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#9751 Posted by Ben_H (4195 posts) -

As it turns out, Daniel Ricciardo is still a good F1 driver.

He beat both Gasly and Bottas in qualifying today. 4th place in a Renault is pretty good!

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#9752 Posted by JohnLocke (753 posts) -

@ben_h: What do you recon to a Ricciardo dive down the inside on turn one? I mean, he is not in the title fight as it stands so he really does not have much to loose going for it at turn one.

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#9753 Posted by redwing42 (525 posts) -

So, can we officially write off Lance Stroll at this point? I know the Racing Points or whatever the fuck we are calling them had a poor setup for this track, but I think Stroll has gone out in Q1 something like 11 straight races. You would think that they would do everything in their power to make sure Stroll has a good car, but Sainz is still well ahead of him every race. I guess there always has to be a few pay drivers out there, but seeing Stroll with a seat and Ocon without is rough.

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#9754 Posted by Ben_H (4195 posts) -

That call by the stewards is gonna be hotly debated I imagine. They said that Vettel has no way of appealing it once the race ends. Vettel’s options were basically slam on the brakes, likely hitting Hamilton, not brake, hit the wall, and probably collect Hamilton, or do what he did. He was mid-slide when he got back on track.

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#9755 Posted by Erik (424 posts) -

Formula 1 continues to get more and more unwatchable every race week, and this is just the fucking cherry on the top. Finally a good race for the first time in forever and they manage to fuck it up, I'll probably stop watching the race halfway through the season just like last year, and then check in on the subreddit once in a while.

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#9756 Edited by Ben_H (4195 posts) -

Ferrari apparently has the ability and is going to appeal the penalty.

In other interesting news, it sounds like there is going to be a push by multiple teams to move back to last year's tire specification (0.4mm thicker treads than they are currently). This year, they made the tread on the tires thinner in hopes of preventing blistering. They had tested it last year at a few races to mixed results (Mercedes dominated most of the races where they used those tires). This is because, the current tires, due to being much thinner, don't hold onto heat nearly as well so many teams are having major issues keeping the tires at temperature, most notably Haas, Ferrari, McLaren, and Alfa Romeo. Christian Horner also said Red Bull is having issues with it too. Mercedes has classically been the team that has had issues with overheating their tires, so this new spec of tire helps them prevent their tires from overheating while teams that design their cars to be kinder to the tires like Ferrari suddenly cannot keep their tires consistently at temperature and is struggling for pace despite having a car that most agree is much more stable and previously looked significantly faster than the Mercedes. Haas appears to be most severely affected by the issue. They have frequently qualified pretty far up, only to plunge down positions in the race because their car can't keep the tires at temperature in dirty air.

Apparently the change requires 7 out of 10 teams to sign on before the change can be put through, and it sounds a lot of teams would be open to it. Christian Horner said he figured that only Mercedes would be against the change.

I'm 100% on board with this tire change. Anything to stop Mercedes from having a 0.5-1 second advantage at every race that isn't either in the desert or takes place in abnormally hot weather. This has been the worst season I've followed since I started watching F1 in 2015. Today was only close because the track was so hot that there weren't as many temperature issues. Once we get to the European races and temperatures drop a bit, it's probably gonna return to being Mercedes 1-2s.

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#9757 Edited by Shindig (4939 posts) -

What other penalty could the stewards have given? Vettel was in front before and after the incident so they couldn't have him give a place up. When it comes to time penalties, it's always 5 seconds. Vettel's best action would've been to hot lap like a motherfucker like he used to do in a Red Bull. He had the beating of that Merc. The walls made that move dangerous and, despite what Vettel says, he had space on the inside whereas Lewis had nothing but a wall for company.

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#9758 Edited by gkhan (1083 posts) -

@shindig said:

What other penalty could the stewards have given? Vettel was in front before and after the incident so they couldn't have him give a place up. When it comes to time penalties, it's always 5 seconds. Vettel's best action would've been to hot lap like a motherfucker like he used to do in a Red Bull. He had the beating of that Merc. The walls made that move dangerous and, despite what Vettel says, he had space on the inside whereas Lewis had nothing but a wall for company.

They shouldn't have given him a penalty at all! This is the very definition of a "racing incident", worthy of no further action. Hamilton was chasing Vettel hard, and Vettel was defending hard. In so doing, Hamilton forced an error on Vettels part, but Vettel was able to recover and Hamilton failed to capitalize on his opportunity (but might very well have a few laps later due to the beating Vettel's tyres took).

