Stewards get new powers to act on driving standards

2011 F1 season

Rubens Barrichello, Michael Schumacher, Hungaroring, 2010

Rubens Barrichello, Michael Schumacher, Hungaroring, 2010

F1 race stewards have been given the power to exclude drivers from race results and suspend them from forthcoming races for improper driving under the 2011 sporting regulations published today by the FIA.

The new rules set down how drivers may defend their position and forbid “deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track”.

Among other changes the 107% rule has been reinstated and the ban on team orders dropped.

The list of penalties available to the stewards has been revised as follows:

a) A drive-through penalty. The driver must enter the pit lane and re-join the race without stopping.
b) A ten second time penalty. The driver must enter the pit lane, stop at his pit for at least ten seconds
and then re-join the race.
c) A time penalty.
d) A drop of any number of grid positions at the driver?s next Event.
e) A reprimand.
f) Exclusion from the results.
g) Suspension from the driver?s next Event.
2011 FIA Formula 1 Sporting Regulations

The rules on driving have been expanded to include the following new clauses:

20.2 Manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such as more than one change of direction to defend a position, deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are not permitted.

20.3 Drivers must use the track at all times. For the avoidance of doubt the white lines defining the track edges are considered to be part of the track but the kerbs are not.

A driver will be judged to have left the track if no part of the car remains in contact with the track.

Should a car leave the track for any reason the driver may rejoin. However, this may only be done when it is safe to do so and without gaining any advantage.

20.4 As soon as a car is caught by another car which is about to lap it during the race the driver must allow the faster driver past at the first available opportunity. If the driver who has been caught does not allow the faster driver past, waved blue flags will be shown to indicate that he must allow the following driver to overtake.

Any driver who is deemed to be ignoring the waved blue flags will be reported to the stewards of the meeting.
2011 FIA Formula 1 Sporting Regulations

The return of the ‘107% rule’ is described in article 36.3:

36.3 During Q1, any driver whose best qualifying lap exceeds 107% of the fastest time set during that session will not be allowed to take part in the race. Under exceptional circumstances however, which may include setting a suitable lap time in a free practice session, the stewards may permit the car to start the race.

Should there be more than one driver accepted in this manner, the grid order will be determined by the stewards. In either case, a competitor will not be able to appeal against the stewards decision.
2011 FIA Formula 1 Sporting Regulations

Article 39.1 has been revised and no longer includes the rule “Team orders which interfere with a race result are prohibited”.

The ‘fast lane’ of the pits is now limited at a maximum of 3.5 metres wide. A new rule has been added preventing drivers from ‘cutting in line’ when queueing to leave the pits:

Any car(s) driven to the end of the pit lane prior to the start or re-start of a practice session, or any car(s) required to stop at the pit exit during a safety car period, must form up in a line in the fast lane and leave in the order they got there unless another car is unduly delayed.
2011 FIA Formula 1 Sporting Regulations

Article 23.2 now gives the race director the power to close the pit lane:

Under exceptional circumstances the race director may ask for the pit entry to be closed during the race for safety reasons. At such times drivers may only enter the pit lane in order for essential and entirely evident repairs to be carried out to the car.
2011 FIA Formula 1 Sporting Regulations

A further new rule explains what happens should a driver fail to use both sets of dry-weather tyres as required by the rules:

If the race is suspended and cannot be re-started, thirty seconds will be added to the elapsed time of any driver who was unable to use both specifications of dry-weather tyre during the race. However, any driver who completes the race without using both specifications of dry-weather tyre will be excluded from the race results.
2011 FIA Formula 1 Sporting Regulations

Under article 28.6, gearboxes must now last for five races. However, clause (f) allows them to use a replacement gearbox without penalty the first time they need to, for this season only, except in the final race of the season.

Drivers will be given a maximum time to return to the pits at the end of qualifying and during reconnaissance laps before the start of the race. According to article 30.13 this will normally be 145% of the best time set in first or second practice.

Another new rule (article 30.19) limits how late the mechanics can work on the teams’ cars on Thursday and Friday nights during a race weekend:

No team personnel who are associated in any way with the operation of the cars are permitted within the confines of the circuit during two six hour periods which commence ten hours before the scheduled start times of P1 and P3. However, each team will be permitted four individual exceptions to the above during a Championship season.
2011 FIA Formula 1 Sporting Regulations

There are further detail changes in the full rules which you can download from the FIA?s website. Read the 2011 FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations in full (PDF)

2011 F1 rules

Browse all 2011 F1 rules articles

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80 comments on Stewards get new powers to act on driving standards

  1. Surely if the race is red flagged in dry conditions (which is unusual anyway) if some drivers have used only one compound then it’s quite unfair for them especially if they werent very far from a pit stop. Silly rule really. Should only be if the whole race has finished and someone hasn’t used both compounds

    • If this ‘silly rule’ wasn’t implemented, drivers who had pitted would be unfairly disadvantaged. And those who hadn’t pitted would be approximately 30 seconds better off than if they had.

      The rule makes complete sense to me, although I’d have thought it would be more fair to make the time penalty dependant on the circuit being raced at.

      • I can’t really agree,
        It’s the teams/drivers decision when to pit.

        I don’t think they should be compensated for any unforeseen eventuality.
        In other words, I don’t think the FIA should be compensating for what is essentially luck.
        The guys who lose out should just deal with it.

        The teams should have to take things like red flags into account when they create their strategies for the weekend.

        • I’m not sure telling them to deal with it is really the best solution.

          The 30s penalty really does put them all in the same position. Some might luck out because they were planning two extra stops or something but thats life.

          The penalty is the fairest way to do it

          • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 14th December 2010, 13:40

            Agreed. The pit stop is inevitable so why not factor it in?

          • Mike "the bike" Schumacher said on 14th December 2010, 17:41

            That penalty is the biggest load of nonsense I’ve ever heard. Shouldn’t this mean that anyone who pits under the safety car, for instance, get 30 secs extra also. Its complete rubbish.

            Next thing we’ll see teams pitting their drivers on the first lap to avoid getting caught out with red flags.

          • Daniel said on 28th December 2010, 0:45

            The fact that the pit stop is inevitable annoys me. If they didn’t mandate the use of both compounds we’d have more interesting races.

      • Andy W said on 13th December 2010, 19:05

        I agree with Jack, in the really unlikely circumstances that this would ever happen (maybe because of a huge shunt or something) then it would work out to balance out the difference between those who had and hadn’t stopped. 30 seconds is maybe a little harsh, I would have thought 25 would be fairer thou.

      • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 13th December 2010, 23:43

        It’s a great example of pre-empting a situation and making a rule change, instead of changing the regulations after an incident has happened and the damage has already been done.

      • Omar Roncal said on 14th December 2010, 19:47

        I agree, it should be an average of the pit stops of ALL the teams during the race (supposing there was a previous pit stop). I read the rules and some reminded me specific moments of last season (Such as Hamilton blocking Kubica in Malasya or the risky blocking Schum put on Barrichelo in Hungary.

    • Cacarella said on 13th December 2010, 17:00

      I Originally thought the exact same thing then tried to work out the scenario in my mind where the lead driver pits, moves down in position when returning and then the race is stopped.

      Giving a 30 second penalty to everyone who didn’t pit would probably even everything out.

      • …unless the field has run under safety car for any time before the red flag comes out – which would be fairly likely.

        • Firebreather said on 13th December 2010, 18:11

          So if a Virgin starts on soft tyres but has a puncture on lap one, then pits for hard tyres, but 10 laps later theres a big crash. Out comes the safety car and they all follow that for a while with the Virgin at the back, then its decided to stop the race. Everyone in front of the Virgin gets a 30 second penalty and the Virgin ends up winning. That doesnt seem very fair.

          • Although as Murray Walker famously used to say: “anything can happen in Formula One, and it usually does!” I think the chances of that happening are pretty remote.

          • Cacarella said on 13th December 2010, 20:07

            In the event of a big crash at lap 11 followed by a ‘following of the safety car for a while’
            I’d bet a boat load of cash that 99% of the cars would come in for fresh rubber even if they didn’t think that the race would be stopped. Wouldn’t this negate the advantage given to the Virgin that pitted during green flag conditions?

          • considering this happened at Korea it’s not as far fetched as you say. The only difference was the race was allowed to continue.

            I see this stupid FIA rule like the “you cannot overtake on the last lap when safety car pits like Monaco” then they will revoke the rule because it’s stupid.

          • DeadManWoking said on 13th December 2010, 21:32

            Because Korea was a wet race so there would have been no penalty for not using both dry tires if the race had not been restarted.

  2. polishboy808 said on 13th December 2010, 16:52

    I didn’t know spare cars were allowed…

  3. Electrolite said on 13th December 2010, 17:07

    I don’t think a lot of these rules are going to change the sport as much as a lot of people think. Like if someone ‘crowded a car’ off the edge of a track they’d usually get penalaties anyway.

