Protest threat causes Canadian GP pit walk cancellation

F1 Fanatic round-up

Paul di Resta, Force India, Montreal, 2011In the round-up: The Canadian Grand Prix organisers cancel the Thursday pit walk due to the threat of protests.

Links

Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

With regret, the Grand Prix du Canada announced the cancellation of its 2012 ‘open doors’ day (Circuit Gilles Villeneuve)

“Following a serious examination of the situation, made necessary by public disruption threats and the difficulty to measure their precise validity, the organizers came to the conclusion that it is necessary to restrain the access to Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve and precisely the F1 pit lane, on the day preceding the first sessions on track.”

Shirleenriffe via Twitter

“I’ve been waiting seven months for this and it’s cancelled because of some stupid kids.”

LeonaClements via Twitter

“No pit walk on Thursday not impressed, first F1 race for us and my son’s 16th birthday.”

Red Bull: Floor Hole Legality (ScarbsF1)

“This case had the potential to be a far larger and messier affair. With F1 having an entertaining season so far, perhaps its best that the saga has ended quickly and quietly.”

Red Bull plays down floor ruling (Autosport)

Helmut Marko: “We had not planned to use this floor in Montreal anyway. We had prepared a different configuration using a flat version of the floor. Therefore we do not need to modify the cars in Canada.”

Former F1 driver and Le Mans champion Roy Salvadori dies at 90 (AutoWeek)

“The 1959 Le Mans winner and former Grand Prix driver Roy Salvadori passed away on Sunday, at the age of 90.”

In Pursuit of Speed (1TrueFormula)

“My passion for F1 is not going to diminish in the slightest simply because there isn?t an 8-wheeled or turbojet-powered car amongst the pack. However, if a series emerged that gave free-rein to designers and engineers to create the fastest machines that they could, strap a driver to it and send it blistering around a circuit I would be track-side in a heartbeat; cheering for the frontrunners of innovation, creativity and the unbridled pursuit of speed!”

Crowds brave weather as Dublin streets become F1 track (Irish Examiner)

“An estimated 110,000 people attended the Bavaria City Racing Dublin motorsport demonstration today, despite an unseasonably cold downpour.”

Grand Prix fan in pole position for F1 career (Oxford Mail)

“His dream is to become a Formula 1 engineer and this month he will find out whether he has successfully won an apprenticeship with the Lotus F1 Team in Enstone.”

Comment of the day

The question of whether Red Bull should be punished after the FIA decided their floor design does not comply with the rules provoked some very different views:

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 interpretations and come with a different ruling when they have come to another insight.
MarcusAurelius

The car broke the technical regulations, which was the reason that Hamilton was disqualified from Spanish Grand Prix 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.
Andrew81

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77 comments on Protest threat causes Canadian GP pit walk cancellation

  1. sato113 (@sato113) said on 4th June 2012, 0:08

    so what happened in the indy race eventually? did they get the race restarted?

  2. Mike (@mike) said on 4th June 2012, 0:12

    Did the Bahrain pitwalk go ahead?

  3. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 4th June 2012, 0:36

    Failure to enforce the technical rules does not make it legal and does not change the fact that they won with an illegal car.

    It was legal when it was raced. The car was approved 3 times by the FIA. Now they say it’s illegal, they cannot go backwards and change the whole story. Hamilton was penalized during the event, and so was Sauber.

    In 2007, the Ferrari had a flexible floor and the teams complained after Kimi had won at Melbourne. The design was changed, but they didn’t DSQ him, did they?. Same with the mass-damper in the Renault back in 2006, and they’ve been racing that for over a year when it was deemed illegal.

