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Historical Cases of Race Director/Stewards not following the rules


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#1 FortiFord

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Posted 21 December 2021 - 16:14

So we've discussed the events of Abu Dhabi in great detail, and it made me think - did we have any similar cases in the past where the stewards and/or race director have not followed the sporting regulations?

 

The one that sticks out in my mind is Silverstone 1998. To summarise what happened:

 

- Schumacher passed Wurz under yellow flags on lap 43/60.

- Stewards issued Ferrari with a 10 second time penalty. 

- Penalty was not issued to the team within 25 minutes of the incident (part of the sporting regs at the time). 

- Stewards also issued the wrong penalty (should have been a 10 second stop/go, which was the standard penalty at that time). 

- Schumacher ended up serving a stop/go penalty on the last lap after the S/F line. The stewards added 10 seconds to his race time after the cock-up. This was also against the sporting regs since that type of penalty could only be issued for incidents occurring in the last 12 laps of the race. 

- All penalties were eventually rescinded. 

- At the FIA ICA the FIA admitted that the stewards had ballsed the whole thing up, who were subsequently forced to resign. There were no retrospective penalties applied to Ferrari. 

 

This article explains it quite well:

 

https://www.grandpri...ns/ns01641.html

 

And 1:12:20 of the season review video:

 

 

Would be interested in hearing any other cases. Please note that this is not to discuss cases where the stewards have made a dubious call on a racing incident or anything of that kind. 



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#2 FortiFord

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Posted 07 January 2022 - 09:23

If anyone is interested (seemingly not, given the lack of response!) the latest Bring Back the V10s podcast is about the above race. 



#3 messy

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Posted 07 January 2022 - 09:57

I listened to it last night, really good as ever. The stewards really messed that one up, undoubtedly - but what was even stranger was that Ferrari felt the need to do what they did. They had it in writing that it was a 10 second time penalty and a 25+ second lead. Had he just taken the flag on track, they’d have been fine surely.

#4 absinthedude

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Posted 07 January 2022 - 12:24

At the time I felt Ferrari and Schumacher were cheekily clever the way he took the penalty. What they did was within the letter of the rules, if not the spirit.....when the stewards had certainly ballsed up and applied an incorrect penalty in an incorrect manner. 

 

There have been controversies of course....British GP 1976, Spanish GP 1976....rumours that Ferrari ran 3.7litre engines at the Italian GP in the early 90s and were permitted to get away with it by Italian officials. 

 

I don't know that there's been another incident of a race director making a decision that clearly went against established rules and procedures though....perhaps the appearance of a safety/pace car at the 1973 Canadian GP? Was that actually permitted within the rules of the day?

 

There were several incidences of teams arguing that their lap charts were more accurate than the official ones in the 50s, 60s and even 70s....when things weren't run anywhere near as tightly as they are today. The aforementioned 1973 Canadian race being one, didn't Howden Ganley think that he'd won?



#5 Risil

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Posted 07 January 2022 - 12:58

Not race director or stewards but when leafing through some old Motor Sports I noticed DSJ having a grump that the CSI (forerunner of the FIA) allowed Italy to host two Grands Prix in the same year in 1957, and that the 1959 German GP at AVUS was run in two heats, neither of which he believed were within the rules of the world championship at the time.

We're doing it in another thread but I think the way FISA (did that include the stewards) threw the book at Senna following the 1989 Japanese Grand Prix was illegitimate in a way that went beyond dubious calls, and were more like wilfully misinterpreting what happened on track in a way that couldn't stand up to scrutiny.

Indy 2005 is an interesting counter-example of a time when the rules probably ought to have been waived as a one-off. But the political pressure regrettably was running the other way.

Perhaps in all these I'm missing the crucial distinction between stewards, race director and other operatives. But then again I've never been crystal clear on who does what administratively in F1. Back in the 1990s and 2000s you just assumed that whatever happened had been worked out by Max and Bernie in advance.

#6 OvDrone

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Posted 07 January 2022 - 13:43

The first scenario that immediately pops up in my mind's eye is Talladega 2015 in Nascar Cup. 
Nascar tried so much to move the goal posts that infamous Autumn day that they actually annihilated their favorite driver and cash machine, Dale Junior out of the hunt for the championship in their own bs playoff, giving a huge opportunity to everyone's least favorite - Logano.

You can check out a portion of the controversy starting from the 25:00 minute mark in this, one of the best ever Motorsport video ever made by anyone.



Nascar constantly shoot themselves in the foot in increasingly bewildering ways but somehow, most of the time, the right driver wins, like this year with Larson.

