Mark Webber, Red Bull, Barcelona, 2012

Should Red Bull lose points over ‘illegal’ floor?

Debates and pollsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Barcelona, 2012The FIA has decided the hole in Red Bull’s floor in front of its rear wheels does not comply with the rules.

Red Bull have run the RB8 in this configuration for the last three races, of which they have won two.

Following the Monaco Grand Prix both Red Bulls (and all the other cars which finished in the top ten) were checked by FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer and passed scrutineering. The post-race technical report shows this included an inspection of the “rear bodywork area”.

However yesterday the FIA issued a new Technical Directive which stated that the hole in Red Bull’s floor is not legal:

“It has been argued that, as it is not explicitly stated that fully enclosed holes cannot be located in a surface lying on the step plane rearward of a line 450mm forward of the rear face of the cockpit template, then they may be located in such areas. We disagree with this view and consider it implicit that fully enclosed holes may not be located there.”

But if Red Bull’s car has not complied with the rules, should they be allowed to keep the points gained while their car has been running in this configuration?


At the Australian Grand Prix last year, the rear wings on both Saubers were found not to comply with the rules. They were thrown out of the results and the cars which finished behind them were promoted in the standings.

Three weeks ago at the Spanish Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton’s car was found in violation of the technical rules during qualifying, and he too was excluded from the results and had to start the race from last place.

The technical rules have to be enforced strictly, otherwise there’s no disincentive for teams to cheat and gain a performance advantage. The FIA sporting code even says that not gaining a performance advantage is no argument for breaking the technical rules.

The scale of the advantage gained is likely in the region of hundredths of a second, not tenths. But this is the margin pole positions are being won or lost by at the moment, and we all know how important that is on a track like Monaco.


Red Bull’s cars were ruled legal by the scrutineers at the races they competed in, so there are no grounds to go back and remove them from the results.

Their rival teams had the opportunity to protest against them and chose not to – despite much speculation in Monaco that McLaren, Ferrari or another of their rivals might do.

Given that, there is no reason for the FIA to change the results of the races Red Bull has won with a design which has now been ruled illegal.

I say

Red Bull can’t be blamed for pushing the FIA’s interpretation of the rules in a bid to gain every last fraction of a second of performance. That is what racing teams do.

The real question here is why have the FIA been allowing Red Bull to run their car in a specification which they now say is against the rules.

We have seen several examples of the difficulties of enforcing a written set of rules on car design in the past. But unlike past controversies such as flexible front wings, this does not involve discovering how much a wing is deforming when a car is in motion, but a rather more straightforward question of measuring a car part and deciding what constitutes a hole.

Given that, the only difference between Red Bull’s car being ruled illegal today and Sauber’s 14 months ago is the amount of time the FIA took to make its mind up.

How can it be right that a team whose cars are ruled illegal immediately after a race lose all their points, yet a team whose cars are ruled illegal a week after the race keep them?

Red Bull don’t deserve to be punished for the FIA’s ineffectual policing. But if they win the constructors’ title courtesy of the points gained at Monaco, McLaren or Ferrari may regret having passed up their chance to protest them.

You say

Should Red Bull lose the points and wins gained with their ‘illegal’ floor?

Should Red Bull lose points over their 'illegal' floor?

  • Yes, they should lose some or all of their points (43%)
  • No, they should not lose any points (55%)
  • No opinion (3%)

Total Voters: 666

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169 comments on “Should Red Bull lose points over ‘illegal’ floor?”

  1. I’m no Red Bull fan, but no they should not lose the points.

    Hopefully teams may learn to grow a pair and actually protest a rivals car in future though. The current fashion of whining to the media about other teams until the FIA intervene rather than actually protesting is pathetic. Put up or shut up.

    1. As someone involved in motorsport, I can tell you that the person who protests is always regarded as the bad guy whether they were right to do it or not. Yes, you should protest if you believe you have a valid protest to make, but first and foremost the scrutineers and technical people need to do their job correctly to begin with.

      To my mind this is not a rules clarification, it is an admission that the FIA had been doing it wrong for 3 races. A clarification is necessary when scrutineers are interpreting rules in a way contrary to how they were intended, or their interpretation is not clear. This on the other hand is the governing body saying ‘yes that seems fine’ and then having to back pedal when it is shown they are wrong.

      1. I have to say that makes sense @dvc, it is a bit like teams decided in Monaco to be loud enough with rumours they might protest to finally force the FIA to take a good look, and that finally happened. Too late by FIA, but better than late than never I suppose.

    2. xeroxpt (@)
      3rd June 2012, 14:51

      yep they should quicky resolve their problems even if this small detail on the Red Bull was certantly worth a few thousands of a second and apparently this detail on the red bull wasnt as obvious as the rule that restricts the size of the rear wings or that cars should get back to the pits by their own after qually, rule instated last year after Hamilton stopped on the back straight in Canada, that’s my opinion and the opinion of any other team that’s why they arent really bothered at all, plus Red Bull made a good case about it.

      1. xeroxpt (@)
        4th June 2012, 17:49

        I forgot to say that this floor was the same used in bahrain and Shanghai.

    3. I agree, its a normal procedure that the Fia will allow an innovation to run for a couple of races to see if there are objections to it from other teams. It’s not the sames a cheating where banned systems are used. It’s also why there are always objections to new interpetations. It’s part of the game.

    4. Agree.

      If it was deemed legal at all those events, then what happens after the races is irrelevant. They should keep the points.

      However, it’s absolutely critical for the FIA to start doing its job and not realizing something’s illegal after 3 races. How fair is it that they only revise their decision after some teams spotted something themselves that they think illegal? FIA should take care of it on it’s own, they must not wait for others to see it first. After all, THEY are the scrutineers, not the teams.

    5. Agree @lopek, first of all, I hate it when results are changed later. Must be something really important. And from ScarfsF1 I understood there was some merit (albeit little) to RBR’s argument that it was nowhere explicitly stated, that no holes could be made in this area.
      And the last thing is, honestly how big is the difference between a hole (RBR) and Ferrari having just an opening because they have a millimeter wide hairline “slit” that connects the holes to the outer edge of the floor.
      In a way its nitpicking, although I think had it been allowed, we would be starting to see all kinds of holes appearing, so a ruling was needed.

      So, indeed, no points lost, but its another nice detail of how murky the rules are in F1, that we keep seeing these kind of things appearing.

