Formula 1 in Spielberg: racers are allowed to race - sports
After a three-hour briefing Max Verstappen made his victory in Spielberg despite a hard maneuver against Ferraris Charles Leclerc. It is a wise judgment.
For more than three hours, the commissioners deliberated on Sunday after the end of the race in Spielberg about the question of whether they should still pull Max Verstappen his hard-earned trophy from the hands. 190 minutes! In the time they could have looked at Francis Ford Coppola's classic "Apocalypse Now" from 1979. And in the "Final Cut" version, which is currently playing in cinemas. It took more than three hours, which meant that a Verstappen fan, who would have climbed into his car right after the award ceremony, would soon have been on the height of Munich on his way home to Utrecht, had he learned on the radio that he was in the drowned Oranjejubel would have squawked hoarsely in vain.
In defense of the Commissioners, it must be said that they certainly did not allow themselves to be served pastries and cakes for three hours. You'll have looked at Verstappen's overtaking maneuver by Charles Leclerc three rounds before the end. And they wanted to hear both pilots before their decision, which is why they in turn had to wait for the award ceremony and the press conference with Verstappen and Leclerc.
However, if the winner has not been determined three hours after the end of a sporting event and there has been no gross negligence, does not anything go wrong in a sport?
Two problems had the commissioners on Sunday to clear out of the way. One can be found in Appendix L of the International Sporting Law of the World Federation Fia. Chapter IV, "Rules for Circuit Racing" states: "At no time is it permitted to drive a vehicle unnecessarily slowly, unpredictably, or in a manner that is likely to endanger other drivers." And: "Any driver who returns to the ideal line after defending his off-line position should leave at least one vehicle length between his own vehicle and the track boundary when approaching the bend - a driving style that could hamper other riders such as deliberately pushing a vehicle beyond the edge of the track or any other unusual change of direction is strictly prohibited. " Also "the causation of a collision" is of course prohibited.
Three laps from the end of the race, Verstappen had pressed on the inside of Turn Three alongside the leader Leclerc. As a result, he let his Red Bull drive far out - and so Leclerc's Ferrari had pushed beyond the track edge. Not, however, before there was a collision and the cars touched.
The rules would have guaranteed enough rules to retrieve Verstappen victory later. That the commissioners did not do that, that they were not raving about the paragraph, that they rated the scene as a common "racing incident" was correct. They ruled that none of the drivers was "alone or predominantly responsible" for the accident. Verstappen himself had provided the basis for this argumentation. He pointed out that he had braked deeper into the curve than in a previous attempt. And so his car at the apex of the curve this time was ahead of Leclerc's - so he would have had to retreat.
The commissioners judged wisely. Perhaps also because they had to clear another problem out of the way: the Sunday debate on the meaningfulness of the punishment of Sebastian Vettel in the Canadian race. In Montreal, they had taken the paragraphs very, very seriously. They had deprived Vettel after his ride over the green strip because of a "not sure return" on the track of victory. The scenes of Canada and Austria can not be compared. But Vettel had then raised the question of whether the entire set of rules should not be better entrusted to the flames, so that someone may write a clever new. That was at least a wonderful contribution to the debate.
That Vettel on Sunday, without he had already seen the scene between Leclerc and Verstappen, again threw into the breach of his favorite story with Verve, but you should let the racers please just race and snatch the power from the commissars, shows the seriousness of his Mission. That he once again found wonderful words ("I do not like the decision being passed on to someone sitting in a chair, we are not fighting for the kindergarten trophy"), gives hope that he will continue his mission.
He has already drawn his team boss Mattia Binotto to his side. The rules were clear, Verstappen had caused the collision and forced Leclerc next to the track, said Binotto. This violates the current rules, "whether you like them or not". He wanted to refrain from a protest this time. In the case of the Canada judgment, Ferrari finally sought a revision and stressed that one should let the drivers fight against each other.
Red Bull sees it that way. Ferrari sees it that way. The commissioners see it that way. Now it just has to see the rules like this.