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Something as simply Lando being more comfortable with the car and getting the power down .1 seconds quicker coming out of certain corners can really add up over the course of a race.
How long will that excuse last? DR is improving, but we're almost halfway through the season. Let's hope that there's more to come, soon!
 

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How long will that excuse last? DR is improving, but we're almost halfway through the season. Let's hope that there's more to come, soon!
I hear ya. I have unending respect for these guys, though. I race my cars so I get the demands to hustle a regular car around a track. I’ve tried to drive F1 cars on simulators. It’s so hard just to complete a lap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #183 ·
RACEFANS
As red flags become more common, F1 should ban repairs during suspensions

20th July 2021,| Written by Dieter Rencken

Regardless of where the blame lay or how it is apportioned, the fall-out from Sunday’s first-lap accident between world championship rivals Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton suggests that a number of Formula 1’s regulations and procedures require, at the very least, reviews – and rapid implementation of any recommendations – if the eventual outcome of the last season under the current regulations is to stand scrutiny.
While the ‘tariff’ of penalties open to stewards during the weekend resulted in the sort of anomalies their list of precedentsis expressly intended to prevent, the range of activities and procedures that are permitted under red flag restarts by the regulations are the biggest cause for concern.

Twice this year, during race suspensions at Imola and Silverstone, a number of substantial repairs were permitted to Hamilton’s car which enabled the seven-time champion to score a total of 44 points, split 19 and 25 respectively.
While his potential scores without said repairs are impossible to predict, consider that his Mercedes team estimated that a front wing – replaced under a red flag at Imola – cost him 0.3-0.6 seconds per lap. Would he have finished second under the circumstances or gained a point for fastest lap? Highly unlikely.
On Sunday at Silverstone, he damaged a wheel during the clash with Verstappen. According to the team, without the red flag brought about by the need to repair the barriers, that would have forced his retirement.
Instead, his team was able to repair the damage with no time loss and race to victory after a 10-second penalty taken during a routine stop – despite the stewards having adjudged him as being “predominantly at fault” for the incident. Verstappen could only look on helplessly in hospital as Hamilton celebrated a 25-point cut into his lead, cutting his deficit to eight points.


Of course Hamilton and Mercedes did not act improperly – the regulations permit repairs during a red flag. But this effective 44-point bonus for car number 44 could well prove decisive come the finale.

The red flag ‘repair’ clause was introduced to cater for a totally different set of circumstances at a time when races were seldom red-flagged.

An analysis by GP Facts and Numbers shows that over the past 15 seasons a total of 26 grands prix were interrupted for some reason or other.

Of these, two were halted after chequered flags were erroneously waved prematurely and four when the two-hour limit was reached after a number of safety car interventions, crucially without red flags being deemed necessary. One was shortened after a number of pre-start exploratory laps and six due to heavy rain, albeit without major incidents.

Thus, there were 13 events with serious incidents requiring red flags and 13 ‘other’ causes – less than one per season on average. Tellingly, six of these – almost half – occurred in the past 12 months. Cynics may suggest the red flag is being increasingly used to spice up racing via standing restarts, permitted by a rules change a few years ago, but red flag interruptions are more usually triggered by a need to damaged barriers or clear the track safely.
The ‘red flag repair’ rule was introduced to enable cars to be fettled for changed weather conditions. But it is increasingly being used to repair dry-weather crash damage.

There is no doubt that drivers have unfairly benefitting from its provisions given the increased incidence of red flags caused by major accidents – from under one per season ten years ago to five in a single 12-month stretch. Sunday again proved the unfairness of the rule.
Thus, the ‘repair’ clause needs to be revisited, with cars required to restart after a red flag in the exact condition in which they parked up – effectively a parc fermé rules which already apply after qualifying under whatever format. Repairs or adjustments due to changes in climatic conditions could only be undertaken with the express approval of the race director, and any breaches would require the car(s) to restart from the back.


Such a rule would also eliminate the current pit stop lottery – whereby a driver stops on, say, lap 34, only for a lap 36 red flag to grant others a ‘free’ tyre change.

Sunday’s race highlighted another area of the rule book which may have to be reconsidered: F1’s ‘non consequence’ tariff structure. At present any incident is judged on its merits alone, and a similar penalty applies across all similar incidents. Thus a ‘nudge’ into a harmless spin in a slow corner attracts a similar penalty to a high-speed ‘nudge’ that sends a driver into a barrier at 51G and out of the race simply as the eventual consequences are disregarded.