Speaking of this year, there was a shady Masi-esque moment when they did not show Chase Elliott the black flag like they would with any other damn driver as his back fender was remove itself out of existence. It did lead to Harvick's spectacular choke moment but the double standards, just wow.
Also, the Indy GP Cup race was an utter fiasco.

Here are some other Nascar goofballs:



And if you ever think that the FIA are easy on Max and Nascar utterly lenient with Chase Elliott, nothing compares with how Dorna and FIM treated Marc Marquez throughout his career. And that treat ultimately came to haunt Marc as the FIM employed turned a blind eye when this dude tried forcing his comeback in the Summer of 2020 nearly destroying his career.
That leniency always comes back to haunt people and the drivers/riders it previously helped.



#7 thiscocks

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Posted 07 January 2022 - 13:51

I loved it when I found out that the moves in Days of Thunder weren't actually fictional!



#8 pacificquay

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Posted 07 January 2022 - 13:52

Silverstone 98 still rankles from me, a race stolen from Mika



#9 absinthedude

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Posted 07 January 2022 - 14:24

If we are including Jean-Marie Balestre.....Tyrrell, 1984, anyone?



#10 MKSixer

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Posted 07 January 2022 - 17:54

If we are including Jean-Marie Balestre.....Tyrrell, 1984, anyone?

 

Thanks for the PTSD flashbacks, dude.  Much appreciated!!   :rotfl:  :rotfl:  :rotfl:



#11 ARTGP

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Posted 07 January 2022 - 21:21

If I recall correctly, there was some controversy over an unsafe release by Ferrari at the German GP in 2019. The rules say 5 second time penalty. Race control decided to give Ferrari a monetary fine instead that was really quite unprecedented.


Edited by ARTGP, 07 January 2022 - 21:23.


#12 Beri

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Posted 08 January 2022 - 15:31

Silverstone 98 still rankles from me, a race stolen from Mika


In no way was it ever stolen from Mika. His mistakes made him lose the race. Going off twice is the same as shouting you don't want to win the race.

#13 Oho

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Posted 08 January 2022 - 19:33

In no way was it ever stolen from Mika. His mistakes made him lose the race. Going off twice is the same as shouting you don't want to win the race.

 

 

So I take it you did not watch the race.. The first off, perhaps almost half a dozen cars span out of on the very or the previous lap and with everything else going on rather seems like the Ferrari fan boy head steward seized the opportunity after Hakkinen went off. The second off was due to broken front wing he may not have known about. What baffled me at the time is why they did not stop him after his off. He had 40+ second lead over Schumacher which would have given McLaren ample to put new tires and change the front wing. But Schumacher passed under double waved yellows and was actually defended by Mosley so FIA's position was made abundantly clear


Edited by Oho, 08 January 2022 - 19:34.


#14 Beri

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Posted 08 January 2022 - 19:58

I take it you don't know me being more a fan of Hakkinen than Schumacher. So I vividly remember his heyday.
That being said; Shuey didn't spin during that race. Hakkinen did. Twice. Therefore Hakkinen lost the race due to his own mistakes. No matter how you sugarcoat it and force the loss onto the FIA.
The FIA made a complete mockery out if the entire situation. And it was the first time I experienced the stewards/FIA cocking it up. Something unusual to me since I started watching in the early 90s.

#15 Spillage

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Posted 08 January 2022 - 20:04

In 1994 the penalty that Schumacher ignored had been administered for overtaking Damon Hill on the formation lap. Interestingly, he did the same thing to Ayrton Senna at the season opener at Interlagos but the race director apparently took no action. So stewarding incosistency isn't exactly new!

 

There's also the case of the farcical 1973 Canadian GP, the first race in which a Safety Car was iused. Everyone piled into the pits and I believe the SC ended up picking up thewrong car. It took a long time to determine the winner after the end of the race - Howden Ganley saw the chequered flag first but after a long deliberation the victory was awarded to Peter Revson and Mclaren.



#16 PlayboyRacer

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Posted 09 January 2022 - 11:36

In no way was it ever stolen from Mika. His mistakes made him lose the race. Going off twice is the same as shouting you don't want to win the race.

Well said.

#17 Dutchrudder

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Posted 09 January 2022 - 11:51

Back in the 1990s and 2000s you just assumed that whatever happened had been worked out by Max and Bernie in advance.

I think this is the problem to a large extent.

The sport has moved very quickly from the early 90’s from a rich man’s amateur sport where a small group of strong characters worked it all out between themselves and generally had a lifetime of experience in that system.