      1. Bernie should fine the FIA a couple million for not stopping them in the first time when RBR tried to run the car with big holes in the floor.
        this has always been a problem with the FIA, if they cant tell a car has been change and have no idea if it is legal or not then get rid of them.
        we shouldn’t never have a situation like this if the FIA was doing it job.
        they have to go or be replaced with someone that has bigger #!^* and sort it out before it is ever used on a track.

        1. Bernie should fine the FIA a couple of million for not stopping them in the first time when RBR tried to run the car with big holes in the floor

          They can hardly be called big holes @lethalnz , it is a minor performance upgrade probably worth a few thousands of a second. They had allowed them to run with it for the previous races as they deemed Red Bull’s interpretation of the rules complied with the rule book. This event was most likely brought on due to the threat of a protest; upon closer inspection they deemed it illegal. They merely clarified the rules, no fine is necessary.

    6. Teams shouldn’t have to protest other teams’ cars for the scrutineering process to be effective: the FIA should do their job and stop flip-flopping about. Teams need to have confidence that as they toe the line and play within FIA regulations, other teams are doing the same – rather than having to worry about whether some other team is obtaining an illegal advantage that will give them points which are allowed to remain even after the illegality is discovered and declared so.

    7. Agreed! TO begin, it is quoted: “Following the Monaco Grand Prix both Red Bulls (and all the other cars which finished in the top ten) were checked by FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer and passed scrutineering.”
      This is then followed with: “However yesterday the FIA issued a new Technical Directive which stated that the hole in Red Bull’s floor is not legal”…therefore, per legal ruling, there should be NO points deducted from Red Bull’s team! Legality does ‘rule’, thus points should remain as standing, and the corrections should now be made to any vehicle that may not ‘pass’ this newly initiated Technical Directive.

  2. McLaren lost points (constructors) for “spygate” in 2007, Sauber lost points (drivers and constructors, when it should’ve just been constructors) for the rear wing issue you described, so why shouldn’t Red Bull lose their constructors points?

    1. I don’t believe you should ever lose only drivers or constructors points. It takes a team of people to run a car, and the drivers know that. Sometimes it is the driver’s error that loses points, sometimes it is the rest of the team’s. A technical mistake that takes a car outside the regulations is no different to failing to screw the wheel on correctly in this respect.

      1. It’s not a technical ‘mistake’ though is it? It’s a performance advantage.

        Don’t get me wrong.. I think Red Bull should keep the points, but only because the FIA clowns didn’t know the rule book when they were validating the legality of the car.

        1. It’s a mistake in the sense that they didn’t interpret the rules correctly. All I’m trying to say here is that just because it is the engineer who is in error doesn’t mean it’s ok to keep driver’s points.

    2. ” so why shouldn’t Red Bull lose their constructors points?”

      Because Mclaren didn’t loose points for there later deemed illegal front wing last year or starter hole. Nor did Mercedes relating to a similar problem found with the starter hole. It happens all the time around grey areas.
      Sauber was black and white though and shouldn’t really be compared.

      For the record I was pretty mad about RBR legal but really illegal hole last week, I posted last Sunday, but I don’t think they should lose points due to the incompetence of the FIA.

      I have no reason not to believe Horner saying they had a letter saying it was legal so why should they lose points. I am glad that they have tighten the rules on this area and it is ‘now’ illegal, so change it and that should be the end of it.

      1. Re: starter Hole

        It was 2010 they had to make changes, it was then further cleared up in the rules for 2011

      2. Front wing didn’t lose Mclaren points, didn’t they run it in the European GP?

      3. I’m sure the sauber illegal rear wing was due to a manufacturing defect and not an illegal design?

  3. Their car was declared legal just after the race, and then the fia declared them illegal: at the time of racing, they were legal. therefore, a loss of points isnt necessary

    1. And that should be the end of that.

    2. The rules were the same, the cars were the same, so how can whether they were illegal or not (which is presumably meant to be a function only of the car and the rules, not of other things like the name of the team or the time of day) change?

      1. which is presumably meant to be a function only of the car and the rules, not of other things like the name of the team or the time of day

        Greatly put.

      2. peoples opinions change; the design was clearly borderline, but the FiA can’t blame the team for running the part, as it is a competitive, ruthless sport. And, if the stewards decided that the floor was legal in the last 3 races, then no penalty can be given.
        It’s as clear cut as that

        1. If we have rules A, and a car with specifications B, the question is whether A is numerically identical to B. During the weekend it was found that A did indeed equal B, yet now it is believed that it is not. Hence, Red Bull should lose points.

          I agree that this fiasco is primarily down to the FIA’s incompetence in letting the cars race in the first place. Yet if Red Bull are to keep their points, on what grounds can Sauber’s situation be justified? The reason why people find that Red Bull should not lose points is because it did not give them a significant advantage – if the floor gave them a second a lap and it was found to be illegal after the race, I would argue that most people would find a penalty to be justified.

          The validity of a ruling does not change with the judge. I can see the argument that the FIA found the cars to be legal in the first place, but I am not aware of a rule saying that a car entered into an event cannot be found illegal after the event, even if the characteristics of a car have not changed. @keithcollantine, would you be able to clarify this?

          I am the first to raise my hand and to say that a lack of such a rule is ridiculous (if indeed such a rule does not exist), but just as taking points away from Red Bull might seem unfair, so was penalising Sauber last year.

    3. I agree, I don’t see how a points deduction could be made fairly and in proportion to the offence. I do see how people become frustrated at inconsistent stewarding of the races and technical regs. I think Saubers punishment last year was fair, i think LH’s punishment was harsh but these are all individual seperate incidents. If Christian has a document containing expressed consent for that design, and now through various pit lane discussions it has been decided by Charlie that it is in fact an incorrect interpretation then I think the best course forward is to do what they are doing. Change the design with no retrospective punishment. One thing that most of us have agreed time and time before is that we hate it when stewards change race results, I know some people argue that perhaps some WCC points could be deducted, but i don’t see the validity in it. I have read all the various articles written about this design, and in making up my own mind this is simply a technical infringement at a technical level i.e. I can’t see how there was any real tangible performance benefit. (but i make no claims to be an aero engineer, it’s simply my 2 pennys worth!)

  4. I think this amounts to a rule change/clarification during the season. The points should be kept by the team, as the scrutineers passed the cars, but they will no longer be legal for subsequent races. This has often happened in the past where, e.g., driver aids and other innovations have been introduced, run for a race or two, then banned.

    1. sid_prasher (@)
      3rd June 2012, 15:01

      I agree. This is my view as well. A clarification on the rule which now onwards makes the floor illegal.