While the impact on championship positions should have no bearing, the immediate consequences should, just as road traffic incidents are judged on their severity and penalised accordingly. Ignoring red traffic lights is more heavily penalised where there are injuries rather than light panel damage. In this era of budget caps the severity of incidents and their subsequent costs should also be taken into account by stewards.
Given F1’s constant evolution no penalty structure will ever be perfect, but a regular revamp of articles, provisions and clauses is surely necessary to ensure that the punishments better suit the ‘crimes’ than they currently do.


On Sunday F1 race director Michael Masi said the practice of not considering the consequences of a collision has “been a mainstay for many, many years.

“This came through discussions prior to my time between all of the teams, the FIA and F1, and the team principals,” he explained. “All were quite adamant that you should not consider the consequences in an incident.

“So when [the stewards] judge an incident they judge the incident itself, and the merits of the incident, not what happens afterwards as a consequence. That’s been something the stewards have done for many years.”

Maybe so, but the last time I looked at the sport’s structures the FIA was the sole regulator of F1, not the team principals or F1. Equally, the mere fact that something has been in place “for many years” is no reason to not revisit it in the interests of improvement – as happened on Saturday when the sport experimented with the introduction of the sprint qualifying concept.
 

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There was also plenty more room to Max's left, as well as to Lewis's right...... For me this was, as Otmar Szafnauer opined, a textbook racing incident, particularly since it was on lap 1. Both could have taken action to avoid contact. Looking closely at the footage, you can clearly see that the Mercedes is understeering, the wheels are pointed to the apex but the car isn't going in that direction.
Otmar Szafnauer's opinions are utterly worthless, especially as they might relate to Mercedes:
  • Aston Martin cannot function without its Mercedes power units;
  • Prior to last season Aston Martin (in its previous incarnation as Pointless Racing) got inside information about Mercedes's 2019 title-winning car, giving the former an unfair advantage throughout the 2020 season;
  • Toto Wolff has personally invested $50m in Aston Martin Lagonda; and
  • Daimler AG has said that within the next two years they will acquire 20% of Aston Martin Lagonda.

In light of all that (and not to mention the man's complete blindness when it comes to judging his own drivers), do you really think that Szafnauer's views on whether Lewis Hamilton should be penalised have any validity whatsoever?
 

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Discussion Starter · #185 · (Edited)
Have not seen much discussion about the Mercedes decision to have the cars start on 2 lap ‘used’ medium tires - the theory being that the ‘used’ tires would give an advantage over unused for the first lap. This may have increased Hamilton’s (hot into corner) risk taking to pass Verstappen…. Not an excuse of course
 

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Otmar Szafnauer's opinions are utterly worthless, especially as they might relate to Mercedes:
  • Aston Martin cannot function without its Mercedes power units;
  • Prior to last season Aston Martin (in its previous incarnation as Pointless Racing) got inside information about Mercedes's 2019 title-winning car, giving the former an unfair advantage throughout the 2020 season;
  • Toto Wolff has personally invested $50m in Aston Martin Lagonda; and
  • Daimler AG has said that within the next two years they will acquire 20% of Aston Martin Lagonda.

In light of all that (and not to mention the man's complete blindness when it comes to judging his own drivers), do you really think that Szafnauer's views on whether Lewis Hamilton should be penalised have any validity whatsoever?
None of that means he wasn't correct in his assessment. Which he was.
 

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Discussion Starter · #187 ·
None of that means he wasn't correct in his assessment. Which he was.
Perhaps NB is referring to “Otmar Szafnauer opined, a textbook racing incident” which it clearly was not unless you think the stewards are wrong? :)
 

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I think Damon Hill was right. Yes, it was a racing incident, but LH still caused it, and needed a punishment as such. It was a minor punishment and he still won the race. Max was "hurt" (literally and figuratively) far worse.
 

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I think Damon Hill was right. Yes, it was a racing incident, but LH still caused it, and needed a punishment as such. It was a minor punishment and he still won the race. Max was "hurt" (literally and figuratively) far worse.
Both could have avoided it, Max less painfully, IMO. Anyway, we can analyse these split seconds 'til the cows come home, but it won't change the decisions that each made, in the bat of an eyelid. They're driving on instinct. Neither was going to back-down, so the inevitable happened. We're in for some exciting racing.

