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Race Stewards - Inconsistency & Bias?


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Poll: What do you think? (160 member(s) have cast votes)

What do you think about the race stewards?

  1. Fair and/or Consistent (50 votes [31.25%])

    Percentage of vote: 31.25%

  2. Biased and/or Inconsistent (101 votes [63.12%])

    Percentage of vote: 63.12%

  3. Don't know. (9 votes [5.62%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.62%

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#1 Alx09

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 23:41

I think this is a valid topic to discuss now, and also something to look out for in the coming races.

Some pointers:
  • Lewis letting his frustration out in Monaco, basically saying that the stewards are biased - and that he has had to explain himself to race control after nealy every single race
  • Race steward for Canada coming with comments about how Lewis is too aggressive on race day (just hours before start)
  • Di Resta penalties compared to other non-penalized incidents today
  • Compare what Lewis was punished for in Monaco to what they let go off for ex. Button today
What do you think? Biased and/or Inconsistent or Fair and/or Consistent?


I would like you to give this a thought too:

If Lewis would've been Button today, and Button would've been Lewis - would Lewis have walked away with a victory and no penalties?

Food for thought.

Edited by Alx09, 13 June 2011 - 12:23.


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#2 fauxhemian

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 23:42

Was Monaco wet?

#3 MPea3

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 23:46

Seeing the opinions on bulletin boards as to who is at fault and why, I think the stewards have a much better handle on it than the most vocal fans.

#4 Otaku

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 23:47

I don't think they are biased, but I surely do think they are VERY inconsistent and INCOMPETENT I may add.

Actually I think the whole F1 circus is a big joke right now. There's proof enough already.

#5 MikeTekRacing

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 23:49

Was Monaco wet?

should it matter if it's wet?
there's lower grip, sure....drive slower, give more space and you're safe
it's not like he lost it, spun and hit somebody

#6 f1fastestlap

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 23:49

Was Monaco wet?

:lol:
As if it had something to do with it, other than a slippery track...
so when it's wet, we can give them a break :lol:

#7 Coral

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 23:50

All British drivers who attempt to overtake may be penalised. Except ones called Jenson Button. :p

#8 fauxhemian

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 23:52

Oh dear jesus...



#9 MikeTekRacing

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 23:52

I don't think they are biased, but I surely do think they are VERY inconsistent and INCOMPETENT I may add.

Actually I think the whole F1 circus is a big joke right now. There's proof enough already.

great post

they give stupid penalties, they don't give penalties for similar things, they don't race unless it's 75% dry, they bring the drs which makes passing as easy as taking a candy from a baby but they ban the drs in the tunnel as if they think somebody is stupid enough to kill himself there using it.

#10 Alx09

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 23:52

All British drivers who attempt to overtake may be penalised. Except ones called Jenson Button. :p

More like... everyone related to Anthony Hamilton must be punished hard, without mercy! :p

Edited by Alx09, 12 June 2011 - 23:53.


#11 scheivlak

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 23:52

Seeing the opinions on bulletin boards as to who is at fault and why, I think the stewards have a much better handle on it than the most vocal fans.

:up: :up:

Maybe a vast majority of the fans may find one or another decision by the stewards they don't like, but with very contrasting views about which specific decision they would single out as the wrong one.


#12 DanardiF1

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 23:53

Is it inconsistent or just each incident to it's own?

I don't know, and voted as such...

I just think Stewards need to step away from penalising everything.

#13 scheivlak

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 23:55

Is it inconsistent or just each incident to it's own?

I don't know, and voted as such...

I just think Stewards need to step away from penalising everything.

Well, that's just what they did.

#14 MikeTekRacing

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 23:55

I just think Stewards need to step away from penalising everything.

you know...you either give a penalty for everything (see monaco) or don't give a penalty for anything (see jenson)

when from race to race you completely switch you measuring rules it's kind of dumb

we can argue which of the options is better. but they should take one and stick with it

#15 Cenotaph

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 23:55

F1 stewards have always been inconsistent, but their supposed bias seems to be all over the place. Today's decisions were good, Monaco's decisions were good. Different incidents, different conditions, different causes.

#16 Alx09

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 23:55

Well, that's just what they did.

Well, not for Di Resta.

Serioyuslty mods. How many threads do we need of lewham fans whinging and moaning about poor old lewis..