  4. “deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are not permitted” is probably intended to address the situation Keith pictures, but it has some pretty major implications.

    Currently, drivers are free to push a pursuer off the road in a corner. That particular move is never penalized now. This will also go a good ways to dealing with some of the poor, and delayed stewards calls for passing off-track and gaining position or keeping it by means of going off track.

    The rule about leaving the track needs work. The lines are part of the track but the curbs are not? What can it mean that you don’t gain and advantage? I want to see if they hand out penalties if you put two wheels over the curb and the others are on it. Hockenheim is going to be interesting under these rules.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 13th December 2010, 17:53

      I think that’s the crux of the matter: is this just to stop Schumacher-on-Barrichello-at-Hungaroring style dangerous crowding?

      Or are they out to stop Kubica-on-Alonso-at-Silverstone, Raikkonen-on-Hamilton-at-Spa style crowding too?

      I’d be happy with both, to be honest. I don’t like drivers being allowed to push each other off the track at any speed.

      • I know your right, But I can’t help but suggest that today’s drivers can’t seen to work out when to lift off.

        Although it does seem consistent with FIA policy to nerf the defender as much as possible….

        • Andy W said on 13th December 2010, 19:08

          all depends on the situation, both attacker and defender can push the other car off the track in the right circumstances. Yeah more defenders will be dealt with.

          I would imagine it will take a couple of instances of this happening on track for the rule to be ironed out.

      • What was the move where Hamilton crowded someone (Webber i think) and forced him to put two wheels on the grass? I think it might have been Monza (before first Lesmo?).

        Would this have counted as a penalty under the new rules as he was forced slightly off track “deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track”, or does the entire car have to go off track as the rules now state that “a driver will be judged to have left the track if no part of the car remains in contact with the track”

      • jimscreechy said on 15th December 2010, 15:48

        Was it really necessary to introduce a rule here. I think the FIA have really gone a bit overboard becasue of a couple of specific incidents that occured this year. This is EXACTLY what happened with the team orders rule which has now sensibly been recinded.

        This is preciecly why I hate this constant changing of the rules. Too often it is a knee-jerk reaction to a particular incident, the media, or the fan base, and ends up being counter-productive.

        I am fearful of the new powers stewards have and smell catastrophe at them flexing their newly acquired power based on thier perception of events.

        The questionable decisions they made in the past 2008 & 2009 seasons saw their penalisation process questioned and their authority curtailed with new directives that brought in former F1 drivers into ‘assist’ them in making responsible decisions. Now we see them once again fully armed not just with the ability to affect the decisions of a race on a particular weekend, but subusequent races as well.

        For a band of decision makers within F1 who need no qualifications, have to adhere to any official standards, or even have to posses any on-track expertise, this sets a dangerous precedent.

        I see a season possibly fraught with serious controversey, and an enourmous potential for bias and currupt influences to operate.

    • From karting all the way up to F1, racing drivers know that you can’t expect to hang on around the outside of a corner if somebody is clearly overtaking up the inside (I presume that’s what you meant by “a pursuer” here?). I doubt there’ll be a fundamental change in that respect.

      Leaving the track – the following paragraph in the quote means that punishment will only be applied if all four wheels are outside the white lines.

  5. P5ycH0 said on 13th December 2010, 18:55

    The 107% Rule. FINALLY !!

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th December 2010, 22:27

      It won’t do much. Hispania was the only team to have any drivers outside the 107% margin this year, and that was at Monaco. The new teams are all expected to be much closer to the established teams this season. The 107% rule was only re-introduced to appease Ferrari after the Canadian Grand Prix after Alonso got held up for a moment behind a Virgin and Jenson Button took the opportunity to pass him.

  6. Maciek said on 13th December 2010, 19:13

    As soon as a car is caught by another car which is about to lap it during the race the driver must allow the faster driver past at the first available opportunity. If the driver who has been caught does not allow the faster driver past, waved blue flags will be shown

    Does this mean no more automatic blue flags?

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th December 2010, 22:25

      Yes. It’s down to the driver to judge when the best time to allow the others through is. I remember Lucas di Grassi coming out of the pits in Barcelona with a Red Bull and a Mercedes or a McLaren bearing down on him and he had to get out of the way as everyone went into the first turn together. It was actually quite a dangerous move; di Grassi would have been better off waiting until the straight after turn three, but the blue flags were shown and he had to move over straight away. It looks like the FIA is now trusting a lapped driver to move over at the earliest, safest opportunity rather than immediately.