This is what racing is supposed to look like! This is what the sport should be! World class drivers putting pressure driving right up to the edge. The penalty is absolutely bananas, they might as well start penalizing people for trying to overtake at this point.

I found Karun Chandhok's analysis of the incident really good: https://streamable.com/m9yis

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#9759 Posted by Shindig (4939 posts) -

"Drivers must resume the track having not been given a lasting advantage."

Letter of the law. He squeezed him and stayed in front after resuming the track and oversteering. The advantage is positional, not time but he can't give back a position he hasn't lost. So time is applied.

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#9760 Posted by redwing42 (525 posts) -

Letter of the law, that was a penalty. However, Vettel didn't have control of the car and couldn't have done anything else with it. That is why the stewards are there, to interpret situations. This shouldn't have been a penalty, because Vettel didn't seem to take his line intentionally.

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#9761 Edited by Ben_H (4195 posts) -

Vettel's tires were sliding when he rejoined the track because of the grass. It wasn't as simple as him turning left more. When he re-entered the track his rear wheels were sliding and he was fighting nearly spinning out. If you look at the video above you can see he was clearly not in control when he re-entered the track.

A whole pile of current and former racing drivers have criticized this call, even Mark Webber. All of them said it should have been a racing incident.

The bigger issue is that last year (and several times previously) the FIA said that they were going to let the drivers race and be more lenient with penalties with regards to borderline situations like light contact, however there has been no consistency about this. In some races, things that appear to be racing incidents will be penalized, but in other races they will not. Also, there is no consistency to what penalty will be given for a given infraction, and in some cases clearly worse infractions get off with lighter penalties. A recent example is Verstappen in Monaco. He got a 5 second penalty for unsafe release while he basically tried to pass Bottas in the pit lane, which in itself is dangerous for obvious reasons, but he also punctured Bottas' tire and ruined his race. In contrast, I think it was Giovinazzi who got a 10 second penalty for accidentally bumping into another car in a slow corner and causing them to spin, and even at the time the commentators figured it would be a racing incident. Nobody even sustained damage, just a spin, and Giovinazzi lost a ton of time as a result of it because he got stuck behind the other car as they unspun (it was the casino square corner I think. That super tight corner).

This is why I think they need to do away with their current stewarding system. It's straight up bad. They bring in former drivers to act as stewards, but it is different people every race so the calls are never consistent. It makes no sense that they have the same race director and other senior race officials every race, but not stewards.

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#9762 Edited by Shindig (4939 posts) -

Yeah, the stewarding system is odd, like a guest judge in a reality TV show. I do wonder what former drivers would follow the circus around for 21 weekends, though. Also, these decisions are considered using all available technology. So there's telemetry as well as slow motion footage. I can see the decision being reversed but the dangerous precedent was already set when Verstappen was penalised for a similar incident. If they're showing consistency, it's right there.

Maybe they clear it all up next season?

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#9763 Posted by Phos (76 posts) -

The question seems to be whether Vettel was steering right when he squeezed hamilton because of opposite lock or just to block him.

I suspect they prefer the current steward system because they are essentially volunteers.

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#9764 Posted by frytup (1316 posts) -

Kinda feels like this whole penalty debate is obscuring the fact that Vettel panicked and screwed up when Hamilton was breathing down his neck. Again.

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#9765 Edited by Shindig (4939 posts) -

Here is your annual 'How are they doing?' Le Mans check-in.

  • Kamui Kobayashi leads
  • Fernando Alonso, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima are second
  • Sergey Sirotkin and Stephane Sarrazin are OUT
  • Stoffel van Dorne and Vitaly Petrov are 3rd
  • Bruno Senna's car has recovered to 4th after miscalculating fuel on the first stint.
  • Jean-Eric Vergne's running 12th
  • Pastor Maldonado and Anthony Davidson are OUT.
  • Paul di Resta's car is 10th
  • Will Stevens is 13th
  • Geido van der Garde is 15th
  • Jan Magnussen is 23rd
  • Gianmaria Bruni is 25th
  • Sebastien Bourdais is 28th
  • Giancarlo Fisichella is 44th
  • Olivier Berreta is 47th
  • Pedro Lamy is OUT.

Updated as of 10am BST.