    It’s FIA’s failure, not Red Bull’s, that they decide whenever or not it’s illegal 2 months too late. It’s like you’re driving round a motorway at 50 and then, the week after you drove through there, they change the speed limit to 30. Did you broke the speed limit? no, because it was legal back then…

    • Guilherme (@guilherme) said on 4th June 2012, 1:10

      Responses very rarely make it to Coment of the Day, but that was one comment worthy of it! Very well said @fer-no65, I agree completely. The comparison with Sauber last year and Hamilton at Spain holds no water, as the FIA never had declared Sauber’s wing legal in the first place and Hamilton’s car failed scruttenering entirely (not going into the merit of whether the penalty was fair or not). At least this time the FIA is being consistent in not changing past results based on technical clarifications. They should only get their act together to come to these conclusions faster, so this whole decable would never have happened in the first place.

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 4th June 2012, 1:42

      I said it elsewhere, but it being deemed legal and actually being legal are two very different things. The rules haven’t changed- it contravened them before as it does now, so if it is illegal now (with no rule change) then it always has been. The FIA just mistakenly thought it was legal, due to being unable to correctly interpret their own rules which all the other teams correctly interpreted.

      • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 4th June 2012, 2:14

        @matt90 Think about it this way: just like everyone is innocent until proven guilty, a car is legal until proven otherwise.

        If the FIA took 2 months to realize that, then the results should stand. I’m not saying that’s okay, I’m saying it’s not Red Bull’s fault that happened. It’s FIA’s fault.

        As I said yesterday in that article, 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. They should know the rules better than anyone, and they are the ones that can really inspect each of the cars to make sure it’s completely legal.

        THAT’s the very worrying thing. That it took them 2 months to fully ban the design. That should not happen…

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 4th June 2012, 3:11

          Not at all. If I kill somebody and am never caught, or am caught and found innocent, I have still committed illegal behaviour and am guilty, regardless of how the higher powers view it. But because Red Bull were wrongly found to be legal or ‘innocent’, a punishment is unjust. In fact, in your example this is more similar to a criminal being found innocent, but later evidence causing the case to be reopened, then actively proving that the innocent verdict was wrong and the criminal was guilty all along.

          I’m certainly not saying any results should change anyway, just that there is a difference between legality and perceived legality. It really is as simple as if it doesn’t conform with the rules, a car is illegal.

          I do agree about the FIA being slow and poor though.

          • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 4th June 2012, 3:32

            @matt90 Interesting how you put it. Valid point for sure.

            Not sure I agree, but valid point indeed :P.

            I think afterall, talking like a fanboy now, FIA acted stupidly and they are taking too much time to realize when something’s legal and when it’s not. Same happened with that front ride-heigh adjustable thingy earlier this year and, well, basically the double decker diffuser, the F-duct, the whole affair with the engine maps at Silverstone last year…

            There lies the unconsistency that’s killing the sport’s credibility. It’s sad the drivers talk about how too many winners may be boring for the fans considering all this…

          • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 4th June 2012, 3:53

            Killing someone is a bit of an extreme example. It’s like – your mom first tells you that you can eat your sandwich in however way you like. And then 2 months later, she says “Actually, you know what? You have to use a knife and fork to eat your sandwich.”

            Is it then justified that she gives you a spanking because you ate with your hands 2 months ago?

          • Mads (@mads) said on 4th June 2012, 9:40

            @matt90
            If you are told by the government that you can kill someone, and then does it. Will it be fair for them to punish you for it afterwards because they change their mind two months later?
            It wasn’t that they couldn’t prove that RB had enclosed holes in the floor, but because they told them that it was okay for them to run it.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 4th June 2012, 11:51

            @raymondu999 @mads

            I fully agree with both of you that because Red Bull tried to speak to the authorities and were assured at the time that they were within the rules they don’t deserve a punishment. I’m just saying that it doesn’t change the fact that the car doesn’t comply with the rules now or then as long as it has the holes. All I’m arguing over is the point that the car wasn’t legal before.