      • But was it explicitly worded before, or just something clarified in the driver briefings (punishment for waiting more than 2 flags)?

    • Basically yes. I was wondering the same thing. There appears to be no more “passing 3 blue flags” = punishment. The flags won’t come out immediately, there is no absolute criteria as to when they will, and how many flags you pass before the stewards punish you may vary. It’s become a lot more subjective (it’s a Ferrari conspiracy I tell you). I guess it’s a half baked return to “the good old days” when lapping was deemed to be “a skill” etc.

      But then when you combine it with the new overtaking rules I wonder….

      Over taking used to be a skill… …people used to duel and battle and block… …men were men and wimps were last….

      …I guess it still is a skill in Kobayashi’s car.

  7. Andy W said on 13th December 2010, 19:14

    I just wish they had properly addressed team orders, removing the reg was a must to me but I wish they had made a few regs to govern their usage:

    Team orders must be made public, show us that respect as fans.

    Drivers and teams are to have the agreements made on when and under what circumstances team orders maybe implemented (that should take some lawyer and stats work but possible) and made public. That way fans can be aware of when they are likely.

    Team orders shouldn’t be given by the drivers engineer they should come from the team principle/ manager or whoever is on the pit wall.

    I think thats not to much ask or put into the regs, and it would make the usage of team orders a lot less contentious. Yeah there are always going to be calls that upset fans, but at least we wouldn’t be hoodwinked and lied to about it.

    • bosyber said on 14th December 2010, 11:51

      Yes, I fully agree – if we can’t ban them, at least be very open on when and from who we can expect them to happen, and make it a clear team strategy, not a “oh, by the way, we would like your team mate to be faster in this race, but he isn’t so at least make sure to let him past so he can get his points and you can have his back, and please adjust break balance” like radio message from the engineer.

  8. The thing i’m disapointed not to see is amending of the pitlane rules under the saftey car. Surley now the re-fueling issue is gone it can be closed under the Saftey car again? Creates a massive advantage for whoevers close to the pit entry when the SC’s deployed. To the point where lucky drivers can sneak a free pitstop for fresh tyres.

    Pitlane should be re-opened once the snakes full formed, then anyone that wants to pit, can, but there heading on back.

    • bosyber said on 14th December 2010, 11:55

      The race director can now close the pitlane though, whenever safety requires it, so they can sort-of-freely experiment with what works best without having to keep tinkering with the rules.

      We will have to see how well RC manages to communicate pitlane closing, but I would hope they just establish a basic convention, and if that works, they can add it to the rules afterwards.

  9. macahan said on 13th December 2010, 19:54

    Blue flag, what is the difference there from previous regulations?

    Tires, I thought this was already the case if you finish race without using both compounds but good with clearification of the 30sec addition in red flag cases, but kind silly when was the last time a dry race was red flagged and never restarted?

    The ordering of the penalties for driving standards is odd at best, but guess this is not in order they would be picked necessary more like frequency, so reprimand and suspension should be the least used?!

    Glad to see the driving standards and pit lane regulations, no more Hamilton racing a driver in the slow lane, no more Kubica jumping the queue, no more Hamilton weaving, no more Schumacher squeezing, no more Kimi-Spa style first corner gain, clear Kimi/Hamilton chicane cutting, no more Rosberg chicane cutting and blocking.

    The one rule here that I can’t understand is the mechanics work limit. Guess I’m just a bit dense this morning. “during two six hour periods which commence ten hours before the scheduled start times of P1 and P3″
    Does this mean they have 6 hours to work on the car before P1 and P3 but they can’t work any later then 10 hours before the session start?
    Or maybe it is that in the 10 hours before the P1 and P3 session they are allowed to work a maximum of 6 hours in each window?

    • DeadManWoking said on 13th December 2010, 21:16

      They have to leave the circuit 10 hours before the start of P1 or P3 and can’t return for 6 hours.

    • dyslexicbunny said on 14th December 2010, 0:15

      Maybe the mechanics rule was set up for Red Bull? I recall reading in one of the comments from somebody that their mechanics would often work hours into the night making changes.

      Or perhaps with all the pit incidents this year, they are blaming sleep deprivation and want the mechanics better rested to make sure things are safer.