I wouldn't call the punishment minor (or justified ..) - many good driver / car combinations would not have been able to recover from it. Lewis didn't look to have the pace earlier in the race either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #191 ·
Stewards today have access to video and telemetry that allows them to determine majority fault to a very high degree of accuracy. Should more information/investigation be required there are a lot of non steward telemetry and video available from other sources.

Intent and consequence are not part of the stewards decision.

Many commentators have a ‘self interest’ in the ‘F1 show’ and the extended promotion of controversy.

We can trust stewards decisions much more than in decades past.
 

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Discussion Starter · #192 ·
MOTORSPORT
McLaren set for boost in Ferrari F1 fight with Hungarian GP upgrades

By:Luke Smith
Co-author:Haydn Cobb
Jul 21, 2021
McLaren is set for a boost in its fight against Ferrari for third in the Formula 1 constructors’ championship by bringing some upgrades to the next race in Hungary.
213180


McLaren is aiming to repeat its feat of finishing third in the teams’ standings from last year, but faces stern competition in the form of Ferrari.

Charles Leclerc’s charge to second place in the British Grand Prix helped Ferrari cut the gap to McLaren in the championship down to 15 points, having come within three laps of winning the grand prix.

Leclerc ultimately crossed the line 25 seconds clear of leading McLaren driver Lando Norris, who took fourth ahead of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.

It marked a big turnaround in Ferrari’s form after both Leclerc and team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr had struggled with tyre management in France last month, breathing added life into the scrap for third.

But McLaren F1 chief Andreas Seidl revealed after the race that the team is planning to bring some new parts for its MCL35M car to next weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest, boosting its hopes.

“We are bringing some upgrades to Hungary for our car in order to make sure we keep this battle up,” said Seidl.

“It is great for us that we are in P3 in the constructors’ championship, and after 10 races, 163 points is again a big step forward for us compared to last year.

“So I am very happy for that.”

At the same point last year, McLaren had scored 106 points and one fewer podium than it has picked up so far in 2021.
The upswing in form has come against increased competition in the fight for third through a stronger Ferrari squad, which is recovering from its worst season in 40 years in 2020.

Seidl said that he was “not surprised” by Ferrari’s performance at Silverstone, nor the progress that it has appeared to make across the campaign so far.

“I am also not surprised by the steps they can make in a season, as it is a strong team with two strong drivers,” Seidl said.

“They also have all of the resources that they need in order to react to problems. They have the team with the experience to react to the problems so it is not a surprise.

“It will be a very tough battle until the end of the season."
 

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None of that means he wasn't correct in his assessment. Which he was.
By the same logic, if you call 'heads', then flip a coin and it lands heads, other people should value your opinions on probability theory.

The point was not whether whatever came out of Szafnauer's mouth happened to be correct, it was that Szafnauer is hopelessly conflicted, has no credibility, and therefore should not be heeded. It was always possible that he was going to be right - not because of his position or insight but merely by chance. Ergo, don't cite Otmar Szafnauer's opinion when it is of zero analytical value.

Also, one has got to love your certitude in saying 'Which he was'. No nuance, no complexity, nothing even to ponder, just 'Which he was'.
 

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By the same logic, if you call 'heads', then flip a coin and it lands heads, other people should value your opinions on probability theory.

The point was not whether whatever came out of Szafnauer's mouth happened to be correct, it was that Szafnauer is hopelessly conflicted, has no credibility, and therefore should not be heeded. It was always possible that he was going to be right - not because of his position or insight but merely by chance. Ergo, don't cite Otmar Szafnauer's opinion when it is of zero analytical value.

Also, one has got to love your certitude in saying 'Which he was'. No nuance, no complexity, nothing even to ponder, just 'Which he was'.
Yep, because he was.
 

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Another, potentially biassed, opinion, with justification:

Yes, another perfectly objective point of view. :rolleyes:
Why do the media even bother publishing these laughably self-serving blatherings - from either side?
 

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Another, potentially biassed, opinion, with justification:

Interesting that both Alonso and LeClerc, both of whom race against Verstappen, and neither of which have any allegiance to Mercedes, both correctly concluded that it was a racing incident.
 
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