This thread is about the stewards and their actions. Lewis is in the middle of that, so he has to be included. He is also the person that has raised his voice about it recently.

I'm more interested in Di Resta's penalties today compared to others who were let go.

Edited by Alx09, 12 June 2011 - 23:58.


#17 fauxhemian

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 23:56

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali said that although he reckoned Button was more responsible for the crash with Alonso - as he hit the Ferrari driver from behind - he could not blame him entirely.

"As a general principle, if you receive a touch on the rear right, and you have contact, and one car has contact on the front left, then normally the one that is in front, the car that received the touch on the rear right, is in front," explained Domenicali.

"But then, of course, the conditions were tricky because on the inside the line was slippery, because Jenson had a little bit of understeer in that moment.

"We just had bad luck today. Fernando was stuck in the middle of the kerbs without having the chance to restart because he was stuck in the middle, and that means today wasn't really our day. That is it."


So yes a wet track does matter.

#18 DanardiF1

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 23:57

Well, that's just what they did.


yes, and I'm glad of that.

#19 showtime

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 23:57

I think main and obvious problem is inconsistency. Not only because it's unfair but also because I'm sure drivers don't know any more what is correct to do in some situations and this will mean more incidents in races. Changing stewards for every GP doesn't help and Charlie Whiting as race director is a joke. But I guess this is not going to change so he should get used to this random (at least I hope it's random) part of the races.

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#20 William Hunt

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 23:58

Since they adopted the new steward rules (with a former F1 driver in the steward jury) I've always had the impression that they were consistent and faire. Before that system I always had the impression that they were giving unfair advantages to Ferrari.

#21 scheivlak

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 23:59

Well, not for Di Resta.

Indeed, but they stepped down from penalising everything - and that's what I quoted from Danardi's post.

Edited by scheivlak, 13 June 2011 - 00:00.


#22 ClubmanGT

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 00:00

So yes a wet track does matter.


And the drivers who manage to pass without hitting others?

#23 Otaku

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 00:00

great post

they give stupid penalties, they don't give penalties for similar things, they don't race unless it's 75% dry, they bring the drs which makes passing as easy as taking a candy from a baby but they ban the drs in the tunnel as if they think somebody is stupid enough to kill himself there using it.


Exactly, it is a racing series, not a babysitting series. Let them race. This whole penalties thing really gets on my nerves. I've been watching F1 since the early 80s and I don't remember being like this in the past. Sure there were penalties for EXTREME situations that required it, but nowadays it seems that every single action/overtake/touch must be investigated. Also they have taken the "safety" concept to an absolute extreme. FFS it's racing and it's dangerous by nature. If a driver doesn't like risks, he has the freedom to go karts or fishing.

#24 Otaku

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 00:02

F1 stewards have always been inconsistent, but their supposed bias seems to be all over the place. Today's decisions were good, Monaco's decisions were good. Different incidents, different conditions, different causes.


They have not always been inconsistent. Inconsistency comes when you start analyzing every single detail. In the old (and not so old) times, they just let the guys race, and there were not inconsistencies because there were not stupid penalties or stupid investigations after every single racing incident.

#25 Cenotaph

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 00:08

I can think of plenty of decisions motivated by, let's say, "external" interests, all the way back to the eighties. Unfortunately I'm still young, so can't really say much from the really old times. Balestre's times were quite controversial already.

#26 bourbon

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 00:11

Bad penalty calls win and lose games, races and championships. But what can you do? You have to have stewards and refs and they are unfortunately not clones - so there will be some inconsistency. There may be some bias, but you have to hope that because it is a group, they will reach a fair decision. That said, there are simply times when there will be bad calls - we all hate it, but again I ask, what can we do?

ETA - I have noticed that the stewards tend to take a more 'let um race' attitude toward the final races in a tight championship (be it one or more competitors) - although they will still call the more egregious moves. At least we have that - but even then, bad calls still happen from time to time. To be honest, I would rather they make more calls than fewer...but we run into more inconsistencies that way, so it is like a double edged sword...


Edited by bourbon, 13 June 2011 - 00:17.