          • Stjuuv (@stjuuv) said on 4th June 2012, 14:47

            I’d offer another analogy – you file for a construction permit for your house near a lake or something and the officials come over, take a look at the site and the plans and the applicable laws, and give you a permit for construction. You build your house there, having gotten all the necessary paperwork and live there happily.
            Now a few years later someone looks over the old permits and discovers that your house is a few feet too close to the lake, and the permit shouldn’t have been given out in the first place. In this case your house will not be demolished – it is deemed legal retroactively, and you can live there as long as you like. The only problem for you is that you cannot build a guesthouse next to your existing building that you had planned to do at some point, and that’s it.
            And so Red Bull’s car should be looked at as a retroactively legalized solution for the stages they have already run at, and they just cannot use it in the next stages as they planned to.

          • BBT (@bbt) said on 4th June 2012, 16:43

            @stjuuv That example doesn’t work in the UK, you would have to move out and take the house down. It happen to someone I know.

          • Hairs (@hairs) said on 4th June 2012, 20:14

            @Raymondu999 it’s always justified when @Matt90‘s Mum gives someone a spanking.

          • javlinsharp (@javlinsharp) said on 4th June 2012, 20:59

            The problem is interpretation of the law/rule.
            The FIA has stated…
            ““It has been argued that, as it is not explicitly stated that fully enclosed holes…”

            This means there was no rule Prohibiting the holes, and their legality was a matter of interpretation.

            This exact interpretation was performed 3x when FIA representatvies failed to deem the feature illegal during Scrutineering.

            If, indeed, FIA wants the holes to be banned, they are more than entitled to do so, but cannot penalize retroactively.

            I am no fan of RBR, but retroactive penalization would be a farse IMHO, and would do very much to destroy my opinion of F1, and support those, primarily in the US, who consider it a pile of “euro-trash hogwash”.

          • javlinsharp (@javlinsharp) said on 4th June 2012, 21:07

            @matt90
            Your analogy of murder does not hold water, because murder was illegal at the time committed. However, “enclosed holes” were not illegal at the time they were used, in fact, their legality was confirmed by 3 different judges on 3 seperate occasions.

            If FIA wants to change direction, and “clarify” at this time (as they did with Brawn GP’s super diffuser, or with Mercedes GP’s Front-Wing duct, Renault’s Mass Damper) thats is there perogative, but must not be, in IMHO, be applied retroactively.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 5th June 2012, 1:56

            @javlinsharp

            Your analogy of murder does not hold water, because murder was illegal at the time committed. However, “enclosed holes” were not illegal at the time they were used, in fact, their legality was confirmed by 3 different judges on 3 seperate occasions.

            The rules haven’t changed, if it’s illegal now, it was illegal then, just that they were falsely told it was legal when it wasn’t, as every post I’ve put here says.

          • I disagree. If we take your example of murder, say the law says you can kill a person in self defence, and say this person was going to kill you with an axe, and you shot them, then you have grounds to claim it wasn’t murder. The point being that if the law says it isn’t murder if you kill someone in self defence, then what you did was legal.
            The Red Bull car was vetted by the scrutineers, and they said it was legal.
            One factor that seems to have been overlooked is that the rules should be the same for everyone. Either everyone can use this technology, or no one can use it. The FIA has decided that now no one can use it.

      • necrodethmortem (@necrodethmortem) said on 4th June 2012, 6:52

        The holes were not illegal, they were extralegal. There can be no punishment for them until there is a rule about it and now that there is a rule, they won’t use the holes, so Red Bull will never have run a car with illegal holes.

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 4th June 2012, 11:45

          But there was a rule, which is why all the other teams knew holes were not allowed and used slots instead.

          • javlinsharp (@javlinsharp) said on 5th June 2012, 14:55

            @matt90
            Was the Brawn GP Super Diffuser illegal? In the end, no.
            Is the Merc Front DRS illegal? Here again, the answer is no.
            Did these elements provide material advantage to their creators? Probably, yes.

