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Race Control at Melbourne


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#1 Dunder

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 16:24

Quite aside from the furore now caused by Hamilton's exclusion, am I the only one that thinks that Race Control made a real hash of this race?

1) It took a very long time to decide to deploy the safety car (after Nakajima's crash). This conveniently allowed both Brawn GP cars to pit and not be hindered. Whilst I have no problem with this, I can't see why the decision took so long - can you imagine if it had been two Ferrari's or McLarens?

2) The whole Hamilton/Trulli thing came about because neither driver or their respective teams had a clue what to do and, it appears, got no guidance from race control. From the McLaren team radio it is said that they were "busy".

I am sure that the vast majority of F1 fans and viewers would like to know the result of the race when the chequered flag drops, not one hour, six hours or, in this case, four days later. After Spa and now Merlbourne surely they way races are "controlled" needs to be looked at.

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#2 Buttoneer

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 16:26

I've also just mentioned in another one of the other McClone-threads that there was incentive for the Oz stewards to claim they had been misled when their original conclusions was revealed for the flawed piece of shit that it is.

#3 le chat noir

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 16:37

If it wasn't for the BBC showing the race control room you'd be forgiven for thinking it was run from a basement flat in Chelsea.

Its a complete scandal that no one (the teams, drivers or rulers) know the rules or can interpret them.

How hard would it be for McLaren (or race control) to have an internal,searchable website. Where they could search 'car off track under safety car' and have all the specific details appear. Would be a wise and cheap investment if you ask me.

On the SC. It made no difference (in advantage) to Brawn as I understand it, possible disadvantage tho as drivers go at different speeds under yellows but are pegged under SC deployment

#4 Dunder

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 16:49

quote
On the SC. It made no difference (in advantage) to Brawn as I understand it, possible disadvantage tho as drivers go at different speeds under yellows but are pegged under SC deployment.
unquote

But aren't those pegged speeds only applicable (i.e. measured) for cars which pit under safety car conditions?
If not then you are right but that still does not answer the basic question as to why it took so long.

#5 le chat noir

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 16:54

Originally posted by Dunder
But aren't those pegged speeds only applicable (i.e. measured) for cars which pit under safety car conditions?
If not then you are right but that still does not answer the basic question as to why it took so long.


interesting question, not sure. certainly it should require pegging for all cars to pit entry line across the whole track. otherwise if you're 5 seconds behind, pit, then SC, then car ahead is pegged and pits, but you stay full throttle and end up 10 seconds ahead, that really ain't fair.

but yes, still ridiculous and it shows that they haven't learnt since valencia. i hope it was a case of them thinking they'd get away without one, then discovered they couldn't (which is how we'd all prefer it to be), rather than being too 'busy' to press the button

#6 Orin

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 16:58

Originally posted by Buttoneer
I've also just mentioned in another one of the other McClone-threads that there was incentive for the Oz stewards to claim they had been misled when their original conclusions was revealed for the flawed piece of shit that it is.


Indeed. And as the OP illustrates, the stewards were clearly not up to the job. Does the FIA drag these people out of soup kitchens?

#7 alfa1

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 17:06

Originally posted by Dunder
2) The whole Hamilton/Trulli thing came about because neither driver or their respective teams had a clue what to do and, it appears, got no guidance from race control.



After what happened at Spa last year, the last thing that McLaren wanted was any guidance from Race Control.
As others have said, this whole thing (and any subsequent lying from McLaren) originated because of the incredibly bad way the sport is run.

#8 sreevishnu

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 17:11

Another Lewis Penalty thread?? :confused: :rolleyes:
Get over it guys!
mods plz do something!

#9 Clatter

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 17:12

Originally posted by le chat noir
On the SC. It made no difference (in advantage) to Brawn as I understand it, possible disadvantage tho as drivers go at different speeds under yellows but are pegged under SC deployment


Whether anyone was disadvantaged or not is really of no concern. The safety car is supposedly to bunch and slow up the field to make it safer for the track workers to clear the problem. The indecision to deploy should be taken as a safety issue.

#10 Dunder

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 17:29

Originally posted by sreevishnu
Another Lewis Penalty thread?? :confused: :rolleyes:
Get over it guys!
mods plz do something!


No it isn't, or at least isn't intended to be.

How do other racing series do this? My thought would be that there should be one race controller (for want of a better title) attached to each of the teams who has real-time access to all the same data/communications/pictures as the team itself. From that a ruling can be made on the spot (or after a very short delay to allow communication with other controllers).