    2. I agree; the most recent case of this kind that I can think of is Renault’s mass damper of 2005/6. Scrutineers from the end of 2005 up until the middle of 2006 declared them to be legal, but ultimately the FIA banned them from mid-2006 onwards. Renault weren’t retrospectively punished for the races where they had run the mass damper because it had been declared legal by the scrutineers up to that point.

  5. I think I would say yes, they should lose all their points – if it wasn’t at Monaco. If it was somewhere like Catalunya or Sepang then I might kick up more of a fuss.

    What annoys me is, like Keith highlights in the article, the inconsistency in how they have deal with such situations i.e Sauber in Melbourne ’11.

  6. I fail to see how this is not an open and shut case. Red Bull broke the rules. If a team races an illegal car, they are disqualified from the race results. If they race 3 races with an illegal car, they are disqulified from those 3 races. As Keith mentioned in the article, the prescedent was set with Sauber last year, and many other teams in the past, or did the FIA come down with a case of weak backbone when it came to disqualifying a large team?

    1. But it was legal fro the duration of the race; the floor was passed by the scrutineers after the race, and was only declared illegal a few days after the race.

      1. Was Sauber not declared legal during scrutineering?

        1. Was Sauber not declared legal during scrutineering?

          @matt90 No. Could be wrong on this one but Sauber was declared illegal at the race event, scrutineering after the race wasn’t it? Anyway it was not declared legal.

      2. Also, it wasn’t legal- it doesn’t conform with the current unchanged rules, so it didn’t conform before and was therefore illegal. It was however deemed legal (incorrectly) and that is enough that they avoid punishment.

    2. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
      3rd June 2012, 12:22

      Indeed, however the point is in Sauber’s case the wing was illegal when they raced it and not only from Malaysia onwards, whereas in the Red Bull case it was legal in Monaco and before and is only illegal from Canada.

      It is therefore tantamont to a mid-season rule change and the results of these cannot be applied post event.

      Therefore Red Bull have done nothing wrong and they should not lose their points.

      1. But the rules havent changed so if its illegal now it was illegal then. I voted red bull should lose their points, but what I really meant is they should HAVE LOST their points.

    3. The car was not deemed illegal at the events in question. Why Lin1876 do you and so many others fail to understand this? The FIA would like the floor changed moving forward, end of story.

    4. You’ve made your point, and I can see where you’re coming from better than I could. I still say they should lost the points, since the car broke the rules at the three races (which have, as @matt90 said, have remained static). I’m also going to step on a land mine here and say that the technical directive overrules the Stewards because of the time allowed to discuss the ruling. That’s how I see it, you’re welcome to disagree.

      1. Lin1876 you have a point, the technical directive is THE rules, but the stewards run the weekends. Charlie Whiting was seen up to an hr prior to the race still in conversation with Christian Horner, the fact that the FIA allowed this floor to pass in 2 previous races shows ( as alot of ppl have stated ) that there is either in flaw in FIA ruling or a misunderstanding of the regs. I think the issue was highlighted as other teams disputed the holes and brought this area further scrutiny and therefore further ruling. I at no point believe this was favourtism.

        1. Another football analogy might help here. If the referee doesn’t see a handball that leads to a goal then that’s just luck. The game ends when the whistle blows. In F1 the race ends at the completion of the scrutineering procedures, at least for technical compliance. Issues surrounding spying or whatever are a different case.

      2. The Saubers failed post race scrutineering

        1. +1

          That is what I though, I wish people was stop mentioning it, totally different circumstances.

  7. The FIA accepted the floor for 3 races, confirmed to the team they were ok with it, so no, RBR shouldn’t lose points. The rule has now been clarified with a Technical Directive which makes the hole illegal as of now.

  8. Why do people (including the FIA) think that Red Bull are above the rules? It’s ridiculous. What gets me is the inconsistency of punishment. Hamilton runs out of fuel and gets totally disqualified from qualifying but when Maldonado uses his car as a weapon it’s only a ten place penalty. Meanwhile Red Bull can go racing in an illegal car with no real punishment whatsoever. In honestly makes you lose faith in Formula 1.

    1. Hamilton runs out of fuel and gets totally disqualified from qualifying … meanwhile Red Bull can go racing in an illegal car with no real punishment whatsoever

      Well, for starters, Hamilton was prosecuted under the sporting regulations, while Red Bull was in violation of the technical regulations. These are two entirely different documents that dictate entirely different things, and have no bearing on one another.

      when Maldonado uses his car as a weapon it’s only a ten place penalty

      If you’re referring to the incident in Monaco, that was never proven to be deliberate. If your only evidence is that Maldonado was off the racing line when he hit Perez, then by your logic, Lewis Hamilton deliberately crashed into Jenson Button in Canada last year – when they reviewed the incident, the stewards stated that they were satisfied that Button had not deviated from the racing line that he or any other driver had used, which means Hamilton was off the racing line when he hit Button. Therefore, it must have been deliberate.

      1. @prisoner-monkeys

        Hamilton was prosecuted under the sporting regulations

        No he wasn’t, Hamilton was excluded under the technical regulations, as was explained here at the time:

        Hamilton penalty hands Maldonado first pole position

        1. The rule McLaren broke was clear as night and day. However the punishment didnt fit the crime, Hamilton made it into Q3 fair and square, and therefore should only have been excluded from Q3 results!
          Red Bull’s car has passed a number of times, its not their problem that the FIA have changed their mind. Red Bull now have to change the car. What, are Red Bull going to change it when the FIA deems it legal?
          End of story!

          1. However the punishment didnt fit the crime, Hamilton made it into Q3 fair and square, and therefore should only have been excluded from Q3 results!

            Hamilton’s case wasn’t simply a situation where the stewards looked at the rules and decided on a punishment. I believe the rule is quite clear as to the punishment that will be given. It’s a harsh rule, but it’s one designed to stop teams exploiting it. What would you say if, for example, a Force India made it to Q3 with an underfuelled car, but then did not set a lap time and was calssified tenth?

    2. I would say watching your favourite team make a meal out of your favourite driver’s chances is the cause of your loss of faith.

      1. @dragon Burned! Good post!

  9. They were told they were legal and now because of complaints they have to change it. Martin Whitmarsh said on Tv they were told it was a clever interpretation of the rules by the FIA.

    It’s interesting that now they are the second team to win a race it looks bad and they are worried red bull might pull away agin so they get penalised.

    But that’s just my view! I don’t expect many will agree with me as there are plenty of people who accuse red bull of cheating in every race!