            It is the job of the engineers to find the creases in the rules and eck out innovative advantage, often at the risk of running afoul of the rules. Just because another team does not think of it, or takes a stricter interpretation of the rules, does not make it illegal UNTIL the FIA specifically deems it so.

            In this case, they deemed it legal 3 seperate times, and they reserve the right to change their minds, but not at the peril of those who are now, suddenly, on the wrong side of the rule.

            If the judge says there is no murder today, then indeed, there is none. When another case comes, and the decision is reversed, one cannot go back in time an penalize the previously aquitted offender.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 5th June 2012, 15:17

            The rules are the ultimate definition of legality really, and it didn’t conform with the rules. It was clearly an error to deem it legal in the first place, because it wasn’t actually legal. I never said Red Bull should be punished though.

          • javlinsharp (@javlinsharp) said on 5th June 2012, 17:05

            Agreed,
            The rules are the ultimate definition of what is legal.
            The problem is, No rule, law, or document of any other type can be explicit enough to cover each and every individual permutation, combination, intent, or interpertation. It is the role of judges to fill in the gaps where rules and circumstanes are not an exact match.

            In this case, that process was performed as required by other rules. In 3 of these instances, the legal representative did not find for illegality.

            This can mean one of only 2 things.
            1. The item is indeed illegal, but the judges screwed up
            2. The item is not illegal

            From what I read, there is no specific ban on fully enclosed holes, in the area mentioned. Rest assured, it will be added now.

            In F1 as in life, there are occasions for gray area, and Judges are required to step in and make a Judgement Call. Being Human, they mess up sometimes. This is unfortunate, but nevertheless, an occurance.

            If it is true that the holes where explicitly illegal, it is my opinion that RBR should be penalized as the FIA sees fit. In the reverse, if it is not explicit, and a Judgement is required, then RBR should comply with, and be penalized for any failure to comply.

            So, if you do not feel punishment is in-order, what is the reason behind such veiament discourse. Perhaps you suspect some kind of RBR/FIA conspirocy?

    • Girts (@girts) said on 4th June 2012, 10:11

      @fer-no65 Joe Saward has explained the situation with the RBR floor on his blog. The explanation makes sense. However, if you remove the names of the different units within the FIA structure, it reads as follows:

      The Red Bull has not been declared illegal. The FIA 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, who would rule on whether the opinion of the FIA was correct or not. If Red Bull did not agree with that, it could appeal to the FIA.

      Sounds a bit funny, doesn’t it? I understand that it is always necessary to divide responsibilities within an organisation but the current system is obviously too confusing for fans.

      I also think that Red Bull should keep the points. First, because of the reasons mentioned by you. Moreover, I also believe that changing the race results now (weeks after the races) would do more harm to the sport than if Red Bull won one or both of the titles by a ‘holes’ margin.

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 4th June 2012, 11:22

      Couldn’t agree more, if the FIA were to punish Red Bull for running what was a legal component it would put a severe dent in its reputation. The situation with Hamilton had several key differences in that it was a clearly defined regulation, and I’m fairly certain that they didn’t have previous consent from the FIA to run without enough fuel!

    • choltz (@choltz) said on 5th June 2012, 4:46

      If red bull should have their points removed, so should Alonso for both his championship years, as he drove with that fancy gadget in the front nose of his car to improve front tire ware…

      So if you think this crap should be retroactive then Alsonso has no world championships and Schumy has at least one more.

  4. icemangrins (@icemangrins) said on 4th June 2012, 1:21

    very sorry for all fans who planned their visit to Montreal this year. I also received an email from the organizers just today announcing this. The organizers should do something about the fans.

    • bjoy (@mclarenjoy) said on 4th June 2012, 19:43

      i don’t see why they just don’t make it an event that you need a ticket for? sure, some people that would attend won’t be able to go, but the people that have a ticket to the GP should be able to get in for the pit walk….

