Scratch the result, it now seems that the very thing I said would happen (and I was castigated for my view in the comment section) here, has happened. The new “moving under braking” rule has be retroactively applied to the race results after a team lodged a complaint and the results of a race have been erased.
Sebastian Vettel, who was on the FIA’s S-list for cursing out race director Charlie Whiting over his radio to his team, has lost his 3rd place finish at the Mexican Grand Prix after Red Bull complained that he had moved under braking while defending against Daniel Ricciardo. Never mind that Ricciardo’s teammate had ignored the team’s suggestion to cede the position to Vettel as Max Verstappen shortcut turn 1 and then proceeded to hold Vettel up dropping him into the claws of a hungry, charging Ricciardo.
The FIA said:
“Notwithstanding the F1 Commission directive to “let the drivers race” we note the concern that has been expressed about manoeuvres involving a change of direction under braking as expressed at the drivers briefing at the US Grand Prix and in the race director’s notes from the US Grand Prix and this event,”
“The telemetry and video evidence shows that the driver of car 5 did change direction under braking.
“Article 27.5 and the race director’s notes have essentially three criteria that determine a breach: driving in a manner potentially dangerous, an abnormal change of direction and another driver having to take evasive action.
“The video footage, including the close circuit footage, the broadcast vision, both drivers’ on board cameras plus the telemetry show that there was an abnormal change of direction by car 5 and this was considered to be potentially dangerous in view of the proximity of the wheels of each car.
“The video evidence clearly shows that car 3 had to take evasive action as a result.
“Accordingly as all three criteria have been met, the driver of car 5 is guilty of a breach of article 27.5.”
So therefore we have races changed after the event due to lodged complaints that required review of telemetry to determine if a driver moved, not just obvious visual evidence but a forensic review of Ferrari’s data. This is a slippery slope that f1 has gotten itself in to and one in which I find no comfort in.
I get the safety aspect of it but this is nonsense as the consistency and potential abuse of this rule will continue to get worse. I understand the FIA were upset with Vettel’s comments and foul language but this is an odd situation.
I also understand that Vettel has complained about this very issue with Max Verstappen so moving under braking is something that you would expect him not to do. I also agree with Sky Sports F1’s assessment that he squeezed Ricciardo and that’s just part of racing but now we are going to micromanage every inch of the driving on track. We are going to turn F1 into an engineering series that manages races from back of a garage and not on track.
This is an unfortunate situation for fans who are tired of having race results and podium ceremonies erased hours after a race. As I argued, the consistency will be a source of outrage as long as this rule lives and the abuse and lack of context from the fan’s perspective will make this a very difficult situation.
Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT