivals disproportionately more) penalties relative to offences committed.

    He also claims there are not ‘too many’ penalties issued, because in 16 races in 2008 there were 35 from “changing of engines, gearboxes or exceeding the pit lane speed limit” and 34 from on-track incidents. Firstly, that’s a bizarre way to categorize the penalties. Why is the driver error of speeding in the pit lane grouped with mechanical penalties and not other driver responsible errors? What is clear is that most penalties are given for driver inflicted infringements, not mechanical or team related infringements. But the statistic itself is meaningless. What we need to know is how many penalties for driver behaviour were handed out this year compared to previous years. Donnelly just blandly says he doesn’t think it’s a high percentage – it’s actually more than 4 per race – and that the stewards analyse more cases that are not punished, without specifying a proportion. I don’t remember a single instance where the ‘driver under investigation’ graphic appearing on screen has not been followed by a penalty.

    The more this guy opens his mouth, the more astonishing his arrogance and ignorance becomes. He simply can’t help putting his foot in it. He says they now have a second screen so they can watch footage again from different angles. This is astoundingly, mind-bendingly incomprehensible. It confirms what a lot of people have long assumed – that the stewards were just watching TV like the rest of us, and only punish someone if they see something happening. Hence the lack of penalties for back marker incidents this year.

    It gets worse. In trying to boast about how quickly they now make decisions, Donnelly proclaims that at Fuji ‘we decided immediately’ to penalise Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa. Without reviewing the evidence, in other words.

    And then he goes from explaining that they had to talk to both Bourdais and Massa about their incident at Fuji after the race (why?), that the decisions are always well thought out. If the steward’s thinking is as muddled as the nonsense spouted by Donnelly in his own defence, he’s sinking his own ship.

    His witlessness plumbs even further depths when he attempts to dismiss suggestions that stewards should be ex-drivers. First he says that drivers who haven’t been in a race for 10 years would be no good, because racing has changed. But in the next breath, he’s crowing about the stewards who have 25 year’s experience – of just watching grands prix.

    Who is this guy anyway? Only the three race stewards ever sign a penalty notice, so Donnelly never has to be held responsible for anything. It’s easy to understand why we so hear so little from FIA representatives and the stewards. It’s because they are – in Max Moseley’s own phrase – certifiable half-wits.

  3. I don’t remember a single instance where the ‘driver under investigation’ graphic appearing on screen has not been followed by a penalty.

    I have been meaning to ask if there were any cases of this because I can’t remember any either.

    Words mean nothing, the FIA must release their reason for decisions and the evidence they used to come to that conclusion. That is the only way to prove the conspiracy theorists wrong and ensure a fair application of the rules to all.

    But they won’t. Or can’t. Either way it’s ruining this year’s championship.

  4. Oliver said on 19th October 2008, 13:12

    @John Spencer:-
    I saw that contradiction, but forgot to mention it. Its clear the number of mad men in high places in this sport is not fully appreciated.

  5. MadMax said on 20th October 2008, 9:01

    At last the drivers have woken up to the silliness of the FIA penalties. Why have they taken so long about it? Has it taken the Bourdais penalty to make them see what the fans have seen all year? (You also notice this hasn’t come from their official spokesman, so Bernie and Max will just ignore it as usual…..)
    Although I can also see that there are so many petty jealousies concerning McLaren and Hammy this year that the drivers would have to wait for an ‘innocent’ head to be chopped before they could even mention it. And McLaren themselves cannot say anything at all for fear of getting even harsher penalties and complete disrespect from the rest of the paddock…..(if they don’t have that already).
    I am also concerned about the loyalty of FOTA to the actual teams, considering it was born in Marinello and the head is Luca Montezuma (or whatever he’s called), and both Max and Bernie were there, I don’t see it as any more than another way to keep the teams in order as the FIA and FOM push through the various changes and increased fees necessary to keep the Max and Bernie Show in existance and lining their pockets. (In recent comments from Max, he has called it a ‘show’).
    For FOTA to be as rebellious as the press believe, it ought to be headed by McLaren, Toyota or BMW, and only to have contact with the FIA and FOM at the races, or official meetings.

  6. Maybe the illuminati is Ferrari.

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