It’s become professional, and then extremely corporate at a time when the structure hasn’t necessarily moved on at the same pace.

Now that Bernie, Max, and Charlie are no longer in position, the cracks in that system are being exposed by the corporate manufacturer teams.

Where maybe you’d have been having a row between the likes of Ron or Frank, with the FIA, Toto turns up with his lawyer and Jonathan Wheatley is whining down the radio for all to hear.

The governance isn’t working right now.

#18 Risil

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Posted 09 January 2022 - 12:03

I think this is the problem to a large extent.

The sport has moved very quickly from the early 90’s from a rich man’s amateur sport where a small group of strong characters worked it all out between themselves and generally had a lifetime of experience in that system.

It’s become professional, and then extremely corporate at a time when the structure hasn’t necessarily moved on at the same pace.

Now that Bernie, Max, and Charlie are no longer in position, the cracks in that system are being exposed by the corporate manufacturer teams.

Where maybe you’d have been having a row between the likes of Ron or Frank, with the FIA, Toto turns up with his lawyer and Jonathan Wheatley is whining down the radio for all to hear.

The governance isn’t working right now.

 

I feel the current FIA and Liberty are involved in exposing the cracks too. After all Merc and Red Bull are pretty annoying but I have a hard time believing that teams were any less ruthless (or rich) in, say, the mid-2000s. Politics and race control are a really bad combination though (it's often happpened in isolated one-offs, like the decision to stop the 1984 Monaco Grand Prix or the weird story about the flag guy at the 1982 Swiss Grand Prix trying to bring the race to a halt before Rosberg could catch Prost for the win). Not least because race control works under immense time pressure, and the decisions they have to make tend to be irreversible in nature. Of course there is the additional problem that safety procedures and race strategy are so complex now that race control can't help but change the flow of the race when they get involved. Not too long ago the main jobs were to start the race, stop it, and black flag anyone who had bits trailing off their car.



#19 PlatenGlass

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Posted 09 January 2022 - 12:14

In no way was it ever stolen from Mika. His mistakes made him lose the race. Going off twice is the same as shouting you don't want to win the race.

The safety car came out very soon after his first off because of the worsening weather conditions, so I'd say he was unlucky with the timing even if the race wasn't "stolen".

If they'd let them get on with it, his lead was probably still big enough to win even with the damaged wing. But it was deemed too dangerous - that's why he went off. I don't think it can be put down to bad driving really.

And obviously if they'd brought the safety car out a bit earlier he wouldn't have gone off and probably would have won anyway.

Edited by PlatenGlass, 09 January 2022 - 13:38.


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#20 Spillage

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Posted 09 January 2022 - 12:48

Didn't Schumacher emerge from the pits in front of Hakkinen anyway, or am I wrong about that? He had a lead of around 25 seconds when he began the final lap.

Edited by Spillage, 09 January 2022 - 12:49.


#21 FortiFord

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Posted 10 January 2022 - 11:19

The safety car came out very soon after his first off because of the worsening weather conditions, so I'd say he was unlucky with the timing even if the race wasn't "stolen".

If they'd let them get on with it, his lead was probably still big enough to win even with the damaged wing. But it was deemed too dangerous - that's why he went off. I don't think it can be put down to bad driving really.

And obviously if they'd brought the safety car out a bit earlier he wouldn't have gone off and probably would have won anyway.

 

The bottom line is that Schumacher did get away with passing under yellow flags without receiving a penalty, due to the stewards incompetence. The problem is that the sporting rules meant there was nothing the FIA could do to correct it. A post-race penalty could only be given to an incident that occurred in the last 12 laps of the race. 

 

What i did like about the response from the FIA was that they were quite transparent in saying that the stewards had made a mistakes and not followed correct procedures, and also admitted that there was nothing that could be done, post-race, to correct it. 

 

Hopefully the FIA commission into AD can be as open and honest. 


Edited by FortiFord, 10 January 2022 - 11:21.


#22 absinthedude

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Posted 10 January 2022 - 12:29

 

Hopefully the FIA commission into AD can be as open and honest. 

 

I hope so. But I somehow doubt it. Which is a sad state of affairs. 

 

There's something to be said for a dictator like Bernie. People feared him...but most of the time he had the best interests of the sport in mind. It was always said, even in the 90s, that when Bernie finally retired (or was pushed out) the FIA would need at least 10 people to replace him. Maybe that's part of the problem...the old guys are all retired or dead, and they didn't train anyone up to replace them.