FIA getting serious about consistency, new rules

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I’ve written before about the consistency issue in Formula 1’s penalties, decisions and incident reviews so I won’t regurgitate it here but the reality is, the FIA of the past kept these regulations relatively vague so they could interpret as needed and within context. This was part of former FIA president Max Mosley’s program but lately, the call for consistency has been just south of a scream and that’s not only from team bosses and drivers but from fans themselves.

As Sky Sports F1 points out, F1 Stewards’ chairman Garry Connelly wants to see some consistency too and he has a few concepts he’d like to see initiated within the FIA.

“We went through a lot of rules and looked at how we can work with the FIA to tidy up the wording, enabling us to take quicker decisions,” Connelly said.

“We talked a lot about how we can achieve better consistency. We think that more meetings and more reviews of past decisions are necessary, so that we all understand how each panel of stewards is treating a particular situation, especially where it’s necessary for the stewards to make a subjective ruling, on a dangerous driving charge for example. That is quite a subjective issue.

“These are obviously decisions that are made collectively but understanding how those decisions can be made more consistent is valuable.”

The Mexican Grand Prix prompted serious discussion about cutting corners as both Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen had the same corner-cutting ride and only one was penalized. Connelly said:

“The point we also made is that the rules say a driver can rejoin the track as long as you do it safely and gain no lasting advantage,” Connelly said.

“The word lasting is again very subjective. Does it mean lasting for 500m, until the next turn, the next few laps or the whole race?

“That subjectivity is removed if the circuit is modified or designed to immediately disadvantage a driver if he does go off track.”

Indeed, lasting is a subjective term. Regardless, reviewing races with the stewarding crews is a good thing in order to seek commonality amongst them on what is and isn’t deemed an issue and what context was applied in situation 1 and not in situation 2. That seems logical and I would add that it is a good step in seeking some parity amongst the steward crews at each race.

Hat Tip: Sky Sports F1

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