    1. Actually, I do agree. It’s FIA’s way of making sure that RedBull don’t pull ahead of the pack and ruin the championship

  10. I know the following comment is an immature attitude to take, but it feels like certain other teams would face a points deduction before even batting an eyelid. While this probably isn’t true, this is the impression the FIA has given by it’s inconstancy and recent overly harsh punishments.

    1. If it was McLaren, they would have lost point. That is 100%.

      Having said that, I don’t think Red Bull should lose points as their cars were deemed legal. This is yet another cock up by the FIA but it is nothing to do with Red Bull. They checked if they could race legally with the holes in place and were told they could.

      1. @petebaldwin

        If it was McLaren, they would have lost point. That is 100%.

        No you are wrong. Mclaren have twice raced with a later deemed illegal car and have kept their points, and I am a Mclaren fan, which is why I know (the details).

  11. Wow, 50/50!
    I think they should get about a 50 constructor point penalty, but the driver’s points should stay as is.

    1. Why? If an advantage was gained, then it was gained by the drivers. If Hamilton had to pay for his team’s error, when the mistake probably had no bearing on the fact he qualified in first place, then why should Webber and Vettel benefit from a clear performance advantage over three races?

      Just how incompetent are FIA and its technical staff? How many weeks/months do they need to decided if a clearly visible design element is an infringement or not? Do they work 20 minutes a day? The latitude they have makes me think, very cynically, that space is simply given for bargaining between the teams, they are the ones who ultimately decide. In this case there was a behind-the-scenes agreement that Red Bull would drop their design solution but without punishment from FIA. If so, I just wonder what McLaren’s management are up to, because they’re draining points everywhere, allowing an illegal solution to go unchallenged for 2-3 races , winning two of them, while their own driver is punished over a technicality that had no real influence on the championship.

  12. If Red Bull lost points, principle of legal certeinty would be breached, because Red Bull believed, that holes were legal and FIA didn’t ban them.

    1. Every team that has ever lost points in F1 could have trotted out this excuse. That has not stopped it happening in the past.

      1. It’s nothing to do with excuses, it’s interpretation. That is why they asked for clarification.

        1. This is not an interpretation. This is a mendacious attempt to ignore the rules. There is no way that a floor with a hole in it is impervious.

    2. Exactly, their interpretation was such that it deemed holes legal. While in the case of Sauber in 2011, they just made something which clearly didn’t comply, furthermore, there were no interpretations which would make their case valid. And thus they lost their points.

  13. No, they shouldn’t lose any points.

    The have have been found legal on several occasions an have probably even asked the FIA to look into this desging with an okay as the outcome.

    To rule it illegal now is more a FIA problem than a Red Bull problem. The FIA should have stated it clear when this design was presented to them the first time.
    But they have the right to be advised on other interpretaions and come with a different ruling when they have come to another insight.

  14. On one hand, there are no legal grounds to deduct their points now. As Keith pointed out, other teams had a chance to place a formal protest, but they didn’t use it. On the other hand, FIA showed again how inconsistent it is when enforcing rules. The be honest, after how they treated Sauber, Red Bull should be punished in the same manner. But it wasn’t. This gives a huge space for speculations about uneven treatment of the teams and for questioning FIA’s credibility as the ruling body.

  15. Following the Monaco Grand Prix both Red Bulls (and all the other cars which finished in the top ten) were checked by FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer and passed scrutineering.

    This says it all to be honest. This is not a matter of Red Bull presenting themselves with an illegal car, it’s more like a matter of interpretation. Teams have been running specs at the limit of the regulations for ages.

    This time though, I feel it’s all on the FIA not being consistent enough and not being able to correctly and efficiently pinpoint what’s legal or not and for that, no one should lose points, be it Red Bull or whoever else.

    FIA – sort your **** out for god’s sake…

    1. Agree. The teams, drivers, managers et al are questioned endlessly about what they do and why. Isn’t it about time the bureaucrats at least had to answer in a similar fashion?? Instead they closet themselves and thus leave themselves more open to wondering about what might have taken place under the table.

      And if ithis had their attention BEFORE the race, why so long to come to this conclusion?

      Millions could rest on such a decision. A club race scrutineer would’ve acted more promptly than them.

  16. The problem is the FIA has no points chart where we could discount some for every mistake they make. They would be far on the negative figures, not only in F1, also in rallying and other disciplines or motorsport.

  17. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
    3rd June 2012, 12:19

    No, for the simple reason that during those races that they won it was legal, if you wanted to argue the other way you would have infinite reasons for debate. It was legal when it raced and won so thats fine, it’s now illegal so they can’t use it at Canada simple.

    I fail to see how a change or clarification of the rules after the event when they were ruled legal is Red Bull’s fault. So they should not lose any points.

  18. This is very confusing, but I voted no for the reasons Keith stated in the article.

    If the hole was declared illegal after Bahrain, then yes, the result should have been taken off them while they were at the track. Changing history and rewriting everything that happened this year seems excessive and not right. If the FIA didn’t say no to it, Red Bull can’t be expected to take it off their car if they believe it’s giving them an advantage. I really hope things like this are dealt with as soon as they become apparent in the future, though.

  19. While I haven’t read all the comments, as far as I understand it (from Joe Saward’s blog) the foor hasn’t been declared illegal. One body of the FiA has stated that it doesn’t conform with the rules – and the others are therefore likely to agree with it – but strictly speaking, its not illegal.


  20. It was said after Lewis Hamilton’s qualifying mess up that any technical breaches would lead to a disqualification of the event. Why is it that Red Bull are allowed to keep their results when they had a breach of the technical regulations?

    1. Read the article!!!! They car was deemed legal during the events. Results retained, simple as that.

    2. Because nobody decided to protest the results. If they had, then the Red Bulls would have been disqualified, but that didn’t happen.

  21. I can’t help but think if it was anyone else they would have got stung :/

    1. You do need help, with thinking

  22. This all reminds me of the mass damper on the Renault in 06. They simply had to remove it from the car when it was no longer deemed legal, and adjust to the loss in performance.

    1. And also the situation with McLaren’s extra brake pedal a few years before that.

      I’m no Red Bull fan but I think it would be a bit harsh for them to lose points over this.

  23. Voted No.
    It is totally incorrect to remove points from last 3 races for Red Bull since after Bahrain(where they introduced this hole), the car was declared legal and hence they kept the same in Monaco and Barcelona. If FIA had declared floor illegal after Bahrain, then Red Bull for sure would have reverted their floor for further races.