      • bosyber said on 14th December 2010, 12:01

        It will also have the effect of teams being less able to do major swap-outs of aero at every FP to test them all.

        Since this only effects the big teams that can afford it, it is a sort of extra testing restriction, but geared to not hit the smaller players as hard, I suppose. Of course, if those teams develop a big upgrade package, they now do have the same problem in evaluating individual pieces though.

        But I think it is indeed set up to avoid what Red Bull was seemingly doing every race, and McLaren seemed to also start doing later in the season, with late Saturday night changes, likely intended to hide them until the last possible moment.

      • Casanova said on 14th December 2010, 14:09

        Makes sense to me – it can’t be wise to have mechanics and engineers performing functions vital to the safety of the drivers and spectators on the Sunday having worked through the night the day before.

  10. Tiomkin said on 13th December 2010, 21:03

    Why can’t they just leave the rules alone. No other ‘sport’ on the planet tinkers like this. It is impossible to compare drivers or teams from past seasons, because they aren’t racing to the same rules.

    F1 is driving me nuts. Every day another stupidity is introduced. Now cars from the lesser teams will pay the high cost of globetrotting, but will be forced to sit the race out ’cause they haven’t the cash available to the top teams. Why would any new team want to join this circus?

    • Well for a start, forget normal sports, this isn’t that, this is motorsport atheletes don’t evolve beyond recognition every ten years. The sport needs constant rule changes to keep in line with technology for a start. So that makes rule changes the nature of the sport. Secondly, the sport has been run politically and badly for ages, the rule changes currently should be to improve the rubbish regs we have at the mo. Thats happening slowly, an sometimes not correctly.

  11. F1iLike said on 13th December 2010, 21:14

    “Any car(s) driven to the end of the pit lane prior to the start or re-start of a practice session, or any car(s) required to stop at the pit exit during a safety car period, must form up in a line in the fast lane and leave in the order they got there unless another car is unduly delayed.
    2011 FIA Formula 1 Sporting Regulations”

    This doesn’t mean that a car making a faster pit stop during a race cannot overtake another car by making a faster pit stop? This is rather in response to what Robert Kubica did at Malaysian grand prix during qualifying right? And does not affect race?

    • F1iLike said on 13th December 2010, 21:15

      lol reading it again makes it pretty clear it doesn’t affect the race.. just got worried ;)

      • bosyber said on 14th December 2010, 12:04

        I think the Hamilton/Vettel pitlane race might also be targeted, although it seems there the problem is still around because “in the order they arrived” would tend to make drivers even more eager to arrive first in that line in the fast lane now they can’t try to make it a two lane race.

  12. PushTheButton said on 13th December 2010, 21:38

    If someone is suspended for the next race, is their seat taken by someone else?

    • I doubt it, I’d imagine they’d have to just sit it out.

      Can you imagine the controversy if this gets used?

      Of course… If it was in last year, Ferrari wouldn’t have liked it very much I suspect.

  13. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th December 2010, 21:50

    Well, at least the regulations make sense. My only concern is the racing might be watered-down because drivers will be keen to avoid penalties, but as the ex-drivers are still consulting with the regular stewards, I should think that we won’t be having any over-zealous rulings next year.

  14. Rob R. said on 13th December 2010, 23:12

    Without wanting to go into the team orders debate here, I must say I can’t understand why so many people were outraged about the team orders in Hockenheim because they say punishment was light, but the outrage about Schumacher’s light punishment for that extremely dangerous move (a ten place grid penalty) was seemingly very muted…..

    He should have got a race ban. Just imagine if someone had been coming out of the pits at the moment that Rubens was fored across the pit exit….

    I can only guess that under the old rules, they could only ban a driver if he had caused an actual collision.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th December 2010, 23:29

      In Schumacher’s defence, I’m willing to bet he wasn’t aware Barrichello was alongside him. I think he was moving across to defend his line and Barrichello was closer to him than he thought. That’s the problem with the HANS device and the high sides of the cockpit: the driver has a very limited range of side-to-side head movements, which mean he has a very large blind spot on either side of him (which is also why you cannot entirely blame Vettel for the Istanbul incdient). By the time Schumacher was aware Barrichello was beside him, they were already committed to the move.

      • Rob R. said on 13th December 2010, 23:44

        I’m willing to bet he wasn’t aware Barrichello was alongside him

        Okay… I’d love to believe that but I’m certainly not willing to bet that. A lot of people will swear they could see him looking in his mirrors intently.

