Op-Ed: Today’s F1 rules decision has Ferrari written all over it

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While I continue to encourage Todd to take a break from his vacation and give you the “What the WMSC did right — and what it did wrong” Op-Ed regarding the rules changes announced earlier today, I realized that someone had to write the piece that my Ferrari-fan colleague could not.

The rules changes absolutely reek of Ferrari*.

Throughout the 2010 season, I’ve been mightily impressed by how fair and balanced Jean Todt has handled himself as FIA president. I am sure I was not alone in thinking that there was going to be something — either Todt seeming to favor Ferrari or going out of his way not to favor his old team — that would make for a big contretemps. But so far, it’s been pretty quiet. The closest thing to a questionable decision was docking Michael Schumacher at Monaco, but that seemed more an issue involving Mercedes (although it did also involve Jean’s old driver).

Well, I may just have to change my tune, because it certainly seems that Ferrari got everything it could have wanted from the rules changes. Let’s run them down, shall we?

Tires

One word: Pirelli. Heck, the FIA may as well have handed the tire contract to Ferrari, right? Perhaps the smaller teams liked the Italian manufacturer’s lower cost, but does anyone think anything but, “Ferrari and Pirelli? There’s no way that’s going to be fair.”

Safety car

Although I admit the Monaco-Schumacher penalty isn’t a Ferrari-first issue, Ferrari comes out on the right side of this decision. Fernando Alonso and Ferrari’s actions in the last corner have been officially sanctioned!

General safety

This is among the least pro-Ferrari, but it’s still pretty darn pro. The “against” Ferrari wording, in my mind, involves the pit lane and pit entry. In other words, “Hey, Fernando, no more crazy passing your team mate as you dive into the pits, OK?” But beyond that, I think this — and one other rule change, below — was absolutely the focus of Luca di Montezemolo’s recent rantings and ravings. He got his point across, the FIA listened, and anyone driving too slowly (i.e. impeding Alonso in Canada or elsewhere) will be reported to the stewards. Watch out, HRT!

The grid

Speaking of “watch out,” Luca D absolutely got what he wanted with the reinstatement of the 107% rule. Already, some of you F1B readers have been tearing this rule apart, since Q1 is notoriously uneven when it comes to grip and other factors. But it sure will clear the path for the Ferraris!

Driver adjustable bodywork

Another win for Ferrari because this rule is making almost zero sense. So, I have to think it somehow falls in Ferrari’s favor.

Aerodynamic influence

The only “lose” for Ferrari, but it’s also Ferrari’s own fault. Why did the team have to highlight its use of the F-duct by putting gloves so obviously on its drivers? That was so in everyone’s face that Enzo Ferrari as FIA president probably would have had to rule against it.

Weight

Have you seen how chubby Alonso and Felipe Massa are? Plus, well, Italian cooking is the bomb, so to force the Scuederia’s drivers to keep their weight down with all that sausage and gnocchi around, that would be just criminal.

OK, folks, have at it. But, do note the disclaimer below before unleashing your hottest flames.

* Disclaimer: Please, please keep in mind that I’m only about 46% serious here. I know you could probably run through these rules and point out how they favor a bunch of teams — although not all. But I’m about 84% sure that Ferrari is the biggest winner of all.

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