  24. Under the circumstances, with no protest against the Monaco results, any points deduction would be an extrajudicial farce. I do think, though, that the Monaco results ought to have been protested (and suspect something of a stitch-up may have happened to ensure that they weren’t, for PR purposes).

  25. This is what this site said about Sauber last year:
    Both Saubers have been disqualified from the Australian Grand Prix due to a technical infringement.
    Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi therefore lose their seventh and eighth place finished in the race.
    Their upper rear wing element was found not to conform to the regulations.
    Fast forward to this year RB8 floor has been ruled not to conform to the regulations. The FIA set a precedent with the Sauber incident & must act accordingly. Whether thats to strip just the points from Monaco (when the FIA received a post race complaint) or all the points from the last 3 races.

    1. @atseridluap – were the Sauber’s previously deemed legal though? The Red Bull had Charlie’s approval and held it until after the Monaco GP; a sudden change in opinion then affecting previous results would be grossly unfair (they would be stripped of 84 hard-earned points and relegated to 5th in the constructors standings; Sauber certainly didn’t loose that much!)

      1. The fact that Red Bull would lose more if they are punished should not enter the equation. Breaking the rules is breaking the rules. Which is why Hamilton got disqualified from pole in Spain, relegating him to the back of the grid. It seemed harsh at the time, but that’s the way it is. I think it’s a sad fact that certain big teams seem to be above the rules because punishing them would cause controversy. Only McLaren stand out as the only big team that the FIA doesn’t mind creating a bit of controversy to punish.

        1. @andrew81 – Mclaren violated a clearly stated rule, which was brought on by a previous incident also involving Mclaren. Mclaren shouldn’t have sent Lewis out without enough fuel and that’s final.
          Red Bull had their car scrutinised and it was deemed legal by the FIA. It is a completely different situation to that of Hamilton, there is simply no comparison that can be made between the two events.

          1. The car was deemed legal erroneously. The rules haven’t changed and yet it is now illegal. This clarification is essentially an admittance that the scrutineers were wrong. As I have said elsewhere in these comments, inept scrutineering by the FIA does not make it legal. Both of these cases are technical infringements. In one case, the FIA threw the book at Hamilton and in the other, they inexplicably forgot what a hole was and let Red Bull win two races until the other teams made some noise.

          2. @andrew81
            But that’s regardless, and anyway, the fia scrutineers are very highly qualified (or should be), and you saying it’s inept scrutineering is just an opinion; it was deemed legal after the race, in scrutineering, so to have the team chucked out of the monaco results is ridiculous; if it was decided on the spot, then it would be a different situation.

    2. It wasn’t clearly defined in the rules, that is why at first it was deemed legal. Technical regulations and sporting regulations fall into very different categories; the technical regulations are there to be exploited by teams and often have ‘grey areas’.
      Mclaren clearly violated a rule but Red Bull had previous consent from the FIA; the two events are under a completely different set of circumstances. Mclaren were punished for a mistake on their part, Red Bull shoudn’t for a ‘mistake’ (if you can even call it that) on the FIA’s part.

      1. It was perfectly clearly defined in the rules. The rules require the floor to be impervious. Something with a hole in it isn’t impervious. The fact that the FIA managed to get this wrong for two races is astonishing, but doesn’t change the fact that this really is a very simple violation.

        1. The fact that the FIA managed to get this wrong for two races is astonishing, but doesn’t change the fact that this really is a very simple violation

          @ilanin – So why then was it deemed legal for three races? Red Bull fan or not, they shouldn’t be punished for they had clarification from the FIA of its legality: they weren’t racing illegaly so shouldn’t loose the points.

  26. If the FIA punished them for something that had been deemed legal it would be rather unfair in my opinion; punishing them for trying to extract the maximum performance from the car in an area where the rules didn’t specifically state against it would be punishing the designers for doing their job.

  27. I voted no. I am a Mclaren fan, and if I am not mistaken, at the start of the 2010 Mclaren had their diffuser, which by their own admission was borderline, deemed to have pushed past the interpreted boundaries of the rules. They did not receive any points deduction.
    I think the problem for me is that unlike the Mclaren situation this was called into question directly before a race. The team principle defiantly said that they would run with it regardless of it’s alleged illegality. The FIA should have acted before the race, as any result would always feel very tainted or
    unjust in the event of the holes being deemed illegal after the race. That being said, I think it is the fault of the FIA for not having acted swift enough.

  28. If it’s illegal now then it was illegal in Spain and Monaco and as running an illegal car results in expulsion from the championship i would suggest losing their points would be a very lenient punishment.

    1. But it passed scrutineering in Bahrain and then Spain and then Monaco, why so maxie?

  29. No, the FIA has been aware of these holes…. Come on, I mean this is really nitpicking and it’s not like they are lapping the field or anything. Sheesh. I’m just ready for lotus to win this race in Montreal.

    1. Two wins in the last 3 races since adopting the new (illegal) floor!!

      1. Yep, two wins with the new and then-legal floor. Of course, it’s now illegal so they will stop running it.

  30. Correct me if I’m wrong – I honestly can’t remember, so apologies if I am – but didn’t Kimi Ferrari win in Australia in 2007 with a car that was LATER deemed illegal – and no points were deducted. That surely is the precedent.

    1. Yes, you are right. Ferrari had a movable floor. Mclaren launched a protest against it (they knew of Ferrari’s infringement thanks to the 700 page document).

  31. No, they shouldn’t.

    Its very simple, the stewards at none of the three races found any problem, no team raised even an eyebrow for two of the three races. And didn’t even launch an official protest at the third race.

    You can’t consider Lewis’s exclusion as an example because in his case, the stewards found him guilty.

    Red Bull did what every racing team does, push the rules to the limit. The other teams and FIA missed a trick by not intervening earlier. Red Bull can’t be retro-actively penalized for other teams’ negligence. Plain and Simple.

  32. I say no. The configuration was deemed legal when they acquired those points. Besides it would cause yet more controversy and would harm the image of F1.

  33. I say No as well.

    What will be interesting is how they remove it and what effect it has. It appeared around the same weekend that Brundle said that the RBR look more planted all of a sudden. However that could just be coincidental, they will probably just cut a small slot in it to make it open and not lose too much if anything.

  34. Let Red Bull keep the points. It might not be showing consistency in light of Sauber’s and Hamilyon’s punishments, but truth is that it Red Bull clearly was allowed to race it. The teams and FIA played it very fair this time at least by allowing Red Bull to alter their car they deemed to be correct based on its allowance in the first 2 races it was used (yes Monaco was the thirth race is it was used!). With so much action going on at the tracks it would be a HUGE shame if it was messed up with politics. I’m glad sportsmanship has won this issue.