        I agree the peripheral vision/cockpit sides can be a problem but I don’t think it was a problem in this case, I think he knew where he was and knew what he was doing.

        With Michael’s history you can see why a lot of people didn’t give him the benefit of the doubt….

        • Schumacher knew exactly what he was doing, you can see him watching his mirrors on Barrichello’s side throughout the manoeuvre, that’s why he left him just enough room. It wasn’t by chance that he didn’t run him into the wall, it was calculated, he wanted to make sure Rubens’ overalls were brown on the inside.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 14th December 2010, 4:47

          A lot of people will swear they could see him looking in his mirrors intently.

          Well, that’s impossible, because the resolution of most television monitors wouldn’t be good enough to see Schumacher’s eyes. And even if there was a television good enough to do that, the shot of the cars is too distant and Schumacher’s visor too dark to see his eyes. I have only seen one photo of a driver’s face mid-race this year, and it was a shot of Vitaly Petrov in Singapore where you could just make out his nose through the visor. The camera was so close to his face that it might as well have been in the car with him.

          • His helmet was turned to the right…

            I think arguing that Schumacher wasn’t aware, is a bit bizarre, the other end on the scale to Schumacher was trying to kill him…

            I think the middle ground lies somewhere near, Schumacher was trying to pressure him into backing off. Only Rubens didn’t. I don’t think we need conspiracies or excuses to deal with this one.

  15. I think these changes take something quite significant away from the sport and I wonder if it’s for the better.

    Macahan said:

    no more Hamilton racing a driver in the slow lane, no more Kubica jumping the queue, no more Hamilton weaving, no more Schumacher squeezing, no more Kimi-Spa style first corner gain, clear Kimi/Hamilton chicane cutting, no more Rosberg chicane cutting and blocking

    How many other rule bending ultra competitive idiosyncrasies will be lost and will it all end up with even more double standards than we have already?

    I like a good battle for position, I don’t just wanna see someone make their “one change of direction” and move to just outside one cars width away from the edge of the track before the car behind breezes past because the rules mean that the car in front can no longer defend.

    It’s bad for slower cars, it’s bad for smaller teams and it’s bad for racing.

    The new blue flag rule seems retrograde to a negative end. How long after the lights go out in Bahrain will it be before someone starts crying in the comments about Ferrari blue flag favouritism?

    • bosyber said on 14th December 2010, 12:08

      But with the blue flag, at least they don’t seem to mean an automatic “three blue flags -> penalty”, they are only waved the first time if a driver fails to let another past, not yet when the faster car is approaching the backmarker as it is now. Not so bad, I think. It actually seems a slight improvement for the backmarker.

    • Rob R. said on 14th December 2010, 21:35

      K, I don’t really have anything substantial to add to what you said but I share your concerns entirely.

      The more regulation you have the more chance there is for bad losers to whine and moan and complain until someone changes the results. We don’t want to always see the most “gentlemanly” racing. As long as no-one’s showing gratuitous disregard for someone else’s safety (like Schumacher on Barrichello), really I think the regulations should be as limited as possible. In any field, when you issue regulations of this level of detail, it’s always going to have a chilling effect on the protagonists.

      • Great racing, great competition, comes from a number of factors. Some of those factors are circumstantial, greater events or extraordinary conditions; some come from a deep primordial possession that resides in both competitors and onlookers alike.

        Those liminal expressions of competition that owe themselves to our primal existence frequently erupt in microcosmic moments where they are governed by their own innate and hyper sensitive awareness of existence. The greater the distance from such moments the easier it becomes to view them in a context, but these are the often moments we remember and revere outside of any context. The more you try to govern these moments from a distance so you marginalise their remarkable occurrence.

        No one outside a football club dictates the teams style of play, the manor in which they choose to compete. The idiosyncrasies of opponents are the challenge in themselves. Over-regulation threatens to destroy any potential for expression.

        >

        As a side note I personally don’t think Schumacher’s move on Barrichello demonstrated a gratuitous disregard for someone else’s safety. You can come to within a whisker’s breadth of death and still be perfectly safe. Schumacher, in a very controlled manor, left Barrichello such a space within which to explore himself. In my opinion.

        I don’t think the incident was any more dangerous than F1 is. Remember Barrichello could have pulled out of that move at any time, in his devotion to task he was his own persecutor. He could of withdrawn himself in a split second but chose not too.

        This is starkly different from say a dangerous tackle in football where the perpetrated often has little or no control over the event.

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