Winning the championship is not the same as winning the race. If you were trying to win the race, you might get the best driver, engine and chassis you could but perhaps you might use a floor in your car that pushes the limits of the regulations and delivers the race win.
What you may not be considering is that to be a fierce competitor for the entirety of a championship, you have to be a fair competitor and one that runs their races well. One that gains the respect of those who compete with them and consider their integrity and character to be part of their resilience and legitimacy for winning the constructor’s championship.
On the surface of it, perhaps Haas F1 was looking at the race win and not the championship or they didn’t understand that win or lose, it’s how you play the game that matters. But that’s on the surface, what lies underneath is a more complicated matter of summer work stoppage, deadlines that were unachievable and miscommunications.
Renault Sport F1 lodged a complaint over the floor on Romain Grosjean’s car after the Italian Grand Prix and said it contravened Article 3.7.1.d of the technical regulations and a technical directive (TD) published before the summer break.
While true, Haas F1 said it had communicated with the FIA that due to the summer break, they may not be able to get the parts developed from their suppliers in time for Monza and a lack of a response from FIA technical director, Nikolas Tombazis, suggested the FIA were fine with the timeline Hass mentioned. Tombazis says that a conversation with Haas F1’s technical guru, Ben Agathangelou, left no confusion that they would be subject to possible protests from other teams in Monza if they did not rectify their floor design.
It’s an interesting one as the stewards said there was another team who did manage to comply with the TD issues on July 25th. I don’t think Haas F1 was being deliberately insouciant about their floor. They knew there was an issue and had notified the FIA that the timeframe for remedy would be impossible for them to achieve given the summer work stoppage.
Haas F1’s Gunther Steiner says the team will appeal the decision, but it will have to make a strong miscommunication case against the FIA in order to find success. As it is, Grosjean’s elimination from the race means both Williams score points and Sergey Sirotkin his first-ever points.
Looks like Renault using a classic tactic when you can’t beat ’em on the track…
Or Haas running the classic tactic of bending the rules until the umpire says “too far”
Here’s a link to a neat video that explains what has been judged illegal.
If the floor is illegal then the floor is illegal. I am fully with Renault on this one because, although it may seem petty to us, imagine if you are one of the floor-pan engineers at Renault working 16 hour days and then you get beaten by a car with an illegal floor? I’d be pissed.
Maybe I don’t fully understand, but don’t these cars go through some sort of FIA technical inspection during a race weekend? If yes, why would the FIA even allow the Haas cars to participate in the race weekend if they weren’t in compliance. I know in other series, such as NASCAR, the car will not be allowed to race if it didn’t pass all the various inspection areas. So, if the FIA knew the car wasn’t in compliance and still allowed them to participate in the race weekend, then that’s on the FIA. It shouldn’t take another team having to… Read more »
That’s a great question mate! Here is how I understand it (and please keep in mind, some of this is based on my own experience in racing): So when the FIA does scrutineering at a race, they don’t check the car by the entire rulebook (like they do during homologation). Instead, they will focus more on safety checks and they will have certain technical rule areas they have decided to check. Because of this, the FIA is dependent on other teams pointing out these problems in other cars. F1 cars are built to the micron (that is 1/50 the width… Read more »
Human hairs vary in diameter significantly, they are not useful measuring tools.
I remember optical fibres being described as ‘the width of a human hair, and they were between 125 and 230 microns in diameter depending upon the fibre.
The radius in question has a tolerance of +/- 2mm (or two thousand microns if you prefer).
I ran into trouble many years ago when I “assumed” something was ok. Even tho I was right, I still got in trouble for assuming.
The strange thing about this is that an FIA official was going to let something go overlooked as long as nobody noticed the Haas floor differences. The last time I checked, the FIA was supposed to make sure the rules were followed, not other teams.
Yea, I don’t understand it either. It always surprises me that in scrutineering that nothing is ever violating the rules. But if they are waiting for someone to protest before saying it violates, that solves it… but it still doesn’t make sense to me. Rules authorities should be the primary ones catching and enforcing rules and the teams only if the FIA miss something. I understand they can’t catch everything, but in this case they knew the car would be operating illegally and were perfectly happy with allowing that, it seems.
So why wasn’t KMAG DQ’d as well – was he using a different floor – one that Dallara was able to make in time?
My guess is that he did not finish in the points so it wouldn’t affect anything anyway. You can bet if he finishes in the points in Singapore and they haven’t fixed the floor by then that a protest will be lodged.
My understanding too. He didn’t finish in points and any success in the protest by Renault on Grosjean’s car will prompt the needed changes to Kevin’s car.
I think everyone is missing a point here: Haas was suggesting that they had to either run with the illegal floor or not run with a floor at all. The FIA said they can run with the illegal floor because it doesn’t break the safety regulations (or at least thats how Haas interpreted the situation), but if it gets protested then they can be removed from the results. If you believe what Haas was saying, they had to run the illegal floor because they didn’t have a replacement. Also remember, the teams have to start the Grand Prix or face… Read more »
Haas changed the floor at the Canadian race, they could have fitted the earlier design of floor (if they had one left) and it would have been legal. They chose not to do so. The Technical Directive was issued six weeks ago, so accounting for the three week summer break, that gave Haas three weeks to get a legal floor made. However as they subcontract all their fabrication work they cannot respond as fast as the traditional F1 constructors. The exclusion is the downside of the decision to buy the parts elsewhere. There are pictures in the Autosport article showing… Read more »
Haas changed to a legal floor for Singapore, and their performance dropped off dramatically. Now it may just be that their car responds better to faster circuits like Spa and Monza rather than Singapore with endless 90° corners, but it doesn’t help in their appeal.