  35. Massive brain freeze after reading the ‘For’ section – Saubers failed post race scrutineering. Hamilton’s car was under fuelled and therefore illegal. There was at no point a flag from FIA clearing the cars and then banning them for a violation, which is the case with RedBull. Don’t even see where a comparison could me made with all these in consideration.

  36. xeroxpt (@)
    3rd June 2012, 14:59

    We must be realistic not picky, Red Bull had an counter argument FIA stood with the original argument they werent hasty they took long to decide, but the degree of the violation was so small that no one really cared about it and that’s why everyone is moving on.

  37. One view:

    “Yes, the election results were counted incorrectly, but we’ve decided that’s not your fault so you can keep the presidency”.

    I don’t blame Red Bull for this, and I think going back to previous incidences of questionable legality and favourable/unfavourable rulings isn’t all that helpful. My belief is that the FIA need to make a fresh start in terms of consistency, with some plain and simple, black and white decisions. When that fresh start should begin (now? Or at the start of the next season?) is debatable.

    I don’t know about everyone else, but I get a sense that Charlie Whiting cuts a formidable figure in the paddock, but his decisions seem a little bit weak and justification for them a little thin. Anyone else get this impression?

    1. Here’s another attempt at an analogy.
      Street X has a sign that says “Speed Limit: 60” on it. Everybody assumed it was 60kph, but RBR made a case for 60mph. Charlie Whiting and the stewards accepted that, and let them drive at 60mph for 3 days. A lot of other drivers were unhappy and complained – they either wanted to drive at 60mph too or for nobody to drive at that speed. The sign has now been updated to say 60kph, so everything is clear.

      Now some people want to give RedBull retroactive driving violations for exceeding the speed limit.

      1. It just seems to me that there are too many steps between the rule book, the cars on track, and the eventual ruling of legality. I feel cars are believed to be legal until someone notices otherwise. That leaves the oportunity for people to design cars in a devious way (n.b. not saying Red Bull are being devious!). “We’ll put this on the car, its legality is dubious, but by the time anyone notices it’ll be too late, and they won’t take the points away retrospectively.”

        If the rule-makers were more hard-line about it all, perhaps we wouldn’t have the validity of the results fall into question so often.

        If I were instated as the top rule-maker, I’d consider changing the way the cars are scrutinised, reducing the number of people involved in determining whether a car is legal, and having a more definitive legal vs illegal perspective, and I’d start this at the beginning of next season. Red Bull? I think I’d take away their points for every instance they used the illegal parts without being told they were legal, which (I’m guessing) would mean they’d keep the points.

        Whoever told them they were legal should have all their points taken away though, and take a ten place grid penalty.

    2. Yes, see his decision in Spa 08. Ron asked him if the overtaking was within the rules and he said “Aye”!! Then went to the stewards for reference and Massa claimed a win he did not celebrate on the podium. They wrote a new rule but still punished the offender …. Ferrari International Assistance at work.

  38. No, because the teams didn’t protest the RB8 post-race. Simple as that.

  39. If mercedes double Drs is ban after the 2 seconds a lap advantage in Canada, should they also loses all points before that ?

  40. Joe Saward explains the situation best.
    There should be no punishment / points deducted. It’s not illegal per se.
    But with this clarification, they make it clear what the possible consequences are.

    The Red Bull has not been declared illegal. The FIA Technical department has said that in its opinion the floor does not meet the rules as it interprets them. If red Bull wishes to go on using the floor they can. They would then be reported to the FIA Stewards, who would rule on whether the opinion of the FIA Technical department was correct or not. If Red Bull did not agree with that, it could appeal to the FIA International Court of Appeal.

    However, Red Bull will probably decided that it is best not to go down this path. This is an alternative way of solving problems to having protests and it is much more sensible than having the result of events left hanging in the air.


    The role of the FIA in this one is a completely different matter and shows again why I can’t give Jean Todt my vote of confidence.

    1. @verstappen It’s also more “sensible” than sticking your head in a deep fat fryer. That doesn’t make it a clever thing to do.

      I have no difficulty understanding why some people find it hard to accept the FIA calling the same design legal for one race and illegal for the next with no change in the regulations as they’re written.

      And make no mistake, what we’re talking about here is a difference between ‘legality’ and ‘illegality’, regardless of what euphemistic terms others may prefer.

      1. @keithcollantine, I fully agree with what you have written in this article and what you say in this comment. This episode is a failure by the FIA to keep track of its own rules in a timely manner (basically until the other teams decided to get more loud about it at Monaco), and it has caused inconsistency. Still, that’s a problem for all teams, not Red Bulls doing.

        Red Bull didn’t do anything wrong, they made no mistake and were told the car was legal in all the races they had that hole. Apparently they were told this in error which is pretty silly from the FIA and/or stewards (but at multiple races? ==FIA then), and it took too long to correct that. but unless they turn out to have lied about some aspect, Red Bull should not be punished for that.

        I also have to say that I really dislike results changing after the fact, and especially weeks after the fact, so that makes me even more reluctant to see Red Bull retroactively punished.

      2. I think Joe Saward means that given the choice between protesting and the possibility to have results altered, or just a clarification, the latter to me is more ‘sensible’.
        Of course, as I wrote, FIA messed up again. For a governing body which covers racing they’re waaaaaay too slow!

  41. So it was deemed legal for all the races it competed in and after a couple days the FIA changed their minds. I don’t see what the debate is about. You can’t retroactively punish someone for something that was once legal.

    1. You and your Earth logic!

  42. For me it’s an obvious No. The car passed all FIA’s investigations before the race and after the race, so their car was legal at Monaco Grand Prix.

    I’m quite amazed to see 42% answering “Yes”. McLaren fans are on the attack here :)

    1. @huhhii At the last count around 13.5% of active site members were McLaren supporters, well short of 42%.

      1. @keithcollantine I’m pretty sure not all McLaren fans have marked McLaren as their favorite team, so the stats don’t tell the whole truth.

  43. Yes, end of.

  44. blah blah blah….F1 used to be a racing series now its a facebook debate society

    1. Only the other day I was reading about the rows over the change in engine formula in 1961… the sport hasn’t changed at all.

