No incident's punishment should be based on a previous punishment unless the offense is related to or was apart of a bond/probationary measure. The Stewards have a scale of, they can use it how they see fit in accordance with how they view the severity taking into account the mitigating circumstances if they find guilt on the party involved.
To place punishment based on something previous is biased and legally wrong. Just because fans who really don't have any inside information get butt hurt by it doesn't mean we need mandatory sentencing. The difference between punishments is because its a case by case basis. Its pretty simple stuff really.
By default the judgements should be based on previous punishments. Well not really but let me put it a different way. If the rulebook is the same 2 years ago or 1 year ago, the penalty and incidents should be similar and consistant. Unless there has been a clear announced change in rulings, which of course would make inconsistancies more understandable. For example, if after a race the FIA announced that there has been too many "x" lately and they will penalise "x" more harshly in the future, then fair enough. An example of this is when in Hungary 06 Schumacher cut a chicane to defend position, and there was a clarification after the race that this was ok. So then Alonso got away with it in Monza a few races later.
Question. Do you think that decisions affecting title challengers should be any different from decisions affecting the other 16 odd cars? In other words, if there is an incident between the cars at the front, should it be penalised differently to if it's a backmarker hitting another backmarker? I believe there was contact and a chop in Spain between Alonso/Nico/Trulli that resulted in alot more carnage, then Webber/Rubens at Nurburg that didn't even cause damage or a loss of position to either car. If Sutil crashed into Kimi at Monaco last year, do you think he might have been penalised? Do you think decisions should be made the same way in race 2 (when the WDC/WCC is uncertain) as they would with 2 races to go? Because there is always more penalties late in the season affecting the championships. These are just basic trends I see in the last 4 or more years.
I nearly always correctly guess what the FIA will do based on these formulas. The only exceptions were the Webber penalty two races ago (too biased and passionate to judge it) and the Renault penalty, because I didn't factor in the overreaction to Surtee's death and Massa's injury.
There is too much inconsistancy to even mention. It would take a mammoth post that most people wouldn't probably read anyway. The biggest thing that bugs me is that a few years ago you could botch an overtake attempt and crash into someone and wreck them (Fisi/Webber Sepang, Ralf/Heidfeld Nurburgring, Heidfeld/Schumacher Melbourne) and not be penalised. This is racing. But now you can't have side to side contact with someone without getting a penalty. Even without Kimi's penalties he was still being investigated. FIA send a message that they don't want close racing (where collisions happen).
You got Bernie whinging that drivers don't try to overtake without his medals idea, and you got FIA changing aero regs to allow more overtaking, and then you over penalise any contact. I'm not for blanket mandatory penalties but surely if they are using the same rulebook there should be some similarities in penalties from one year to the next. I am not totally against FIA's way of doing things. For example, the rulings often add spice to the championship and make the final races more exciting, and whether we like to admit it or not F1 needs it sometimes. But consistant and fair it's not.
Edited by HoldenRT, 27 July 2009 - 17:39.