#27 DanardiF1

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 00:13

Exactly, it is a racing series, not a babysitting series. Let them race. This whole penalties thing really gets on my nerves. I've been watching F1 since the early 80s and I don't remember being like this in the past. Sure there were penalties for EXTREME situations that required it, but nowadays it seems that every single action/overtake/touch must be investigated. Also they have taken the "safety" concept to an absolute extreme. FFS it's racing and it's dangerous by nature. If a driver doesn't like risks, he has the freedom to go karts or fishing.


Exactly :up:

Also applies to these drivers who whinge that 'it's too wet'... sometimes it is actually too wet, but most of the time they're just wimping out.

If they feel that they can't race in the conditions, they don't have to. Look at Lauda at Fuji in 76... cost him the Championship.

Edited by DanardiF1, 13 June 2011 - 00:14.


#28 William Hunt

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 00:15

Unfortunately I'm still young, so can't really say much from the really old times. Balestre's times were quite controversial already.


I was lucky to experience the '80s era and indeed: saying that Balestre's times were controversial was an understatement. F1 has always been higly political, that was no different in the old times and Balestre was always looking to help Prost and he even gave Ayrton Senna a 1 year race ban (for crashing in to Prost in Suzuka 1990). That situation was even so serious that Senna even tested for Penske to drive in IndyCar in 1991 during that winter and McLaren was evaluating both Jonathan Palmer an a then young Emmanuele Pirro to replace Senna but before the season started the FIA lifted the ban. Highly controversial times indeed but it was a fun era to experience and races were not just sprint races like now, a F1 race was also an endurance race back then because cars suffered so much from technical failures so drivers often had to be gentle with the mechanics at the end of the race. Nowadays a team like Virgin, Hispania or Team Lotus can virtually forget scoring points, even with the top 10 scoring points now, but back in the '80s, with only the top 6 scoring, they had a very good chance of scoring a point (even Zakspeed, Osella, AGS or Rial scored points) because the amount of cars finishing was much, much lower.

Edited by William Hunt, 13 June 2011 - 00:16.


#29 Alx09

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 00:17

Bad penalty calls win and lose games, races and championships. But what can you do? You have to have stewards and refs and they are unfortunately not clones - so there will be some inconsistency. There may be some bias, but you have to hope that because it is a group, they will reach a fair decision. That said, there are simply times when there will be bad calls - we all hate it, but again I ask, what can we do?

I wouldn't have a problem with it if it happened to everyone, but it is not. Only certain individuals seem to be treated unfairly repeatedly.

#30 peacockantony

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 00:20

Exactly :up:

Also applies to these drivers who whinge that 'it's too wet'... sometimes it is actually too wet, but most of the time they're just wimping out.

If they feel that they can't race in the conditions, they don't have to. Look at Lauda at Fuji in 76... cost him the Championship.

:up:

#31 Otaku

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 00:28

Exactly :up:

Also applies to these drivers who whinge that 'it's too wet'... sometimes it is actually too wet, but most of the time they're just wimping out.

If they feel that they can't race in the conditions, they don't have to. Look at Lauda at Fuji in 76... cost him the Championship.


Really. I can't stand the "it's too wet" thing. If it's too wet you have 2 options:

a) retire and let the men race
b) go slower

If you choose b and the rest of the field overtakes you, then it's not THAT wet, or you're going slower than it's really needed.


But wtf, it's easier to whine with the "it's too wet" thing and/or push and spin and go off then blame the "wetness" of the track than go slower.


What does a normal driver on a highway do when it rains? He/She goes slower. Easy, right? Why can't they?



#32 scheivlak

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 00:31

great post

they give stupid penalties, they don't give penalties for similar things, they don't race unless it's 75% dry, they bring the drs which makes passing as easy as taking a candy from a baby but they ban the drs in the tunnel as if they think somebody is stupid enough to kill himself there using it.

"They", "they", "they".... are all different.

Race stewards are not directing whether a safety car goes on track, that's Charlie Whiting.
Neither did they invent or allow the DRS, that was the FIA following a proposal from the Technical Working Group.

#33 HappySachs

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 00:40

I think main and obvious problem is inconsistency. Not only because it's unfair but also because I'm sure drivers don't know any more what is correct to do in some situations and this will mean more incidents in races. Changing stewards for every GP doesn't help and Charlie Whiting as race director is a joke. But I guess this is not going to change so he should get used to this random (at least I hope it's random) part of the races.