      1. It’s more like facebook now only because it remains less hidden with many more people looking into it, I agree.

      2. Indeed. I’ve just been re-reading Christopher Hilton’s 1982 – one of the most poisonous F1 years on record – and it’s instructive to see who might have been aware of ‘water-tank-gate’ and who got protested. And who didn’t. RBR’s legality (or otherwise) needs to be divorced from the FIA’s competence (or otherwise). Scrutineers passed the cars: fact. Teams could have challenged, but didn’t. Results (and points) need to stand or we need to go back and wholesale re-write history books because smart engineers are smart. I say this not as a RBR fan (and not as a detractor) but as an F1 fan of >30 years. I’m not an engineer either – but I love it when they win one :-) The sport would be nowhere without smart folk pushing the envelope!

        1. The best part about the water-tank stuff is the way that several cars with water-cooled brakes actually got points in the 1982 Brazilian GP, since Ferrari only protested the cars that finished in front of them.

          That said, I don’t think this is really pushing the envelope, this is ignoring the rules and hoping nobody notices. Not that there’s not a long and proud history of that in F1 as well, of course.

  45. Can they not do what Mclaren got in 2007 for Spygate, and for the Hungary GP – drivers keep points but contructors were not counted?

  46. No.

    Why should team be punished for the FIA’s inability to draft unambiguous rules? The FIA need to get their act together and write clear rules, and have a team of scrutineers who are educated enough to enforce them on a consistant basis.

    FIA are making a mockery of the sport through their incompetance. First the Double diffuser, then the F-Duct, Lotus’s active ride height and now this.

    1. You’re forgetting the off-throttle blowing…

  47. i dont think that they should loose poits for this, only FIA should be blamed..but vettel should get punishment for that monaco first corner cutting overtaking…and that was poor steward decision making again

    1. If he hadn’t done that, then he would have been punished for causing a collision

  48. It’s Red Bull… The team that has moaned and bitched most of all teams. Of course they should be docked all points.

  49. They should keep their points as at the time they were treated as legal. The other teams took their sweet time scratching their old heads trying to figure out how to beat one mans thinking(Newey)… Took a total of 3 teams to come up with a way to try slow down the master. Will like to see how much difference this will make in the overall speed of that redbull.

  50. The car broke the technical regulations, which was the reason that Hamilton was disqualified from Spanish GP qualifying and the reason that Sauber were disqualified from Australia last year. Failure to enforce the technical rules does not make it legal and does not change the fact that they won with an illegal car. While the FIA has been hopelessly inept in letting this drag on for so long without clarification, Red Bull are still guilty of breaking the technical rules and should be punished in some form, considering they have won two races with this on their car.

  51. Scuderiaexxon
    3rd June 2012, 17:52

    Red Bull’s team name isn’t called McLaren nor is one of their drivers called Lewis Hamilton so their points wont be taken away :D

  52. The real problem is in requiring teams to build their own cars and then laying down far too many rules governing almost every aspect of the car, engine, gearbox, electronics, etc. What was once considered innovation is now almost always found to be a rules violation. This is really getting to be a bore. The FIA should consider creation of a spec chassis (ala Indy car racing) along with every other car component or stop trying to define every engineering aspect of F1. That teams spend millions in order to gain factions of a second is ludicrous. Finally, when was the last time we saw a real tecnological breakthrough from what is suppose to be the most advanced motor sport series ?

  53. Carl Craven
    3rd June 2012, 18:58

    Once again the big loser is F1 and those that lose the most are the fans. I get sick of this kind of ineptitude from one of the most prestigious and richest sports in the world.

    I disagree with loop holes. Finding a loop hole in the rules to outwit your competition is like finding a short cut on a track that no one else notices that enables you to gain an advantage. It’s not a judge of how great a sports person or team you, just simply how conniving you can be. Maybe they should run another title. the WCC the world conniving championship. Of course the usual teams would be vying for that no doubt.

  54. the same problem was faced by Lotus. They spent so much into reactive suspension after receiving the go-ahead from FIA, only to be deemed illegal later!

  55. Those critisising the FIA rules should realise that the regulations are written by a dozen people within the FIA (Including people who worked in F1, some with top race/title winning teams). There then looked at by hundreds of people at each team who have far more resources than the FIA & there specific job is to look for loopholes & areas to push limits.

    The FIA could have the most clearly written set of regulations ever & teams would still find loopholes & other areas to exploit. Other series with no FIA involvement in the technical regulations have similar problems.

    As to why something is legal & then suddenly demmed Illegal.
    Reason for this is usually that they see something as been legal but then other teams put forward differing interpretations & the FIA then look at the different interpretations & rule on it.

    Take the F-duct, McLaren saw it as legal (As did the FIA) but other teams had other interpretations of the rules & felt it was illegal, The FIA looked at other teams thoughts & then made a ruling & deemed it legal. Same with Double Diffusers.
    Going back further was Mclaren’s 3rd brake pedal, It was legal for a couple months untill several other teams put forward differing views & opinions, When they took a 2nd look the FIA decided it should be banned.

    Also the FIA often ban things when they see them going in a development direction they don’t like. The off throttle diffusers for instance, They were perfectly happy with the initial concept but as it developed it got to a point where it was clearly doing more than they had initially been told.

  56. If they’re going to be strict enough to take away Sauber’s points for a part being millimeters outside of the regulations, then they should be strict enough to take away Red Bull’s for this.

    1. Totally different situations though.

      The Sauber rear wing failed post race scrutineering, They ran the weekend with a wing that was clearly against the regulations. Once it failed there was no option but to disqualify them from the results.

      The Red Bull has to this point been completely legal & passed every scrutineering check its been through. Its only illegal now after the FIA clarified/changed the regulations.

  57. Didn’t read all the comments to see if this was brought up already.

    This ruling to me is no different then when a town changes the speed limit on a road from 35mph on Friday to 25mph starting that Monday. Just because you were able to go 35mph for months/years before doesn’t mean that starting that Monday you’ll be able to do it anymore. And just because it is now 25mph that doesn’t mean that you were breaking the rules last week.

    1. To use your analogy, the situation is more like this: there is a 30mph speed limit, someone goes through it at 35mph for three days but someone at the traffic police believes the limit is 35mph and it is not followed up. Then someone else finds out that employee’s mistake, should the speeder be punished?

      The rules haven’t changed, it is the FIA that has finally seen sense and realised that a hole is a hole.

  58. Absolutely not! This seems consistent with previous FIA decisions regarding regulation ‘misunderstandings’.

    McLaren brake steer – Ruled legal, but banned after protest. Points remain.
    Renault mass-damper – Ruled legal, but banned later in the season. Points remain.
    Exhaust blown diffusers – More complicated, but at Silverstone it was ruled illegal, but retrospective points deductions did not take place.

