I believe that the current overtaking laws in the F1 Sporting Regulations don’t adequately cover overtaking.
The current rules in the official 2011 F1 Sporting Regulations – published on 30.06.2011 on the http://www.fia.com website state this one ruling about overtaking:
20.2 Manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such as more than one change of direction to defend a position, deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are not permitted.
Remember Schumi vs Hamilton in Monza, this was the rule that came under fire when Schumi defended Hamilton to the limits.
But strangely enough, despite all the discussions on this forum plus on the race coverage, there are no additional rules about overtaking, even Martin Brundle has tried to explain this as well. So what I find interesting is, why is it anyone gets a penalty at all? Based on which rule does a driver get penalised against when they make a dive underneath another? Or is it purely based on “sporting etiquette”, because in my mind etiquette is different depending on your individual background, experiences and even cultures. Surely there should be a more clearly defined rule about what constitutes a legal overtaking manouvre.
One of the problems has to be with track width. In India the track on F1 standards would probably be defined as very wide. Which allows the defending driver to brake a little bit more and take a wider line. At other tracks, like Susuka where the track is narrow, this couldn’t happen and Hamilton probably wouldn’t have attempted it.
I see that Ant Davidson takes the opposite line to MB and say’s that Hamilton saw what happened on the previous lap and diliberately save Kers so he could get alongside.
So at the moment from the British ex F1 drivers MB and DC are on Massa’s side and AD and JH (obviously) take the opposite view.
That’s the last thing this sport needs is more legislation and confusion. The rules are poorly written and are up to debate every other week. I think that it should be two moves across the track at wide circuits whilst one at others. I think that overtaking is too complex with all the rules and there should be some “gentleman” agreement on what not to do, e.g not pushing off the track
@rdpunk I disagree with you, there is only 1 rule about overtaking. Although it targets one specific issue, it doesn’t provide enough of a ruling to judge someone “right” or “wrong” on incidents like Massa vs Hamilton.
As for gentlemens agreements, they don’t work because, lets face it, F1 drivers are an ambitious lot and they may agree to something one day, but if the championship was up for grabs, they may just happily roll the dice and cross that line to see what happens… Schumi has done it twice in his career, he won 1 and lost 1… And not to land Schumi in hot water all by his lonesome, Prost and Senna have also crossed the “gentlemens” line to win championships.
@dragoll, I didn’t know that, I think it’s just the inconstant rulings and interpretations of that one rule makes it seem as if there is more. Your also right, gentleman agreements probably won’t work, but the theory in it is solid, less rules and make overtake how you want aslong as it’s gentleman like.
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