Inconsistancy is definately part of the problem, the other part is the measures they have available to punish. A drive through or a stop/go penalty typically ends up being either too harsh or too soft for the crime. The move to reprimands is a step in the right direction as it allows for a more proportional response to minor incidents, if only they used them more! (poor Di Resta)

The other problem is the failure to recognise racing incidents, if two drivers decide to play a game of chicken and neither backs down, then it's tough luck for both. Maybe give them a reprimand each if feel you have to do something.

Make it 2 Reprimands = 5 place grid penalty or some such, sure beats the scattergun with nukes they are using now.

#34 Otaku

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 00:49

The other problem is the failure to recognise racing incidents, if two drivers decide to play a game of chicken and neither backs down, then it's tough luck for both. Maybe give them a reprimand each if feel you have to do something.

Make it 2 Reprimands = 5 place grid penalty or some such, sure beats the scattergun with nukes they are using now.


That will only create havok among drivers. They should be encouraged to race, not discouraged.

If both collide for playing a game of chicken then be it. It's their own responsibility and what better punishment than what you get directly from your actions? It's not that they will gain an advantage for crashing... :up:



Edit: suzuka 89/90 and australia 95/97 comes to mind though hahahaha

Edited by Otaku, 13 June 2011 - 00:50.


#35 Risil

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 00:51

Really. I can't stand the "it's too wet" thing. If it's too wet you have 2 options:

a) retire and let the men race
b) go slower

If you choose b and the rest of the field overtakes you, then it's not THAT wet, or you're going slower than it's really needed.


But wtf, it's easier to whine with the "it's too wet" thing and/or push and spin and go off then blame the "wetness" of the track than go slower.


What does a normal driver on a highway do when it rains? He/She goes slower. Easy, right? Why can't they?


I assume you have the experience of driving high-powered single seaters at their limits necessary to make that judgement.

#36 engel

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 00:51

The inconsistency stems from the fact they choose to investigate some incidents during the race and some after. When an incident is investigated during the race then the stewards have no data to work with aside from video footage, so it's easier to blame one of the drivers. But if two drivers have an incident and they both tell you that the blame was on both of them, and there is factual evidence to support that you can't punish either of them, certainly not cause you punished 2 different drivers 2 weeks ago in a completely separate incident.

And the question becomes what do you prefer? Race over, whoever finishes first on the road wins the race or race offer, provisional result till the stewards get a chance to investigate 2-3-5-10 incidents? The "fairer" way would be to investigate everything after the race, that would provide both drivers involved with the opportunity to put their cases forward. But how would you feel if every single race was "provisional" result for a few hours?

#37 VicR

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 00:51

Stewards have always been inconsistent. It's only when a fanboy's favorite driver is being penalized or done wrong when threads like this appear.

#38 Otaku

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 00:55

I assume you have the experience of driving high-powered single seaters at their limits necessary to make that judgement.


Why at their limits? If you play with limits you will eventually go off the track. No one is forcing you to go at the limit. Can't a formula 1 car cruise at 60 km/h when it rains? Yes, it can. Why don't they do it then? Ambition is key here. When ambition gets bigger than wisdom, then you're in trouble.

Edited by Otaku, 13 June 2011 - 00:57.


#39 engel

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 00:59

Why at their limits? If you play with limits you will eventually go off the track. No one is forcing you to go at the limit. Can't a formula 1 car cruise at 60 km/h when it rains? Yes, it can. Why don't they do it then? Ambition is key here. When ambition gets bigger than wisdom, then you're in trouble.


no it can't, quit repeating the same silly premise across 10 different threads. It all depends on the depth of standing water on the track. If you hit a 100mm puddle in an f1 car you will aquaplane, makes no difference if your doing 50 or 250 mph

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#40 beute

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 01:07

they just dont have the balls to take away a victory from someone that prevented vettel to win.

the vettel hate is already huge, and people are already crying about stewards beeing biased towards him, and red bull works together with the FIA and and and.

they just made the decision that pleases the croud, not the one that would be fair.
penalising hamilton had no effect, he wasnt going to win anyway, penalising button would make it look like "another" bias towards vettel...

#41 King Six

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 01:23

All British drivers who attempt to overtake may be penalised. Except ones called Jenson Button. :p

It's an English conspiracy! Di Resta is Scottish of Italian heritage. Hamilton is half-black. Button's the only WASP out of the Brits! :stoned: :well:

Edited by King Six, 13 June 2011 - 01:23.