    • choltz (@choltz) said on 5th June 2012, 4:30

      Do something about the fans? This has to do with 5% of the overall people in Quebec, as that is how many people support lazy kids based on the poles and in the end only 30% of students support it.. this has nothing to do with fans, this is propaganda by a weak minority.

  5. AJ (@ajv205) said on 4th June 2012, 1:23

    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.

    • GT_Racer said on 4th June 2012, 1:33

      Has nothing to do with it been Monaco, Also Monaco wasn’t the 1st race where the hole was there, Its been there since Bahrain.

      The car at Bahrain/Spain/Monaco was fully legal, The hole was there & it passed every scrutineering check it went through.
      The reason the hole in the floor is now illegal is because the rules were clarified/changed to ban the hole.

  6. I have yet to read a single comment in favor of Red Bull losing their points that is even remotely compelling. I won’t even bother presenting the argument again, because apparently it’s a completely futile endeavor — but has anyone actually seen a good argument for punishing Red Bull for using a floor they were told by the FIA was legal?

    • Julian (@julian) said on 4th June 2012, 2:05

      but has anyone actually seen a good argument for punishing Red Bull for using a floor they were told by the FIA was legal?

      I don’t think one exists.
      Dumb the whole scenario down as much as you can and this is what you get:
      They were told it was legal so they raced it. They’ve been told it is no longer legal so they won’t race it anymore.

      It’s as clear cut as that. Red Bull didn’t break any rules or regulations so you can’t argue for them to be punished.

      • Irejag (@irejag) said on 4th June 2012, 5:34

        I agree.

        • richs said on 4th June 2012, 10:32

          More importantly there was almost no advantage to having it in the first place.
          To quote Scarbs:

          “Red Bull can now either remove the tyre squirt slot, or more likely add a simple thin slot to join it to the edge of the floor as Ferrari and Sauber have done. This will lose a small percentage of the slots efficiency, but overall the effect of the slow will still be a benefit to the cars performance. “

  7. supernicebob (@supernicebob) said on 4th June 2012, 3:18

    The news on the Canadian GP is very disappointing to read as I sit in a bar in downtown Detroit following a great day at Belle Isle for the Detroit GP. Having had my photo taken with both Franchitti and Sato and a lot of autographs I was looking forward to Thursday’s pit session in Montreal as my only and slight opportunity to get near the F1 drivers. I’m surprised that the organisers have seemingly so easily bowed to pressure from the protestors and I’m now concerned for further disruption throughout the weekend ahead.

  8. raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 4th June 2012, 3:56

    The FiA’s ineffective policing – by virtue of badly communicating what is/isn’t legal to the scrutineers – should be the punished one.

    It’s like eating a sandwich. Your mom tells you that you can eat it in whatever way you like. And then 2 months later, she says “Actually, you know what? You have to use a knife and fork to eat your sandwich.”

    Is it then justified that she gives you a spanking because you ate with your hands 2 months ago? If she does, she personally deserves a slap.

    (No Mothers Were Harmed in the Making of This Comment)

    • disgruntled said on 4th June 2012, 4:35

      especially if you start poking some holes in it; then she would really enforce the use of a knife and fork

  9. timi (@timi) said on 4th June 2012, 4:41

    Whether RBR should have been docked points or not, is just looking at a snippet of it. It’s neither here nor there.

    The much larger issue is with how inefficient the FIA are, in many regards. The RB7 was inspected 3 times. Nothing seen until monaco when suspicions arose (mainly because of the other teams, not the scrutineers).
    Do the scrutineers not know the rules? Should the rules be clearer?

    Put simply, it shouldn’t take three weeks for the FIA to notice something breaks the rules, and it shouldn’t be a further week before they prove it definitively. It’s turned into a real bloated inefficient organisation.

    I foresee sagas like this happening again and again unless either the regulations are tightened up, or the scrutineers are properly trained.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 4th June 2012, 7:05

      Bring on the F I A Scrutineering Company.