The current situation, I am afraid, is descending into farce.

#11 Mark A

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 17:29

Originally posted by le chat noir
If it wasn't for the BBC showing the race control room ........


Shame they didn't show that shot when the safety car was out.

#12 Ricardo F1

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 17:33

Simple fact is that Charlie Whiting either has to be empowered to make a decision and that it then be the official decision on the stewards/FIA or Charlie can stay at home. At the moment the guy is a vast part of the problem.

#13 blackgerby

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 17:41

Total and utter failure of race control and stewards all round. So many mistakes....

Somebody should sue the FIA for bringing motorsport into disrepute. :evil:

#14 senna da silva

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 17:48

And why wasn't Vettel given the black flag while trundling around on 3 wheels instead of the stupid penalty that was awarded after the race?

#15 le chat noir

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 17:48

Originally posted by Clatter


Whether anyone was disadvantaged or not is really of no concern. The safety car is supposedly to bunch and slow up the field to make it safer for the track workers to clear the problem. The indecision to deploy should be taken as a safety issue.


For sure, but I, for one, would rather they reduce the frequency of the SC and try to do as much under yellows as possible. Sometimes that will be tried and later an SC proves necessary. I hope that's what happened here.

Of course, they should know prior to the weekend starting, when an SC is needed because a car is stationery at a particular place where it can't be retrieved under yellows. Leaving only off the cuff SCs for instances where drivers or someone else is hurt and driver retrieval requires ambulances etc on track, not just a crane hovering over it. So I can forgive this instance, this time, as I hope it bodes well. But warn race control they need to make these checks prior to any event, and must never be found too busy to send one out exactly when needed - simple solution, always have one controller watching out, not embroiled in whatever other dubious penalties may need imposing

#16 wdh

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 17:50

Originally posted by Ricardo F1
Simple fact is that Charlie Whiting either has to be empowered to make a decision and that it then be the official decision on the stewards/FIA or Charlie can stay at home. At the moment the guy is a vast part of the problem.


Well put.
The sport needs a Race Director with executive authority. His word being law during a race. And someone else to attend to the detail of managing incidents. So that the Race Director can do his job - and communicate with the teams and drivers.
And if needed, give Charlie a 'rules expert' assistant as well.
Let the Race Director's role be to co-ordinate these guys in real time, not to try and do everything himself.

If the Director and his team should ever give directions that are against the rules, the teams and drivers need to still be required to follow the instructions - and leave it to Stewards who have judicial discretion to appropriately rectify matters after the race.
Not over-ruling the Director, but empowered to tidy up after him!

We are a million miles away from that today.

I believe that BOTH Mac & Toyota were asking Charlie what to do, and NEITHER team got any answer.
Not good enough.

#17 alfa1

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 20:28

Originally posted by wdh

And if needed, give Charlie a 'rules expert' assistant as well.
Let the Race Director's role be to co-ordinate these guys in real time, not to try and do everything himself.

I believe that BOTH Mac & Toyota were asking Charlie what to do, and NEITHER team got any answer.
Not good enough.




We have learnt that a simple two car racing accident that leaves ONE car stranded on the track, is by itself enough to so completely cripple race control that they are completely unable to handle any other situation that may also arise.

#18 metz

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 20:43

Originally posted by le chat noir


For sure, but I, for one, would rather they reduce the frequency of the SC and try to do as much under yellows as possible. Sometimes that will be tried and later an SC proves necessary. I hope that's what happened here.

What happened here was incompetence.
Race control tried to clear up the problem without a SC.
The marshals told them it was under control with local yellow.
This went on for a bit.
When a huge crane appeared on track, race control panic'd and sent out the SC.
As it deployed, Button had just passed and they needed to wave all the others through.
This took more time.
Again, a race control judgement call that was changed.

I also expect the Vettel penalty to be changed.
Just to make their decisions consistent. :

#19 jesee

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 20:57

The race control is a bunch of complete buffoons. I really wonder what the role of Charlie is. Mclaren sought clarification about the issue of Trulli and no answer, delay in SC , No issue with Reubens shenanigans.....you can bet if that was Lewis what it could have been and the complete farce on the decision to punish Trulli when all along they had and do listen to conversations between teams.