#42 PorcupineTroy

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 01:27

Perhaps this is just me, but 8-10 years ago there were far fewer penalties handed out compared to today. Maybe it's just nostalgia goggles.

#43 teejay

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 01:30

Unless you were Montoya, then you would get random ones for nothing

#44 King Six

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 01:31

Perhaps this is just me, but 8-10 years ago there were far fewer penalties handed out compared to today. Maybe it's just nostalgia goggles.

I don't think so, that and they used to race in the wet. I just think, forget about rain nowadays.

#45 PretentiousBread

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 01:31

Didn't see too much wrong with the stewarding today. Button had the high-ground on Alonso, (if that is the main issue people are thinking about) and i'm surprised Alonso didn't let him go especially being on cold tyres.

However, it is a valid point IMO to say that had LH pulled that manoeuvre he might not have got away with it. He's certainly not given the benefit of the doubt in the way that Jenson is, but I can understand that - JB is proven to be a very clean driver.

Was nice seeing Schumacher fighting for something worthwhile, but I think he was quite dirty to Hamilton under braking for the hairpin. He'd already committed to his line, then just ran LH off the track.

#46 chrcol

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 03:00

I havent been able to find news on button which I am guessing right he has been let of with alonso.

My view is this.

Last year they got it right, tons of racing incidents no penalties.
For some reason this year I would love to know why, they have gone the opposite direction, it seems as if every contact is investigated with 90% of the televised ones been penalties.
PDR imo a good driver and lewis seem to be particular victims this year, I was shocked when I seen on my screen today incident between alonso and button to be investigated after race, followed by later incidents been investigated now. Which meant button was likely to be let off or a softer penalty as is usually the case post race. So button then wins and he is let off. Given that practically every other contact has had a penalty I think the sport is now in disarray and I am boycotting future races.
To make this even worse we have the incidents of ramming cars of track which button did to lewis today so button won dirty.

For consistency sake given PDR got penalised and lewis and PDR in previous race button should have been penalised today with a drive thru.

However ultimately all of the penalties this year all should have been classified as racing incidents.

Talent such as LH, PDR are been hindered, I am surprised kobayashi is not a victim yet as he is also a good overtaker.

I am going to have a guess that brundle as a driver was like massa and cut people off as he likes calling lewis wreckless, in todays F1 senna would be seen as a wreckless driver as he would often have the door closed on him and be penalised.

#47 Spa One

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 03:07


Biased and Inconsistent are two different things; there should be exclusive options for both of them as well.

I don't think any of the Stewards are biased, but I do think they have been a little inconsistent.



#48 Risil

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 03:33

I am going to have a guess that brundle as a driver was like massa and cut people off as he likes calling lewis wreckless, in todays F1 senna would be seen as a wreckless driver as he would often have the door closed on him and be penalised.


If Lewis were wreckless there'd be no problem!

#49 pingu666

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 03:35

It does seem abit inconsistant this year to me.

like lewis on massa at the hairpin vs jense on fred this race.

massa continued on, didnt lose a place (imediately) and then he binned it in the tunnel going side by side with lewis, and he had damaged his front wing by driving into webber, which was more likely to have helped him hit the barrier than the maybe lost sidepod fence thing.

jense was less alongside at contact, gained position, put alonso in the wall (just) and out of the race.

so thats odd to me, I also would like them to yell at drivers about naughty things they did, like schumi's move on lewis at the hairpin.



#50 jerriy

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 04:05

they just dont have the balls to take away a victory from someone that prevented vettel to win.

the vettel hate is already huge, and people are already crying about stewards beeing biased towards him, and red bull works together with the FIA and and and.

they just made the decision that pleases the croud, not the one that would be fair.
penalising hamilton had no effect, he wasnt going to win anyway, penalising button would make it look like "another" bias towards vettel...

No the only reason for the hypocrisy is that the stewards are crooked and corrupt. There's no roundabout way

Hamilton was absolutely spot-on when he called them out in Monaco: we're dealing with a bunch of crooks and scoundrels who hate him cuz he's black.

Of course the consequence of all this is that the ONE person who had a real shot at catching Vettel is thwarted in this endeavor. And even Alonso is now back to square one.

Congratulations to Seb, the 2011 champion :o