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 4th June 2012, 8:16

      In a way it is worse @timi, not just tardiness, bc. Mercedes complained, I think, already in Bahrain, or at the latest Spain, but was told it was clever interpretation, but not what that interpretation was, it seems. So it really needed the top teams to make noise in Monaco before the FIA decided to take a new look and fially give this rather obvious clarification. You are right, that’s the real issue.

  10. alexf1man (@alexf1man) said on 4th June 2012, 8:18

    Thank you for the birthday shout out! :-)

  11. montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 4th June 2012, 8:23

    The organizers of the Montreal GP are 100% right regarding the cancellation of the pitwalk. Much more is at stake here. If you want to blame someone, blame those commies,anarchists and treehuggers.

  12. Tango (@tango) said on 4th June 2012, 8:48

    So let me try to understand here. Racing in a country with huge civil unrest (with death, torture etc…) is ok safety wise. But a few left wing students and suddenly it’s oh soooo dangerous ?

  13. SempreGilles (@sempregilles) said on 4th June 2012, 8:52

    I fully agree with the 1TrueFormula article. It’s a real shame that one of the most radical cars I will see is the Brawn BGP01 with its double diffuser (which isn’t even that noticeable). But you couldn’t sell an all out quest for speed nowadays. I think you should add in something “green”. Let teams extract as much speed as they can while promoting fuel saving technology. This would have the added benefit that maybe they would develop something usable for road cars, which could attract new (manufacturer) teams to the sport.

  14. Girts (@girts) said on 4th June 2012, 9:24

    On Friday, I watched an interview with Toomas Hendrik Ilves, the president of Estonia. He’s known as a liberal but he said that referendums weren’t necessarily a good thing as the voters often express their attitude towards completely other issues than the referendum question.

    I think the same thing could be said about Canadian protests and the attempts to disrupt the F1 weekend. According to what I’ve read so far, the protesters don’t have any understanding of F1 and the protests have actually nothing to do with F1 as such. Sorry but even if I wasn’t an F1 fan, I would have zero respect towards people who make a mock of their own democratic rights.

    • Tango (@tango) said on 4th June 2012, 9:55

      From what I read, it seems to me the protests have risen recently because the government has passed a law that curbs said rights (instead of wondering what were the initial causes of protest and how to reach an agreement). Coming from a country with a strong protest culture (France), I can only support the protesters here.

      I really wonder why the organisers have cancelled the pitwalk. A bit of a knee jerk reaction. The worse that could happen is young people waving flags, banners and the eventual sit in. In one the most free country in the world, I am really baffled. The consequence is that somehow the problem is put on the shoulders of the protesters. 99% of the time, it really is best to let people protest rather than forbid it and wait for things to escalate (in our example : better a protest and some banners seen on tv on thursday, than major disruption during the race because the steam hasn’t been let off earlier).

      • strunk27 (@strunk27) said on 4th June 2012, 16:10

        @tango Well earlier this month they shut down the metro for hours by releasing a smoke bomb. I think the organizers would be concerned (I’m just assuming here) about them doing damage to the cars/teams equipment/circuit. This is the protesters only free chance at getting in so that’s what I assumed it was.

        • choltz (@choltz) said on 5th June 2012, 5:17

          Yes, smoke bombs where set off, and all of the people who did it were busted.. the worst fine.. having to move back in with his mom. Understand that his issue is a non-issue, no one cares accept for the minority.

          However I disagree that the worst would be “young people waving flags, banners and the eventual sit in.”, dude, this place was set on fire because axle rose got a sore throat. Beyond that, the treat are not the students, but the violent union groups that support them… good times in Canada.

  15. Hairs (@hairs) said on 4th June 2012, 10:07

    Massively lazy journalism from the independent there, clearly reprinting the expected figures from the press release. Under no circumstances did crowds get close to that level. For more, read http://touch.boards.ie/thread/2056363645?page=8

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