Rule for “Free Passes”
27th November 2012, 22:16 at 10:16 pm #132441
It’s obvious that many drivers can get a “free pass” on another driver. Should the FIA have a rule to prevent that?
I don’t want to go into details but we all know who passes who with zero opposition and who can’t make a pass without risking their entire race.
In view of that, should the FIA apply some rule to fix that?
I know that F1 is a level playing field but give Messi the ball and see how many people try to stop him and then check what happens when a defender has the ball? It’s the same in F1 – if you have to make 4 hard passes versus 20 easy passes, I’m sure everyone would take the 20 easy passes…27th November 2012, 22:49 at 10:49 pm #216143
I’m sure you can name all those hard passes you’re talking about…
Pre-Brazil, Vettel and Alonso had:
- 14 and 21 overtakes on the top cars (RB, Fer, McL, Lotus, Merc).
- 7 and 11 equal-tire state (no more than 5 laps fresher) overtakes on the top cars.
Can you tell me who had 14 and who had 21?
Can you tell me who had 7 and who had 11?27th November 2012, 23:02 at 11:02 pm #216144
I’m talking about a driver letting the other driver pass as if you’re signaling on the highway and passing them.27th November 2012, 23:05 at 11:05 pm #216145
remove DRS zones and you got it – no more highway passes :D27th November 2012, 23:26 at 11:26 pm #216146
That’s not the kind of pass he is talking about.27th November 2012, 23:41 at 11:41 pm #216147
You can’t regulate it. It would start getting very subjective.27th November 2012, 23:46 at 11:46 pm #216148
Team orders have been legal for some time. Ferrari are allowed to have Massa move over to let Alonso through, and Red Bull are allowed to have Webber move aside so that Vettel can pass, just so long as they don’t try and hide what they are doing. They’re not allowed to send coded messages anymore.
The real problem is Toro Rosso, because it gives Red Bull an extra two free pases, which is an unfair advantage that no other team has. Red Bull might be paying the bills for the team, but the FIA recognises them as separate constructors, independent of one another. That’s what needs to be stopped.27th November 2012, 23:50 at 11:50 pm #216149
@prisoner-monkeys hit the nail on the head. Intra-team passing is no problem, especially as team orders are now permitted. The only problem is when drivers don’t put up equal resistance to drivers from other teams, and the most obvious example of that right now is Toro Rosso letting Red Bull drivers past. I’m not sure it would be possible to regulate that without asking the stewards to make some very subjective calls on what was or was not an easy pass.28th November 2012, 0:09 at 12:09 am #216150
There’s nothing stopping Ferrari buying HRT and having an extra two cars too! FIAT F1 anyone? :P28th November 2012, 0:09 at 12:09 am #216151
I don’t think it should be regulated either. I still think F1 is a little bit overregulated anyway.
I think a driver’s own moral sense should be enough to decide the issue: it is always the case of being a true professional or not. Those who will not give it their all will not be and they will have to live with that – that they were not true racing drivers for certain moments, to paraphrase Ayrton a bit.
Michael Schumacher letting Vettel through in the dying stages of the Brazilian GP seems to gain more and more importance for me in this respect. He was my childhood idol, I was a Schumacher fan during this ‘first career’. I somehow kind of overlooked his controversial moves, probably due to not being as sensitive to my own principles earlier as I am now, but he could not got away with that one. He ruined a lot of his legacy for me by not putting up any fight. It was in stark contrast with the Michael Schumacher who bowed out of the sport in 2006 at the very same track, who fighted tooth and nail to the last corner and never gave up not one place.
Note that I am fine with team mates letting each other through as well. I am a Ferrari fan and I accepted their controversial, cruel racing philosophy a long time ago: the team comes first.28th November 2012, 0:27 at 12:27 am #216152
If a driver, like Schumacher, chooses to let another through, then there is little that can be done. It’s when teams start ordering their drivers to yield to some, but not to others in order to affect the outcome of the championship or the race, that it becomes a problem.28th November 2012, 0:28 at 12:28 am #216153
@Atticus That’s a great example – Schumacher lets Vettel through, yet double-blocks Hamilton in Monza last year or fights to the death with Kobayashi.
I don’t want to name drivers but we’ve seen so many drivers win because the entire field just gives them room to pass – they pass the first attempt, not even in the DRS zone.
Then you have other drivers that a midfield team gives them the absolute hardest time as they are about to box while the other car has new rubber and is just behind the other car because of a pit stop…28th November 2012, 1:13 at 1:13 am #216154
If the defending driver does not try to slam the attacker into a wall, the former should be punished. If the defender is persuasive enough, he should be punished for dangerous driving.
In the end any driver that is caught by another should be given a drive trough penalty. Simple and effective. No need for DRS anymore.28th November 2012, 1:23 at 1:23 am #216155
I lost an awful lot of respect for Schumacher when he did what he did on Sunday. Waving Vettel through showed complete disrespect to the sport and to Ferrari. For me it undid a lot of the work he’d done repairing his image since his return. There was a thread on here discussing whether anyone would actually move over for their preferred title contender in the race, and we all laughed at how ridiculous something like that would be. But Schumacher actually went and did it. That said I don’t see there’s any way that it can be policed, it’s just very very sad.
Then there’s the problem of Torro Rosso, which I think could be tackled by Ferrari cancelling/threatening to cancel, their engine deal unless they stop taking orders from Red Bull. But ultimately that wouldn’t solve the problem of two teams being under the same owner. It’s like Manchester United also owning West Ham, and then when they came to play West Ham on the last day of the season ordering West Ham to lose. It’s unacceptable from a sporting point of view. Ferrari may use team orders within the team but whatever the conspiracy theories surrounding the Ferrari-powered Saubers, Kobayashi gave the Ferraris a seriously hard time on Sunday (as Perez had also done in Canada, Malaysia and Monza.)28th November 2012, 1:37 at 1:37 am #216156
I don’t see a problem with Schumacher letting Vettel past. I really don’t see it. It’s a gross overreaction to “lose respect” for Schumacher for that. How many times have we seen slower drivers simply not putting up a fight? Schumacher knew he was 2 seconds a lap slower, he knew that fighting would only prolong the innevitable and could result in a crash in that situation. In 2006, on the very same stretch of tarmac, Doornbos didn’t put up an inch of a fight against Schumacher, on dry conditions, when Michael was recovering from his puncture. Did anyone lose respect for Doornbos? Or even Kubica, who also didn’t defend his position twice against Schumacher that race?
I can see a situation where a driver in a much slower car would defend like crazy, for instance when the fight is for first place, or between two title contenders, but really, in that situation, Schumacher was simply minding his own business as many other drivers in slower cars have done so in the past.
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