Isn't amazing that we wont know the real classification of Australia until after Malaysia? These days you can never be sure who the winner of a race is. Classify, ring Max to check whether he is happy...scrutinize a hint of Mclaren...read Lewis..transgression, the reclassify....Jeez what kind of sport is this? Can you believe that Alonso could still win Australia? It is a complete joke :mad:

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#20 rage2

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 21:02

Originally posted by jesee
The race control is a bunch of complete buffoons. I really wonder what the role of Charlie is.

He presses the red button to start the race.

#21 ensign14

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 21:16

Originally posted by wdh

I believe that BOTH Mac & Toyota were asking Charlie what to do, and NEITHER team got any answer.
Not good enough.

And regardless of everyone's own views, support, whatever, practically everyone on this BB would have been able to give a coherent and logical answer instantly on seeing the Trulli incident. Whether it was Trulli or Hamilton 3rd. Yet the FIA could not between them get the right answer after four freaking days.

#22 Vegetableman

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 04:34

Yeah and I think thats the biggest issue here.
It's a no brainer, Trulli should have been moved back behind Hamilton.
McLaren did, I think, the right thing in letting him back past. They know the score when it comes to them and the FIA. Do it by the book as they said.
As has been pointed out already whoever made the decision on the penalty for Trulli clearly didn't cover the basics.
It seems an arbitrary need to issue penalties is getting the better of them.

As for Lewis/David Ryan lying to the stewards, if there was no misunderstanding etc then they deserved to be punished.
That is not the point though, incompetence by the FIA started this whole mess. Until they can see that the blame lies not just with McLaren the problem will persist.

#23 Craven Morehead

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 05:45

It's a no brainer, Trulli should have been moved back behind Hamilton.



Hmm, I'd say that would have been a mistake. McLaren gave away third place just the same as Trulli had a few moments previously. Why on earth would it be down to the stewards to change the result to benefit them? Macca threw third place down the loo on a bad call by the team. I think they finished in the right order. It could have just been left at that without any of the subsequent foolishness.

#24 ascoli

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 05:53

Sorry if this as already beem mentioned, what about a drive through penalty for Barichello when he tapped Kimi, made him go wide and went straight past him?

#25 chrcoluk

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 05:59

Originally posted by Ricardo F1
Simple fact is that Charlie Whiting either has to be empowered to make a decision and that it then be the official decision on the stewards/FIA or Charlie can stay at home. At the moment the guy is a vast part of the problem.


I fully agree with this.

#26 Ricardo F1

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 06:16

Originally posted by Craven Morehead


Hmm, I'd say that would have been a mistake. McLaren gave away third place just the same as Trulli had a few moments previously.

WTF??? Trulli went off track. McLaren gave the position back because of getting zero input from race control as to their adjudication of the incident. TRULLI screwed up - then the stewards. After the race is irrelevant to what happened in the actual race.

#27 paulm

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 06:35

Originally posted by chrcoluk
I fully agree with this.


I think the problem might be that one man is too much of the focus rather than a team who can do a bunch of things at once and who are experienced and trust each other and work well as a team.

Under the safety car obviously a fair amount of resources are going to go towards directing the safety car, recovery vehicles and what have you. There need to be enough people up there to have spare resources to deal with team requests even while other things are happening.

It's ridiculous to have all this money spent and then for things to get screwed up because race control is "too busy" during the race.

#28 alfa1

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 07:25

Originally posted by paulm
I think the problem might be that one man is too much of the focus rather than a team who can do a bunch of things at once and who are experienced and trust each other and work well as a team.



So I wonder to myself, what setup does NASCAR have for race control? As I understand it, they are not perfect, but the general consensus is that they do a far better job than the FIA.

One quick search later...

But, as with nearly everything else at NASCAR, one person is not responsible
for making the final decisions. It takes a team of several people to make important
decisions in a matter of seconds.


And once again we see how backward the so-called worlds premier motor racing series really is.

In NASCAR, the starter is not Race Control, but Charlie Whiting does this job too, a job that NASCAR gives to *two* people..
Charlie Whiting also handles technical inquiries from teams regarding legality of new parts.
No wonder he is too busy.

#29 Clatter

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 08:57

Originally posted by alfa1
Charlie Whiting also handles technical inquiries from teams regarding legality of new parts.
No wonder he is too busy.


And yet none of the advice etc that CW gives is worth diddly squat. He has been over-ridden by the FIA so many times, both on technical and on-track issues, that his position is no more than a token.