    Many people repeatedly accuse the FIA of a lack of consistency regarding decisions. to me, this seems to be one of the decisions that proves that they can be consistent. If Red Bull were told that their concept was legal, they can’t be punished for then using it!

  59. In my opinion Formula 1 like many have said before is about development and research now as much as the racing. this ‘Hole In The Floor’ is a clear example of this. why should they be deducted points for being clever and doing something that no one else did.

  60. A very rude comment, my friend.

    1. sorry, I entered in the wrong place

      1. cheers i was very confused

  61. If this was any other race they would be disqualified and points taken away. But it’s Monaco, where it’s more important to protect economic interests over integrity. The message from FOM and FIA is clear to me: you can run an illegal car at Monaco.

  62. Stripping the Bulls of their points now would be foolish, the FIA have nobody but themselves to blame for not banning it on first sight and allowing it to be used for 6 races, well done to red bull for getting the edge where no one could. The other teams have also only themselves to blame as clearly if this hole was brought to widespread attention earlier the ruling would have come earlier as well (seeing how the FIA only seems to make decisions concerning parts which are in media spotlight, who knows why?). Also if they strip them of points now surely they will strip Alonso and Renault of the points they gained while using the mass damper and also everybody else who’s innovation has been declared illegal half way through a season. Now that would be a real good story, FIA stripping people of their WDCs and giving it to other people. I’d pay to see that.

  63. Keith, you should have had a button for “penalties should be given to the FIA”.

  64. Nope. I think the difference here is that while Sauber were punished because of a measurement issue, which is either correct or not, Red Bull are being told to change their set-up based on an incorrect interpretation. The FIA have let this carry on and on and even ruled it legal at some point so while docking Red Bull a few points might make all the difference come the end of the year this really is just a poor reflection on decision making by the FIA.

  65. I think they should get about a 50 constructor point penalty, but the driver’s points should stay as is.I fail to see how this is not an open and shut case. Red Bull broke the rules, also FIA Fault Not to get thinks in order.

  66. Red Bull should lose their points as the car was illegal. Have you never heard of a re trial?. However the guilt must be shared with the FIA who frankly SUCKS!!!!

  67. They should lose their constructors points for the last three races. If the has been deemed ‘illegal’ how can they be allowed to keep the points?

    I do think that Vettel and Webber should keep their wins, however. They did the best job they could with what they had available.

    1. If the has been deemed ‘illegal’ how can they be allowed to keep the points?

      Because it was not illegal when they ran it.

      It is only illegal now because the rules have been amended to specifically ban it.

  68. I fed up with Red Bull. They are too lucky….

  69. An athlete is found to have been using performance enhancing drugs to gain an edge, the athlete is removed from the results a day later a year later. AD is know to bend the rules to gain an edge and consider it legal until told to stop, kind of like breaking the law but only guilty if caught. Take the constructor points away.

    1. Using your athlete analogy.

      What if the athlete had taken something that was fully legal at the time of the event & only became illegal a week after. Should he/she still lose the results?

      Thats whats happened here & what all those asking for Red Bull to be penalised are failing to understand.
      The hole they had in the floor was not illegal at the time they were running it, It is only illegal now because the rules have been amended to specifically ban it.

  70. An athlete is found to have been using performance enhancing drugs to gain an edge, the athlete is removed from the results a day later a year later. AN is known to bend the rules to gain an edge and consider it legal until told to stop, kind of like breaking the law but only guilty if caught. Take the constructor points away.

  71. Im failing to see why so many here seem to think Red Bull deserve to be penalised???

    They went to the FIA & got told the hole in the floor was fine so they ran it, It then passed pre/post race scrutineering checks at 3 seperate races. If it was indeed against the regulations then why were they told it was fine & why was it never flagged up by any of the race stewards?

    From everything I have seen/heard/read it seems totally clear that the hole was not against the regulations untill last week when the FIA issued the clarification, As such there is no way the team or its drivers should be retroactively punished in any way.

    I can’t help but think most of those voting yes in the polls either doesn’t fully understand whats happened or simply don’t like red bull because there fans of other teams/drivers.

  72. Take constructor points away. An athlete is found to have been using performance enhancing drugs to gain an edge, the athlete is removed from the results a day later a year later. AN is known to bend the rules to gain an edge and consider it legal until told to stop, kind of like breaking the law but only guilty if caught.

  73. Definetly an interpretation problem on this one, so it wasnt until the design was fully rule illegal that a team using that design sgould be penalised. however i can still understand why some think that points should be taken away from past races results but i don t get why only the team should suffer from the penalty. Horner and the whole team knew they were on the limit, the drivers too, i am sure if both vettel and webber said we wont drive until you sort that out because we dont want to be disqualified, the team would have come up with a less legally ambiguous design. So everybody should be penalised! the drivers are part of the team after all and their opinion is highly regarded. also they are not stupid but are trained to take limited risks both on and off the track. If they really felt in danger from loosing points they d have opened their mouth.

  74. In short, voted No. There’s a loop hole in the rules, they used it, but looking at the effect of the creation, I don’t think it’s that much in terms of pure lap time, so no. Plus similar holes have been around for a while.

  75. I think the drivers should not suffer for a technical problem or infringment caused by the team, but I allso think that it is unfair that Sauber drivers (by 2 milimeters where the wing had been declared legal before the race) and Hamilton (for one litre of fuel when he doesn’t fuel the car) were severely affected in the past and now the fia doesn’t do anything. It may be harsh, but if FIA wants to have a fair sport, they should be equal in all of their decitions and this time they should penalize Red Bull as they have done with other teams.

  76. I am not really convinced either way whether Red Bull should lose any points for having an illegal floor.

    From the way Gary Anderson described the hole in the floor on the BBC during the Monaco GP coverage I couldn’t see how Red Bull ever thought a fully enclosed hole would be legal let alone how it passed scrutineering.

    I have seen this case being compared to a few others from Sauber in Australia 2011 and Hamilton in Spain this year to the mass damper a few years ago and comparing Charlie Whiting’s advice to that from Belgian 2008 when he told McLaren that Hamilton had correctly returned the position Raikkonen and we all know what happened then.

    I think the current situation where the hole is banned but the results stand is the best for F1 and that is why the rival teams haven’t protested it, however I really hope the points aren’t decisive in either championship come the end of the season.

    The one thing that is certain is that yet again the FIA have messed up.

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